Power cuts across China have left millions of homes without electricity, traffic lights and air conditioning units have been turned off and factories ordered to shut down for up to 20 days a month because of energy shortages. 

Workers had to be sent home from one factory with suspected air poisoning because the ventilators were  switched off because of the outages.

There are two reasons for China’s power crunch. In the north, the cuts are due to soaring coal prices amid a shortage of fuel prompted by the post-pandemic recovery while in the south, it is because of lower hydropower production. 

China’s most industrialised provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong are the worst hit by the energy shortages. Reuters reports that electricity cuts have already hit production at Apple, Tesla and Toyota factories while even soybean plants and clothing factories have been ordered to close.