Power rationing in China sees shops with candles, no streetlights

photo of candle on wooden tray
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Power rationing in some parts of Northeast China, particularly in some residential communities, without advance warning has sparked public anger and growing debate over the country’s power supply, Global Times reported.

The unexpected and unprecedented power cut in three provinces in Northeast China – Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning – on Monday following reported electricity shortages have resulted in major disruptions to daily lives of people and business operations, sparking growing concerns over the potential disruption of power supplies as demand booms ahead of the upcoming winter season.

The power curb in the three provinces in Northeast China made it onto the hot search list of China’s Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform, on Monday, drawing around 500 million viewers and over 230,000 comments.

From last Thursday onwards, power rationing during peak hours occurred in many parts of Northeast China, including Shenyang, Changchun and other cities, after the region’s entire power grid was in danger of collapse, according to media reports.

The lack of electricity has not only restricted industrial production, but has also had some impact on the local residents, the Global Times reported.

Some netizens said that the power outage lasted for three days, and there was no signal on mobile phones, while some media reports showed that traffic lights on the main roads of Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning, could not operate normally, while some shops could only operate with candles.

Furthermore, potential contamination caused by blast furnace gas reportedly took place on Sunday in a steel production company in Liaoning after regional power was cut, causing 23 injuries, the media reported on Monday.

A textile factory in Jiangsu received a notice to cut power completely from mid-September to early October, in what could be one of the longest power cuts for the company, a manager told the Global Times on Monday.

The power cut has caused 500 workers to go off work in a month-long paid time off, and orders for both domestic and overseas markets have been rescheduled or cancelled, the manager said, indicating that the potential losses for the company could be huge, the report said.

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