Foreign toy makers exploring Chinese markets

by Jon

Some overseas plastic toy makers are considering, or are already, turning heads to China and its growing economy. According to some of the spokes people of these companies, some areas in China like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are wealthier and thus could be a potential market to be explored.

With the rise of China, and the stagnation of European and (decline of) North-American markets, the Chinese market on some wealthier areas may welcome a higher ticket price in toys when it comes to a higher quality product to separate from the rest of the cheap competition.

Italtrike, one of such companies is bringing in 2 Chinese inspectors, in March this year, to its factory in Italy, as a way to get the process rolling, starting by applying to the “3C” certification that is required by the Chinese government to sell there. President of Italtrike, Stefano Gandolfi said they will be doing some small volume at first and they won’t expect much in the short term, but in medium term to start having good results.

Gandolfi also states that in emerging markets and in wealthier areas in China, people can afford premium products and services and want to buy the best products for their children. This is where a higher quality product can come into place to compete against other, much cheaper, but inferior quality products.

Other companies and spokes people have also signaled the same interest in China. Stor S.L. a Spain based company has already opened an office in Shenzhen, as a first step into acquiring approval to sell locally.

This market has also attracted Hong Kong toy companies, many of them with foot holdings in China. One of such companies, Galey Industrial Co. Ltd., has tried in 2009 to launch a new toy line that was not much successfull though. Hong Kong is still paying more attention to the Chinese market, evident in the way that has slowed down exports in 23% to the United States.

There are others that have conflicting opinions on this view, saying the Chinese domestic business conditions present a number of issues and problems. However, exports to China have gone up from 1.1 billion, in 2006, to 2.6 billion US dollars in 2009, showing a clear sign that it’s an ever growing and important market, despite some of its flaws.

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