BEIJING (Web Desk) – One of the country’s biggest steel producers has announced it may let go 50,000 of its 80,000-strong workforce.

Ma Guoqiang, chairman of state-owned Wuhan Iron and Steel, warned that “probably 40,000 to 50,000 people will have to find other ways forward”, according to reports on a state-backed news outlet, adding that the company was running at only 70pc to 75pc capacity because of lower demand.

The firm’s steel division currently has 80,000 employees but might retain only 30,000 of them, Ma said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, the country’s rubber-stamp parliament.

“Probably 40,000-50,000 people will have to find other ways forward,” he told, a news portal run by the Communist Party’s mouthpiece the People’s Daily, according to a transcript on the website.