China is home to an estimated 1.5 billion people and it’s one of the world’s largest ice cream producers, producing nearly 10 million metric tons of ice cream a year.
Ice cream is a staple of Chinese cuisine, but it’s rarely eaten on its own or in large quantities.
To get a taste of China’s melting ice cream, I went to a tiny ice cream shop in a Beijing suburb called Tianjin’s Big Ice Cream.
I met with three workers at the ice cream factory and asked them what ice cream they made, how much it costs, and how they could afford to produce it.
They told me about a time when they were young and dreaming of owning their own ice cream machine.
Ice Cream in China has been in decline for decades, but China’s food-supply woes are making it harder for the country’s ice cream manufacturers to make a profit.
“We have to go back to the basics,” said a middle-aged woman who identified herself only as Lin.
She worked in a kitchen where there was no ice cream dispenser.
Ice creams sold in supermarkets are mostly made with soy sauce, which is an ingredient in many other ice creams, but she said it costs a lot more to make it.
Lin said she couldn’t afford the labor needed to produce a new batch of ice creamps, and so she sold off her stock and bought ice cream at a grocery store.
The store’s owner, a middleaged woman surnamed Chen, said she would continue making ice cream until her business fell apart.
She also said she made no money at all from her ice cream.
Ice-cream sales in China have been declining for decades.
Chinese ice-cream producers have made less than $10 million in the last five years.
Icecream factory in Tianjin, China, in 2014.
Photo: Getty Images Ice Cream factory in Beijing in 2018.
Photo by Mark Ralston/Bloomberg The woman who I met at the Tianjin factory said she was lucky to have a factory to sell her ice-melting ice cream and was determined to make sure it reached her customers.
The women at the Big Icecream shop said they wanted to make the ice-chocolate ice cream even better and hoped to open another factory in the future.
Ice factories have been shuttered in China for years.
In the 1980s, China shut down the ice factory that made ice cream cones for restaurants in the capital Beijing.
The factories shuttered over a decade later because of rising labor costs and the economic crisis.
Chinese food-safety regulations are strict and they don’t allow for much experimentation with ingredients.
Even though ice cream is made in factories, the ice is made from soy sauce.
A soy sauce factory in Hong Kong that made its ice cream from soybean oil is now in bankruptcy, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Chinese manufacturers rely heavily on imports of ice-making equipment from the United States and Canada, which can cost as much as $15,000 per kilogram of ice.
In many cases, those machines don’t work, the factory owner said.
Ice producers in China often work with large companies, like those in McDonalds or KFC, to get cheap machinery, and they often use workers who aren’t legally permitted to work in the country.
I spoke with a worker at the Shanghai ice factory who said he could afford the ice he was making for himself.
He said he was working eight to nine hours a day for about $7 an hour, which was well below minimum wage in China.
He made the ice by hand, with the help of a robot that cuts a thick layer of ice from a bowl.
He also said he made the frosting in a microwave oven, which uses a lot of energy.
When he first started working at the factory, he told me that he’d only had about 10 hours of sleep a night and that he only ate lunch on the factory’s off-hours shift.
Ice production in China is so cheap that many people earn enough money to buy ice-filled toys, which cost as little as $10 a box.
Many of the Chinese people who work in factories make little or no money, but that doesn’t mean they’re idle.
According to a study by the nonprofit Chinese Academy of Sciences, more than 1.2 million people in China are working as part of the informal economy, or without a job.
They are often in debt to their employers, sometimes to their parents or grandparents.
Many say they work so that they can afford to buy more ice-producing machinery, like machines that make the creams.
Ice in China costs more than $100 a kilogram.