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Pollution shutdown in Chinese city of Kunshan hits Taiwanese companies

Production to be cut by half over 17 days

Kunshan (photo courtesy of song songroov).

Kunshan (photo courtesy of song songroov). (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A 17-day shutdown ordered by the government of the Chinese city of Kunshan (昆山) west of Shanghai to combat water pollution is hitting Taiwanese companies hard, reports said Tuesday.

The local government recently wrote to 270 companies with factories along the Wusong River (吳淞江), ordering them to cease all production for 17 days from December 25 to January 10 because the water quality in three locations in the river had been found to be worse than national and provincial standards, the Apple Daily reported.

Taiwanese companies targeted by the decision included food producer Uni-President Enterprises (統一), bicycle manufacturer Giant (巨大工業), technology giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (鴻海) and paper producer YFY (永豐餘) among others, according to the report, which emphasized Chinese and foreign companies were also affected.

Uni-President was quoted as saying it had to reduce its emissions by 50 percent, but otherwise its production would only be influenced to a limited degree.

Giant said it had originally been told to shut down production entirely, but Tuesday morning it learned that only a reduction by 50 percent was being required. Work was continuing as normal, but its use of water had been cut by half while the emission of polluted water was zero, the Apple Daily reported.

Manufacturers complained that the city government edict had come too fast, without giving them any time to adapt.

The news was blamed for a drop of the stock index by 100.58 points, or 0.96 percent, to 10,421.91 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Tuesday.

Updated : 2021-08-05 16:49 GMT+08:00