China expands ban on fireworks.
China province of Henan has expanded it’s ban on fireworks, this coming at a very bad time for shop owners, sellers and citizens who celebrate the coming Chinese New Year which starts January 28th.
The Chinese domestic fireworks market is estimated to be 3 times the size of any other country, so expanding the ban will hurt many small business men. The government states one of the key reasons for their actions is to try to lower pollution levels in China.
Chinese citizens have used fireworks for centuries to scare away bad luck and ring in their new year with a multi day celebration.
The order announced an expansion of the ban on fireworks to cover not just cities but the entire province. Shocked and angry, some 2,000 fireworks dealers and vendors like Liang took to the streets of Zhengzhou on Jan. 16 to protest the ban, which was aimed at curbing air pollution.
“How could the government issue such a ban so hastily and without holding a public hearing?” Liang asked in a telephone interview with Sixth Tone.
Some 250 companies and tens of thousands of workers make up Henan’s fireworks industry, which the provincial government sought to stimulate just five years ago.
“If [the ban is] enacted, we and many other small businesses will go bankrupt, as about 80 percent of fireworks produced are intended for Spring Festival,” Liang said, referring to the Lunar New Year festivities.