The latest headache for the supply chain is China's disappearing ships
Hong Kong (CNN Business) Ships in Chinese waters are disappearing from industry tracking systems, creating yet another headache for the global supply chain .
China's growing isolation from the rest of the world — along with a deepening mistrust of foreign influence — may be to blame.
Usually, shipping data companies are able to track ships worldwide because they are fitted with an Automatic Identification System, or AIS, transceiver.
This system allows ships to send information — such as position, speed, course and name — to stations that are based along coastlines using high-frequency radio.
In the past three weeks, the number of vessels sending signals from the country has plunged by nearly 90%, according to data from the global shipping data provider VesselsValue.
Shipping data companies say they've lost information about ships in Chinese waters in recent weeks.
New data law could worsen supply chain chaosAsked about the issue, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.
The law doesn't mention shipping data.
But Chinese data providers might be withholding information as a precaution, according to Anastassis Touros, AIS network team leader at Marine Traffic, a major ship-tracking information provider.
She said the lack of Chinese data "could significantly impact ocean supply chain visibility across China."
The global supply chain is already under "great stress," he added.
Experts worry that a lack of shipping data out of China could strain the global supply chain.