Business / Industries

China toys improving quality, popular among EU customers

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-29 11:17

GUANGZHOU - The quality of China-made toys, which take the lion's share of the European Union market, has been improving over the years, an industry association official said Thursday.

"Currently, 80 percent toys in the EU market are made in China. The deep market penetration shows that Chinese products are very popular among EU customers," said Lin Feng, secretary general of the Guangdong Toy Association.

Toy producers in the southern Guangdong province contribute 70 percent of the country's total exports. Last year, they exported $17.6 billion worth of toys, and of all, $4 billion worth of toys, an annual growth of 9 percent, were shipped to the EU market.

The high base could make the number of product recalls look bigger, Lin said.

On Monday, the EU said China remains the number one country of origin for unsafe imports of consumer products, with toys the most common products detected at 27 percent.

Data with the association showed that the quality of Chinese toys has been improving, Lin said.

Product recalls from the American market have been declining while recalls from the European market have been remained steady over the past few years, she added.

"Most of the recalls, however, are made by European brands. The original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in China churn out products according to the exact demands of their clients," Lin said.

"In many cases, this has nothing to do with the quality of Chinese products," she said.

At a toys expo in the city of Shantou that opened on Thursday, a buyer from Brazil said: "Chinese toys sell well in Brazil because of good quality and low prices."

A manager with a toy maker in the city of Dongguan, who declined to be named, said their products face self quality checkups as well as checkups from their clients and third parties, and there is almost no possibility of exporting unsafe products to the European markets.

Starting this year, China put into effect its new national standards for toys, with chemical standards at the same level as that of the EU. The tougher standards help improve the quality of toy products and thus reduce risks for online shopping, experts said.

With industry upgrading, China's toy industry will remain a major player in the world, Lin said.

At the Canton Fair, the country's largest trade fair that concluded Wednesday, Chinese toy makers showcased more products related to the games and entertainment industry.

Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co has made investments into film, games, VR and even robots, seeking to turn itself into the Chinese version of Disney.

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