Volkswagen, the market leader in China, said on Friday that production was on the decline as the company faced a shortage of chips and other supply chain issues. The company does not have enough cars to fill customer and dealer orders, creating a backlog.
“Our priority is to reduce our order backlog,” said Stephan Wöllenstein, general manager of the China division of Volkswagen.
Finding strength in exports
For months, economists have made the same prediction: China’s rapid export growth cannot last.
The economists were wrong.
Chinese exports continued to climb in the third quarter and ended strong, up 28.1% in September from the same month last year. China posted its third-highest monthly trade surplus on record last month.
China has essentially maintained its strength in exports since its economy emerged from the pandemic in the spring of last year. While much of the world has curled up in their homes, families have splurged on consumer electronics, furniture, clothing and other goods that China manufactures in abundance.
The export boom, however, creates another source of tension between the United States and China.
Katherine Tai, the United States’ trade representative, suggested in a speech two weeks ago that China’s export prowess was in part the result of subsidies and other unfair practices. “For too long, China’s lack of adherence to global trade standards has undermined the prosperity of Americans and others around the world,” she said.
But Chinese officials and experts argue that the country’s success is the result of a strong work ethic and substantial and substantial investment in the manufacturing sector. They are quick to point out that by firmly bringing the pandemic under control in a matter of weeks at the start of last year, China was able to quickly reopen its factories and offices.