BYD Co (比亞迪), the Chinese automaker backed by Warren Buffett, has come under fire for pollution at one of its factories that residents say has caused nosebleeds in hundreds of children.
Officials in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, sent a team to BYD’s factory to investigate gas emissions after receiving complaints from neighbors, the local government said in a statement on its Sina Weibo account on Sunday.
The team includes third-party testing institutions and experts who are to try to get to the bottom of the issue that has seen scores of parents in Changsha protest.
One report said that more than 600 children living near the production plant in the city’s Yuhua District have experienced repeated nosebleeds since last month.
Shenzhen-based BYD said over the weekend that its emissions comply with regulations, adding that it has taken steps to reduce the odor caused by the plant, which has been in operation since 2012.
BYD also said that it has filed police reports alleging the complaints about nosebleeds are groundless and malicious.
The company’s China-traded shares yesterday dropped, falling as much as 4.6 percent, their biggest intraday decline in almost two weeks. Markets in Hong Kong, where BYD is also listed, are closed for a public holiday.
The stock, along with battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (新能源科技), was among the biggest drags on the CSI 300 index.
BYD is one of China’s most successful vehicle companies in terms of sales, producing both conventional gas automobiles as well as electric vehicles, for which it also makes batteries.
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