Since China’s economic reforms under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, Chinese steel production has increased greatly and in 2015 produced 803.8 million tones of steel, over 50% of the world’s total production (World steel). Various large state-owned groups such as Baosteel, Angang Steel Company, Tangshan, and Hebei Iron and Steel lead the Chinese steel industry. However, due to lowered demand and the 2015-2016 Chinese stock market crash, the Chinese government announced large-scale closures and downsizing of China’s steel industry.
One of the first areas to be hit by steel production downsizing was the Tangshan district, which itself produces more steel than the US (abc). As a result, production is to be cut by two thirds resulting to a loss of 7,000 jobs and many workers who now have no livelihood. While these workers are owed salaries by the government, they have seen none of their money and fear for their future.
Altogether, Chinese authorities announced 400,000 people are expected to lose their jobs by 2020 but estimates go as high as 2 million (abc). With further downsizing on the horizon, mass unemployment and social unrest may ensue until the Chinese government is able to find suitable solutions for those who lost their livelihood from the downsizing.