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China Shuts Down Tens Of Thousands Of Factories In Widespread Pollution Crackdown (msn.com) 129

Buildings in China are shrouded in smog. From a report: China has implemented an unprecedented pollution crackdown in recent months as the country shuts down tens of thousands of factories. The effort is part of a national effort to address China's infamous pollution and has affected wide swaths of China's manufacturing sector. In total, it is estimated that 40 percent of all China's factories have been shut down at some point in order to be inspected by environmental bureau officials. As a result of these inspections over 80,000 factories have been hit with fines and criminal offenses as a result of their emissions. Safety officials have been moving from province to province (30 in total so far) shutting down factories as well as electricity and gas as they inspect the factories for meeting emissions requirements. This has resulted in late and missed orders, increased costs, and could ultimately result in higher prices on US shelves.
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China Shuts Down Tens Of Thousands Of Factories In Widespread Pollution Crackdown

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  • Resources! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @03:27PM (#55431721) Homepage Journal

    Who knew that cleanliness was a resource and you could use it up and run out?

    • Who knew that cleanliness was a resource and you could use it up and run out?

      Pff! Anyone who has been friends was Swamp Thing. He doesn't even wipe his feet before he enters your house, it's just swamp everywhere!

  • by zlives ( 2009072 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @03:28PM (#55431729)

    sooner or later this had to happen...

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @03:33PM (#55431763) Homepage

    40 percent of all China's factories have been shut down at some point in order to be inspected by environmental bureau officials.

    Wouldn't you want to inspect them before you shut them down? I mean how bad can the emissions of a shut-down factory be?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Wouldn't you want to inspect them before you shut them down?

      Nope. You want to shut them down first. Then, the factory managers will be more accommodating as to your bribe money to let them re-open again.

      • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @05:59PM (#55432803) Homepage

        1) The inspector is an important government employee, not a low lever person who needs your pocket change
        2) Accepting a bribe like that when the government is trying to do a special program of cleanup will result in the death penalty in China.

        Bribes are more likely when the factory is running, because the inspector can just agree to say they inspected everything that was safe to inspect with the equipment running.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Which seems to be exactly the reason why those inspectors are rotating across the country. It blocks the ability to set up contacts for bribes except at the higher levels. At lower levels, you do not know you fellow inspectors, you do not know the companies, you do not know who might be a different kind of government agent and corruption charges in China can have the death penalty. That bribe ends up being more expensive than cleaning up the mess, simply because of the risk is so high. Large corporations st

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Just wait until they realize they can use the factory owners as the inspectors and they can rotate back and forth between the two like the US system.
  • This happened to me. Anyone have a $50,000 a year job in IT in Beijing?
    • This happened to me. Anyone have a $50,000 a year job in IT in Beijing?

      No, sorry, the last offers I saw there were for something like million billion dollars for top developers.

      Either you'll have to accept more pay, or look elsewhere.

    • No but I can hook you up with a White Monkey gig in Shenzhen for US$5k. I can even throw in a sleeping mat in a storage room for free, as long as you're available weekends too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Once they pay their "fines" they can go back to polluting. Unless they complain and a firing squad is needed. Happened before, will happen again. I have stories from the eighties of execs being executed for "bad business practices and polluting". Didn't stop then, will not stop now.

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      Nothing ever changes, by which I'm actually only referring to people who believe that.

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @03:44PM (#55431839)
    Seriously, the author is worried about spending a tiny bit more at Walmart because school kids in China now get cleaner air?
    • "Seriously, the author is worried about spending a tiny bit more at Walmart because school kids in China now get cleaner air?"

      You mean the school kids working in those factories?

    • You got to put your spin on it somehow.

    • Seriously, the author is worried about spending a tiny bit more at Walmart because school kids in China now get cleaner air?

      Yes, we all are. Otherwise they wouldn't have this problem in the first place. Their factories don't product for the local population. If the USA stopped buying Chinese and started spending more money on American then pollution in China would greatly reduce.

      • Their factories don't product for the local population.

        Complete hogwash. Chinese consumers buy the same crap as is sold here, from the same factory, and at local prices. Supply outstrips demand, so it obviously would be that way.

        • Complete hogwash. Chinese consumers buy the same crap as is sold here

          Yes they do. The difference is that the number of active people in the Chinese market are dwarfed by the number of internationals.

          Supply outstrips demand

          Kind of my point. You want to contribute to a cleaner China, stop being part of the demand. Factories will cease being viable.

          • You might want to actually check numbers before you make bold statements about the Chinese having less "active people" in the Chinese market.

            Don't just guess and spew when it comes to numbers, look them up. When you're getting greater than/less than wrong, you need some sort of remedial work, that is for sure.

            Not everything that was true 20 years ago is still true today. 20 years ago China wasn't even the world's 2nd largest economy.

      • Do you mean we should make America produce again? That sounds oddly familiar. Wasn't there some guy on TV all the time last year, flying all over the country, saying something like that? What ever happened to him? You know who I'm talking about. Old fat white guy wearing a red trucker hat and a cheap business suit. That guy. I hope he got his message across. We could use more people working in the USA.

        • by TWX ( 665546 )

          He got his message across. It wasn't the words coming out of his mouth in scripted campaign rallies, but the message has apparently come across loud and clear.

        • Smug people on the internet sure did hate that guy for having the temerity to suggest that working class people ought not starve and die in the streets. I wonder what happened to him?

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      Seriously, the author is worried about spending a tiny bit more at Walmart because school kids in China now get cleaner air?

      I infer that perhaps it was only especially cheap to manufacture in China because they were willing to fuck their environment in order to do it. Once industry is required to both pay for new emissions controls and to pay to clean up the existing damage, it will not be nearly so cheap to manufacture in China.

      Throw nice helpings of industrial espionage and lack of respect for patents and trademarks, and it's even less cheap to manufacture there long-term. But then, corporate officers and boards of directors

  • You can have cheap products, be the industrial center of the world, or have clean air. Pick any two.

    It will be interesting to see how serious they are about this.

  • ZOMG, higher prices!

    And we still are arguing over whether corporate taxes have nay impact on prices.

  • Is this why Dell keeps delaying my order?

  • With all of the rumors related to issues sourcing the parts necessary for Apple's forthcoming iPhone X and the anticipated short supply at launch, this causes me to wonder: where does Apple assemble their iDevices, again?

    (Spoiler... it's predominantly Foxconn, in China.)

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @04:23PM (#55432119) Homepage Journal

    The thing is, those who have little knowledge of how China works fail to understand how patronage has allowed very inefficient factories to continue to exist.

    Starting with the replacement of old WW I style mills and power systems based on coal, China has literally either forced them to be replaced with cogeneration coal plants that capture excess heat, allowing an old style to produce twice the power output with the same raw inputs. They closed down those which could not be retrofitted.

    Now they are doing the same with many of the factories. New factory designs are far more efficient, and cheaper to operate, allowing far fewer raw inputs to produce valuable goods, and requiring far less power.

    Which makes them more competitive, dropping prices, not raising them.

    This is part of why the Western US, with high investment in renewable power and modern fabrication techniques, outcompetes the old style factories in other regions.

    Does it cost? For a 2-5 year cycle, sure. But it drops your operating expenses and maintenance, and it lets you outcompete the fossil factories kept up with wire and tape.

    Stop focusing on the short term quarterly results, and look to the operational cradle-to-grave results. Adapt or die.

  • Great. Now where will all the cheap Christmas junk come from? Automakers are salivating over the Chinese market, their consumer economy is booming and western companies are eager to get a piece of the action.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"

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