Some Owners Deserting Factories in China

As China faces industrial decline and economic slowdown, an increasing number of factory owners are abandoning ship, leaving workers unpaid and companies mired in debt, according to the Los Angeles Times:

Government statistics show that 67,000 factories of various sizes were shuttered in China in the first half of the year, said Cao Jianhai, an industrial economics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. By year’s end, he said, more than 100,000 plants will have closed.

As more factories in China shut down, stories of bosses running away have become familiar, multiplying the damage of China’s worst manufacturing decline in at least a decade.

Even before the global financial crisis, factory owners in China were straining under soaring labor and raw-material costs, an appreciating Chinese currency and tougher legal, tax and environmental requirements. When the credit crunch took hold — prompting Western businesses to slash orders for Chinese goods and bankers to curtail loans to factories — many operations were pushed over the edge.

November 3, 2008 2:02 PM
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Categories: Economy