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Sports expo to be held in China's 'town of shoes'

By Ke Rongyi and Huang Zhiling | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-03-15 15:40

The 21st Jinjiang Footwear & 4th Sports Industry International Exposition will be held in East China's Jinjiang, Fujian province, from April 19 to 22, said Zhang Wenxian, the city's mayor.

Zhang made the announcement at a news conference promoting local business Wednesday in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

The expo will feature a total exhibition space of 60,000 square meters, with 2,200 booths showcasing footwear, sporting goods and materials for the production of shoes, Zhang said.

Among the highlights will be an exploration of the latest technologies and trends developed over the past year in the city, which has been dubbed the "town of shoes", said Zhang.

Last year 3D printers and 3D scanners attracted significant crowds and buyers at the expo, while creative designs inspired by the likes of Van Gogh's Starry Night also stood out, with some exhibitors offering to customize shoes for clients using patterns supplied to them.

The technology of 3D printing has made it possible for manufacturers to produce shoes with new colors, patterns and shapes, according to Luo Xiangdong, professor at the Shoe and Clothing Technology Research Center of Shaanxi Technological University.

Luo's team is developing a machine capable of modeling the most comfortable shape of shoe for every foot, and he predicts that personalization and customization will become increasingly popular in the future.

Jinjiang government plans to support the local shoe industry by establishing an intellectual property rights application system to encourage innovation.

"It took us more than 10 years to instill the concept of intellectual property into entrepreneurs' minds," said Chen Chuanbin, who works at the Jinjiang Technology and Intellectual Property Bureau, adding that now it's time to "harvest IP applications from them".

Jinjiang is home to 3,000 shoemakers, and the city produced 95 billion yuan ($14 billion) worth of products in 2017, accounting for more than 20 percent of the entire Chinese shoe market.

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