China to overhaul struggling solar panel industry

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm •  Published: December 19, 2012
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The industry has piled up debts of some $17.5 billion, according to a report earlier this year by Maxim Group, a New York financial firm.

The most financially troubled of China's five biggest suppliers, LDK Solar Co., sold a 20 percent stake to a state-owned company in what analysts saw as the start of a wave of consolidation. LDK lost $588.7 million in the final quarter of 2011 and has reported more losses this year.

Last month, a U.S. trade panel upheld tariffs of up to 250 percent on imports of Chinese solar panels after an investigation concluded Beijing was improperly subsidizing exports and hurting jobs abroad.

Also last month, the European Union launched an investigation into complaints China was improperly subsidizing exports of solar panels, hurting European producers and wiping out jobs. Last year, China sold solar panels worth 21 billion euros ($27 billion) to the EU, its biggest export market.

The Chinese government has denied it is violating trade rules and warned that punitive tariffs would hamper development of clean energy industries.

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Chinese Cabinet (in Chinese): www.gov.cn