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Business trends

China's pollution controls catch foreign companies flat-footed

Fines and suspensions show days of 'rules but no crackdowns' are over

China has been tightening its environmental regulations in the face of alarming air pollution that often blankets cities such as Beijing. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- International companies with seemingly sterling environmental credentials are being caught off guard as China rapidly tightens its green regulations. Some have been hit with fines or orders to shut down, forcing them to either retreat or spend heavily on upgrades.

"China now has the toughest emissions standards in the world," said an official of Japan's Toppan Printing. "We have introduced environmental measures, but the regulations have been tightening faster than expected."

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