The energy shortages causing blackouts in many parts of China has apparently prompted Beijing to ramp up its electricity imports from its neighbors Russia, Myanmar and North Korea.
The South China Morning Post, in Hong Kong, cites Chinese trade data showing electricity imports from North Korea in particular rose last month by 62 percent from a year earlier.
UN sanctions ban the North from exporting certain items, including coal, but not electricity.
The data show that in September, China spent 1.5 million dollars on electricity from the North.
For the first nine months of the year, the total was 11.9 million dollars.
The report said the electricity China buys from the North is transmitted via the Chinese border city of Dandong on the Yalu River, or Amnok-gang, as it's known in Korean.