The Financial Times reports (paywall) that China’s megacenter of steel production, the eastern city of Tangshan, will take the drastic step of halving its steel output this winter to lessen air pollution and, hopefully, help consolidate the bloated and indebted industry. Half of Tangshan’s steel production, or 20 million metric tons of metal, is the equivalent of 7.5 percent of China’s total annual steel output. The FT notes that three other steel towns, Shijiazhuang, Anyang, and Handan, are set to announce similar cuts. Reuters notes that cities in eastern Anhui Province are also asking some smelting industries to cut production by up to 30 percent starting on October 1, also to meet new air pollution targets.
Caixin investigates (paywall) the view from the ground on these environmental crackdowns, noting that “environmental inspectors closed or suspended operations of 56,000 polluters in 28 cities by the end of March…[and] that number more than tripled to 176,000 by the end of June.” But many inspectors were using “heavy-handed” methods in their scramble to meet pollution targets, as they nailed small businesses for lack of land permits and many business owners complained that “authorities didn’t give them enough time or help to install costly equipment” to manage emissions.
China to cut flights in bid to improve on-time rate / Caixin
China-backed fund shunned by Trump to buy British chip maker / Reuters
Debt and consumers
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On the woes of IZP Group.
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China power giants pursue $3.6 billion Finnish grid / Bloomberg
JD founder Richard Liu invests RMB 400 million into AI / TechNode
China plans closer oversight of $304 billion in state company funds / Bloomberg
A private solution for China’s zombie company problem? Unlikely / Reuters
ChemChina gave up Pirelli control to show its market friendly face: Pirelli CEO / Reuters
CNOOC pulls out of Canadian gas project / Caixin
iPhone disappointment hammers suppliers / Bloomberg
Ofo in talks to raise new financing of more than $1 billion / TechNode