Over on All Roads, Richard Brubaker has the scoop that the Chinese government is considering seriously curtailing factory production between July 17th and September 20th of this year. This is not an April Fools joke (like my post about quitting this blog yesterday). According to Richard, the Chinese government is mandating certain businesses "to cease all manufacturing efforts near the large cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and even Shanghai due to serious pollution problems they are facing. Shut down will occur between July 17th though September 20, 2008 ... Now, before everyone freaks out, this is still very much speculation and I have been unable to confirm the scope of the shut down." Richard notes that his contacts in Beijing suggested that there are two manufacturing areas likely to be most impacted: "coal and raw material exploitation industries are expected to see shut downs (again, not sure of scope) [and] high energy users and heavy polluters". Stay tuned as this story develops. I'll keep Spend Matters readers in the loop as I learn more about what is going on. A final note: these rumored shutdowns are far more severe and widespread than what everyone expected from the factory closures due to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
- Jason Busch