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Power rationing in China sends chills through economy

Freezing weather and factory output behind outages; impact of Aussie coal ban limited

Smoke billows from chimneys at a power station in Hefei in China's Anhui Province.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Unseasonably cold weather and surging factory usage have forced Chinese officials to limit electricity use in multiple provinces, threatening to throw a wrench into Beijing's plans to rapidly revive the world's second-largest economy from a coronavirus-induced slumber.

Outages in southern provinces have been widespread and have followed Beijing's informal clampdown on Australian coal imports. Tensions between the two countries rose after Canberra banned Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies from its 5G infrastructure and criticized how Beijing handled the coronavirus outbreak.

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