A Textile Capital of China Is Hobbled by a Downturn Gone Global

As the global financial crisis continues, China sees its reach affect its textile factories. The demand for textile has decreased worldwide, causing factories in Shaoxing, China’s textile capital, to be shut down and millions of workers laid off. From the New York Times:

Qian Jin, an industry expert, says Chinese textile companies are suddenly in a “struggle for survival.” A warning from Beijing last December was dire, too: As many as two-thirds of the country’s textile and apparel companies could go broke.

And the problems in the textile industry are just the start. China’s once roaring economy is witnessing its sharpest slowdown in three decades. As many as 20 million migrant workers are already believed to be out of work. And with demonstrations over factory closings erupting in a string of coastal cities, Beijing has grown increasingly concerned about social and political unrest.

The government has already announced a $586 billion economic stimulus package to help keep factories operating. Some state-owned companies are being ordered not to lay off workers. Automakers, ship builders and electronics manufacturers have been designated for government bailouts.

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