Advocacy Actions in Response to Power Shortages Go back »

2021-11-29 | All chapters

Advocacy Actions in Response to Power Shortages

In May and September 2021, manufacturers in several provinces were told by the local authorities to curb energy consumption, resulting in many companies having to abruptly shut down operations. In response, the European Chamber took coordinated actions at both national and local level to help members communicate with the relevant authorities and solve their issues. Below are actions taken by different chapters. If you have any questions, please contact Susana Xu at



29th June: The Energy Working Group (WG) sent an advocacy letter to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) drawing attention to forced power shortages across Guangdong, along with a list of companies affected.

Beginning of July: Upon request from MOFCOM, the Chamber provided contact details of each company affected. MOFCOM forwarded the list to the Department of Commerce (DOFCOM) and the Municipal Energy Bureau of Guangdong, so that the latter could contact these companies directly and prioritise their power demands.

End of August: Sent an updated list of companies affected to MOFCOM.

30th September: Second wave of power shortages, this time across China. Published Chamber official stance and recommendations on China’s Energy Management Measures.

8th October:

  • Sent a Survey on the Impact of Power Shortages on Foreign Trade and Foreign-invested Enterprises launched by the MOFCOM to relevant WGs.
  • Sent an advocacy letter and meeting request to Minister He Lifeng, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
  • A delegation of WG Chairs, led by President Jörg Wuttke, met online with Chinese Ambassador to the EU, HE Zhang Ming, to whom Energy WG National Chair Zhonghua Xu raised the power supply issue.

8th October: The State Council allowed electricity prices to fluctuate upwards by a maximum of 20 per cent, and Premier Li Keqiang declared that China would take further steps to ensure its electricity and coal supply this winter and next spring.

9th October: Sent advocacy letter and meeting request to Director Zhang Jianhua, National Energy Administration (NEA).

13th October: President Wuttke led a Power Crunch Media Roundtable, with resulting nationwide coverage of the situation featuring local chairs.

19th October: Met with Minister Wang Wentao of MOFCOM, to whom President Wuttke highlighted the power shortage issue.

25th October: President Wuttke led a National Event on China’s Electricity Crunch, with Vice President Guido Giacconi, Energy WG Chair Zhonghua Xu and other experts participating.

9th November: Received feedback from the International Cooperation Department of the NEA that, due to COVID restrictions, Director Zhang Jianhua would not be able to meet with Chamber representatives as requested. The communication recommended, if further locally-transmitted COVID cases occur, to contact local governments for assistance with coordination.



Mid-May: Multiple members in Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhongshan reported the power shortages issue.

26th May: Distributed a business advisory letter to European Chamber members in South China.

End of May: Sent letters to the Guangdong Provincial Government, the municipal governments of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai, and the Guangdong Provincial Energy Bureau, describing the power shortages situation and requesting a meeting;

Beginning of June: The Provincial Energy Bureau responded to the Chamber’s letter.

Mid-June: DOFCOM advised on particular member companies affected.

End of June: Conducted a mini-survey among members.

7th July: South China Chapter Chair Klaus Zenkel, and Vice Chair Fabian Blake met with the Guangzhou Municipal Industry and Information Technology Bureau andthe Guangzhou Power Supply Bureau to discuss the forced shutdowns of local manufacturing companies.

27th July: A South China Chapter delegation led by Mr Blake met with the Zhongshan Foreign Affairs Office, the Zhongshan Bureau of Commerce, and the Zhongshan Bureau of Market Regulation.

End of July: The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade asked for a list of the companies affected by the power shortage, and expressed willingness to follow up and help solve the issue.

22nd September: Surveyed manufacturing member companies, with 24 reporting that they were affected.

23rd September: Sent a letter to the Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui and to the Guangdong Provincial Energy Bureau, appealing for an immediate end to the power cuts and requesting a meeting;

28th September: During a VIP roundtable with Guangdong Governor Ma at the 2021 Annual Conference on Multinational Corporations’ Investment in Guangdong, Mr Zenkel raised the power shortages issue.

12th October: Met with the DOFCOM, the Guangdong Energy Bureau, the Investment Promotion Bureau of Guangdong Province, and the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office. Chen Yuehua, deputy director of the DOFCOM, mentioned twice that Governor Ma attaches much importance to the letters sent by the European Chamber, and gave several recommendations.



Early June: Requested inputs from Shanghai Board members on power cuts experienced around the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region.

29th September: Requested inputs from Energy WG members affected by power cuts in Jiangsu / YRD region in general, and forwarded comments to Beijing.

13th October: During a Media Roundtable, Chamber VP and Shanghai Chair Bettina Schoen presented comments from members – Shanghai was not heavily affected, but supply chains in surrounding areas (Suzhou, Wuxi) were disrupted.

22nd November: Met online with the Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission on the power shortages around YRD.



22nd September: Met with the Department of Commerce of Jiangsu.

23rd September: Sent letters to the Jiangsu Foreign Affairs Office and the Nanjing Foreign Affairs Office to request meetings with the Governor of Jiangsu and Mayor of Nanjing.

Early October: Supported embassies and consulates to send out advocacy letters to Jiangsu Provincial Government.

20th October: Vice Chair Bernhard Weber met with the Jiangsu Develop and Reform Commission (DRC) Deputy Director General (DDG) Wang Xiandong during a government conference and presented the feedbacks from members to him and requested meeting with Jiangsu DRC.

22nd November: Online exclusive meeting with Jiangsu DRC, where the background and outlook of power shortage, as well as the green power trade, double high projects were discussed.



29th September: The State Grid visited the Tianjin office and stated that the situation was estimated to continue at least until the end of 2021. They added that a shortage of coal and gas is the main reason for the power cuts, and that 15 provinces including Tianjin have been impacted.

13th October: Surveyed 20 Tianjin members by WeChat; the most affected sector is manufacturing, and regional implementation of power cuts vary widely. Since 9th October, power limits have been reported but no power cuts.

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