Business / Industries

Tills ringing in toytown where traders see huge opportunities

By XU JINGXI/WANG JIAN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-29 09:10

Tills ringing in toytown where traders see huge opportunities

The Cho Dong Xuan wholesale market for made-in-China toys in Hanoi, Vietnam. WANG JIAN/CHINA DAILY

Jingle bells rang in the air and the sparkling decorations in many shop fronts clearly indicated Christmas was truly a joyous occasion in downtown Guangzhou.

One of the most festive thoroughfares in the South China metropolitan city is Yide Road, an old street well-known for its wholesale toy outlets.

Life-size Santa Clauses and reindeers dotted the sidewalks to attract people into the stores where you can find any number of seasonal gift ideas-from fluffy stuffed toys to remote control toy planes and cars, and all sold at reasonable prices.

It is a common sight to see foreigners bargaining with shopkeepers using the calculator on their mobile phones to strike the best bargain.

Once the deal is sealed, toys bought here can wing their way to loved ones thousands of miles away in the United States and Europe; but more often than not, they are likely to find their way onto shelves in other toyshops nearer to home.

Store owners from Hanoi, for instance, are well known here.

One owner from the Vietnamese capital said that almost all the toys for sale in her shop are imported from China, and mainly from Guangdong province.

"Most of the toys made in Vietnam are hand-made. Although their quality is better than made-in-China toys, they don't look as pretty and are expensive," she says.

"By contrast, the toys made in China come from machines on vast production lines. The production cost is low, so of course the toys can be sold at a lower price."

Her shop front on the city's Hang Ma Street is packed with brightly colored plastic toys, such as plastic model ships.

About 80 percent of the toys sold in Vietnam are now imported from China, according to the Vietnamese media.

Le Duc Minh, a manager with Cho Dong Xuan, a major Hanoi wholesale market, says the dislike for Chinese products runs deeper for many buyers.

"There have always been disputes between China and Vietnam. Competition between the two countries is becoming fiercer, and so the media here are used to taking the line that Chinese toys are of poor quality, even dangerous, in some cases."

Many of the toys sold at Cho Dong Xuan, however, do carry "made-in-China" tags. Some make even stronger statements of their origin, such as colorful small toy cars that carry the logo of the popular Chinese TV show Where Are We Going, Dad? on their packages.

"Chinese toys vary in quality, but pricing still remains a major plus. If the only toys that certain Vietnamese can afford are Chinese-made, then they sell," Le says.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks