Drought roiling China’s already evaporating economy

 Factories in southwestern Sichuan are expected to close on Thursday due to heat and drought, the latest crisis in China's global supply chain. Foreign manufacturers such as Apple, Toyota and Chinese solar power producers will shut down for six days before resuming production on Sunday. However, local tier 1 companies closed their factories on Sunday due to bad weather. About 16,500 jobs in Sichuan were affected by the outage. Some Chinese media have said the problem could lead to the closure of factories in industrial cities on the east coast, but scientists believe the nationwide blackout will not repeat itself in September. Over the past two decades, China has developed hydroelectric, wind and solar power in the western region to provide low-cost electricity to industrial cities in the eastern region. Sichuan, located on the banks of the Yangtze River, has about 1,400 branches, is building several hydroelectric plants that provide 80 percent of its electricity consumption, and s