China’s Power Outages Could Have Global Implications

China’s Power Outages Could Have Global Implications
A man uses his smartphone flashlight to eat his breakfast at a restaurant during a blackout in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, Sept. 29, 2021 (AP photo by Olivia Zhang).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox. 

Households and factories across 20 provinces in China are reeling from the worst power crunch in a decade. In Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning province and one of the most severely affected areas, schools have turned off the lights and sent children outside to play sports. Factories in manufacturing hubs, including in locations where suppliers of Apple and Tesla are based, scrambled to assemble power generators and scaled back production amid electricity rationing. In the neighboring city of Liaoyang, 23 metal workers were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning, after a power outage worsened the factory’s ventilation.

With the weather set to chill and temperatures expected to dip below freezing in the coming weeks, people fear there is much worse to come. “If there’s a power cut in the winter, then the heat stops too,” Fang Xuedong, a delivery driver in Shenyang, told the Guardian. “I have a kid and an elderly person at home, if there’s no heat then that’s a problem.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.