China's air quality inspectors found problems at more than 3,000 companies in the first three months of this year, of which a large proportion were found to be falsifying data, the environment ministry said on Friday.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said it checked more than 8,500 firms in six municipalities and provinces including Beijing and central Henan, and found that many were not implementing air pollution control measures strictly or were still violating environmental-protection regulations.
A worker maintains a street light at Tiananmen Square among smog during a polluted day in Beijing, China on January 6, 2017. /Reuters Photo
Some companies, including a firm owned by Foxconn subsidiary FIH mobile in Hebei Province's Langfang city, tried to stop inspectors from making checks, the ministry said. Others were found to be deliberating reporting false data, it said in an online statement.
A representative for Apple supplier Foxconn said the company was not able to comment immediately in response.
The average PM2.5 density in 2016 in north China was 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down 33 percent than the 2013 levels. But the density in January and February surged 48 percent year on year to 111 micrograms per cubic meter of air in 13 cities of the region.
Throughout January, high winter coal consumption combined with unfavorable weather conditions create heavy smog build-ups throughout northern China, especially in heavily industrialized Hebei Province that surrounds Beijing.
That forced dozens of cities in the region to issue “red alerts” designed to curb industrial activity and thin traffic.