Drought roiling China’s already evaporating economy

 Factories in southwest Sichuan are set to close on Thursday due to heat and drought, the latest crisis in China's global supply chain. Overseas manufacturers like Apple, Toyota and Chinese solar producers will shut down for six days before resuming production on Sunday. However, local Tier 1 businesses 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 in September will not be repeated. Over the past two decades, China has developed hydropower, wind and solar power in the western region to provide industrial cities in the eastern region with low-cost electricity. Sichuan, on the banks of the Yangtze River, has about 1,400 outlets, is building several hydroelectric power plants that meet 80 percent of its electricity needs, and sells excess electricity to nei