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Business trends

China's solar panel makers top global field but challenges loom

Eight out of the world's top 10 manufacturers are Chinese, but profits are scant

Most workers at Longi Solar's panel plant in Taizhou, China, do quality control and product inspection. The manufacturing itself is largely automated.

SHANGHAI -- Chinese solar panel makers have supplanted international rivals and now command a dominant position in the global market.

Massive amounts of investment have helped Chinese companies increase production and drive down costs. They now control more than 70% of the global market. But fierce competition and policy changes around the world mean the field is fraught with risk, and businesses that have risen to the top have quickly run into trouble.

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