70% of Chinese companies fail air pollution checks

A man crossing a road on a heavily polluted day in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on December 2016.
A man crossing a road on a heavily polluted day in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on December 2016. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (Reuters) - More than 70 per cent of companies checked by Chinese authorities failed environmental standards during the latest round of air pollution inspections, state media reported on Sunday (June 11).

The findings came after two months of inspections across 28 cities in the notoriously smoggy Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and other nearby areas, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The inspections found 13,785 companies - or 70.6 per cent of those inspected - violated standards, with problems ranging from excessive emissions to insufficient pollution control equipment.

The government has thrown its weight behind an ambitious"Jing-jin-ji" plan to integrate the three neighbouring cities, in part to alleviate the strain on the capital, Beijing, and relocate heavy industry away from major population hubs.