Personal stories of being a China State Grid customer – the world’s biggest electric utility. China Rising Radio Sinoland 221127


By Jeff J. Brown

Pictured above: China’s State Grid logo.

Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff

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Talking notes:

In The China Trilogy, I wrote much about the amazing lengths Baba Beijing goes to, to make sure the 99% have electricity, water, gas, sewage, not to mention transportation and telecommunications. In Book #1, 44 Days Backpacking in China, traveling way out west, I often felt like the last man on Earth, but saw high tension power lines going across the emptiness, to make sure the remote villages on the other side of horizon had electricity. I also wrote about being in the middle of bum-fugg nowhere, deep into a long-lost mountain valley, always had at least 2G and usually 3G connections. By now, it is surely 4G and 5G.

Do capitalist countries provide these services in remote parts of the country? Not very much, because it is not profitable.

People-owned state-owned enterprise (SOE) China State Grid is the largest electric utility in the world and my wife and I always loved their service: cheap and reliable. Third largest company on the planet in revenue, after Amazon and Walmart, it has almost 900,000 employees and a half a trillion dollars in annual revenue.. It is actually a pyramid of suppliers down to the local level, starting with China Grid, above the Yangtze River and South Grid below. From there, electricity is fed to regional, provincial and local grids.

Any problems we ever had, they were a phone call away, with real people answering. Every couple of months, they would leave a post-it stuck on our front door, asking us to note our apartment number and the meter reading. Then, we took a photo of it to send to the local agent in the neighborhood via WeChat, or call and give the info, always with a personal, “Thank you”.

I just saw this in the Chinese media,

The Zhejiang Province energy bureau ordered SOEs generating and selling electricity to surrender millions of dollars of their revenue to ease surging power costs that were squeezing local businesses, which are almost all privately-owned.

Since when have your utility companies done that for small businesses? I doubt ever.

This request disrupted a push by the central government to give supply and demand a bigger role in determining prices, in pursuit of a balance between state control and market power.

Even though it is probably the best run electric utility in the world, Baba Beijing is always tinkering with programs and ideas, to see if the big SOEs can be even more profitable than they already are, all managed by fire-breathing members of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

One year ago, I reported,

China’s top economic planner vows ‘all necessary means’ to curb ‘irrational’ coal prices

In the West, we are already paying way more for energy, food and other daily necessities. Inflation rarely happens on its own. It is often due to rampant capitalist profiteering, speculation and planned shortages by these same-said lizard-brain psychopaths. In China, where the Communist Party of China (CPC) puts the interests of the 99% above that of the country’s 1%, Baba Beijing smells a racketeering rat and is going after the coal producers and sellers.  Communist-socialist China has its National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which announced that,

 Coal prices have become completely divorced from the fundamentals of supply and demand and as the heating season approaches, prices are still showing a further trend of irrational rises. 

So, the NDRC called all the industry notables together for a stern pow wow and got their commitment to play fair in the interests of the masses. What do you know? Coal futures tumbled overnight, making sure that heating and electricity prices don’t hurt the Chinese people this winter (

Last month it was reported,

China is in full swing to guarantee winter heating, with national railways ramping up capacity to ensure coal supply

This, while Europe is experiencing double digit inflation with no end in sight. China? Less than 3% for all of 2022.

It is amazing how much progress and development can be made, when the dreams, interests and needs of the people come first, second and third, with profits coming fourth.

Now you can see why poll after poll shows around 85% of Chinese like their government and the direction in which it is heading. In the West, these numbers are in the 30-40% range, for good reasons.


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JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, je**@br***********.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (+86-19806711824/Mr_Professor_Brown, and Line/Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp: +33-612458821.

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