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Roaring Chinese factories bring global supply chain back to gear

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-03 14:12
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Sany Heavy Industry employees assemble trucks at a production facility in Changsha, capital of Hunan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHANGSHA -- As the hum of machinery fills the air, bullet trains, maglev trains and subways are being assembled, tested and delivered to the rest of the world from Central China's manufacturing hub of rail transit equipment.

Since the extended Spring Festival holiday, Hunan, as the country's rising manufacturing powerhouse, has seen factories and machines roaring to life after businesses resumed operation. Industries such as high-speed rail equipment, construction machinery and new energy batteries are putting the global industrial chain back into gear.

Zhuzhou, dubbed as China's "Power Valley," is among Hunan's first manufacturing bases that have resumed its industrial chain to support demand for rail transit equipment.

As a leader of the industrial chain, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co Ltd resumed production on Feb 11, with over 90 percent of its employees back to work. More than 20 overseas projects, including Mexico's Monterrey light rail project and Czech's electric multiple unit project, are underway.

"Under the impact of the epidemic, we share a common destiny, and leading business players cannot realize sustained growth if supporting manufacturers fail to take timely, effective action to resume operation," said Zhou Qinghe, chairman of the company.

"Our bullet trains will transport passengers to countries and regions as promised, demonstrating the strength of Chinese enterprises and our determination to overcome the epidemic at such a critical period," Zhou said.

Hunan's capital city of Changsha, adjacent to Zhuzhou, is home to many of China's leading producers of construction machinery, including Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd and SANY Heavy Industry Co Ltd.

Since early February, Zoomlion has restarted its production in concrete machinery, hoisting machinery, aerial work machinery and agricultural machinery, with over 70 percent of its workers back on duty and production capacity reaching up to 80 percent.

However, the tight supply of supporting parts is a real headache for manufacturers. Sany Heavy Industry, for example, made a thorough investigation of its over 900 suppliers and for those who cannot resume operation. The company has come up with ideas such as transporting the suppliers' molds to Changsha for production.

It also distributed a 30-page manual on the prevention and control of the epidemic, including detailed requirements on admission, working and dining at the office for its 5,200 returning workers.

Lens Technology Co Ltd, China's largest manufacturer of mobile phone glass, said the impact of the epidemic on the company is limited in both its short-term and long-term production. As a global component supplier of smartphones, Lansi Technology's rapid recovery of its production capacity props up the smooth operation of consumer electronics industry chains such as Apple and Huawei.

The company now aims at the research and development of 5G-related new products as 2020 will see wide commercial use of 5G globally. It is also speeding up entry into the global supply chain of high-end smart car manufacturers.

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