China has experienced rapid economic and social development over the last four decades. The GDP growth has averaged 10 percent per year. This economic boom in manufacturing has lifted a significant number of China\u2019s 1.4 billion inhabitants out of poverty, but it has seriously impacted the environment. Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide according to the State of Global Air 2017, a first annual report on the planet\u2019s environmental air pollution.\nWe are seeing increasing air pollution problems worldwide, and this new report and website details why that air pollution is a major contributor to early death. The trends we report show that we have seen progress in some parts of the world \u2013 but serious challenges remain.\nDan Greenbaum, President of the Health Effects Institute\nMade in China\nThe State of Global Air analysis found that China and India were collectively responsible for more than half of the total global deaths related to air pollution.\nWhile China factories are keeping up with the demand of items such as the Apple iPhone (Designed in California and Assembled in China), electronics are not the only exported goods \u201cMade in China.\u201d\nTraces of smog from mainland China have been observed to reach as far as California. In recent months, Chinese safety officials have been inspecting factories to see if they are meeting emissions requirements. 40 percent of all China’s factories have been closed to be inspected by environmental bureau officials. Over 80,000 factories have been fined for not meeting requirements, resulting in decreased productivity which could lead to higher prices on U.S. shelves. The worst offenders have been thrown in jail. Large parts of eastern China have been affected by these crack-downs and some companies have moved their supply chains to nearby Bangladesh and India.\nImplementing Change Immediately While Staying Warm in Winter\nReducing air pollution has now been prioritized by President Xi Jinping. Xi\u2019s statement of \u201cgreen mountains and clear waters are equal to mountains of gold and silver\u201d has become the official motto related to air pollution control campaigns. As the economy has grown and incomes have increased, China must now become more focused on \u201cquality of life\u201d issues.\nAuthorities in northern China recently imposed emergency restrictions until mid-March to control air pollution, which increases during the colder months. They imposed a ban on coal. They ordered a 30 percent reduction in aluminum production and a 50 percent cut in steel. Furthermore, they’ve\u00a0 halted construction.\nThe 26 cities that had promised to replace coal-based heating systems failed to complete work on time. Gas prices began to soar and school children were subjected to running around to stay warm. The government was forced to allow a certain amount of coal to be burned. Air quality did begin to improve. Particulate concentrations in Beijing falling to about two-thirds of the 2013 \u201cAirpocalypse\u201d average. This was a devastating outcome for the tough enforcement efforts. China aims to reduce the concentration of hazardous fine particulate matter from 47 micrograms per cubic meter to 35 micrograms by the year 2035.\u00a0Now China\u2019s ambition to diminish pollution could reduce economic growth by 0.25 percentage points in the next six months.\nIs it too late?\nIn 2013, ten million cans of fresh air were sold in ten days. It was a tongue-in-cheek campaign to bring awareness to the devastation caused by smog, but the smog is only the tip of the iceberg.\nAt least 25 percent of China\u2019s farmland is contaminated with cadmium and arsenic.\nIn 2015, 85 percent of Shanghai\u2019s water was undrinkable, according to official standards. 56.4 percent was unfit for any purpose.\u00a0This creates a major divide in living standards between the rich and the poor. Those who can afford indoor air quality and water filtration\u00a0may be just fine. The upper class who have afforded travel around the world has learned about the dangers of pollution and how to avoid it. But for most, pollution in China continues to shorten life spans and contribute to health problems. One study found air pollution in northern China cut life expectancy by three years, compared with southern China. If China can somehow balance the line between environmental policy and continued economic development, the efforts to fight climate change may not be in vain.\nCost of Manufacturing in China\nWith the closing of outdated and illegal steel mills, coal mines and aluminum smelters, competition has increased for skilled labor. Companies, regardless of size, have had to adapt to the strict regulations. The pressure has come down a pipeline as manufactures receive pressure from the government to make the necessary adjustments to their systems. This includes a decrease in labor and increase in cost. That cost spike moves down the line to manufactures, importers, and consumers. Wholesalers buyers are no exception.\nA salesman for a suitcase company stated that customers couldn\u2019t accept the higher prices at first. They\u2019ve had to bear the changes as every supplier lifts their prices. \u00a0From the wholesale buyer perspective, one from Argentina explained how stunned they were by the 20-30% price increase. This is just the beginning as the higher costs will eventually extend to consumers around the world through global supply chains.\nHow will manufactures survive the pressure from both China and the retailer?\n\nSharon Shichor\u00a0is the CEO of\u00a0Eighteen Knowledge Group LLC, your solution and knowledge base for brand building and getting your products and services in the hands of consumers.\nWant to learn more about Marketing solutions and trends? Visit our\u00a0company page\u00a0and\u00a0blog\u00a0for more on the subjects that affect your company\u2019s daily operations the most!