Chinese glassware firm revives from losses

By He Yini ( )

Updated: 2012-10-25

It's not all about glassware in running a company like Qixian Honghai Glass Co Ltd in China - well, at least not any more.

Honghai Glass, previously a State-owned subsidiary under Honghai Group founded in Shanxi province in 1953, had been focusing on glassware products with little added value and ended up drained of stamina by huge financial losses.

Now a private enterprise, it has started integrating cultural hand-painting into leadless crystalline glassware, a production process that is rare and unique in China.

Chinese glassware firm revives from losses

A staff worker of Honghai Glass Co Ltd paints on a glassware at Qixian county, Shanxi province, Oct 22, 2012. [Photo/]

"Leadless crystalline glass is harmless, energy efficient, and environment friendly. And it's more transparent and shining, compared to soda lime glass," said Li Jiansheng, chairman of Honghai Glass.

The glassware, when integrated with traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy and ancient poems, becomes much more popular in the global marketplace, Li said.

Honghai glassware mainly shipped to India, Dubai and other Arabic countries, with a total export value of more than $3 million in 2011, about 60 percent of its sales revenue, said Li in an exclusive interview with

"Our glassware began to gain luster both at home and abroad, which is a good sign. For a company to go global, its products have to be well-received and of good quality," he added. "Credibility is hard-earned."

Honghai glassware is produced in tailored furnaces, a production line with technology jointly developed by the company and a university research lab in Shanghai.

Chinese glassware firm revives from losses

Glassware products are on display in Honghai Glass Co Ltd in Qixian county, Shanxi province, Oct 22, 2012. [Photo/] 

The 2-million-set production line, if completed, will catapult Honghai Glass into the largest company in China producing leadless crystalline glassware, Li said.

"Coupled with the largest production line and unrivaled cultural hand-painting production capacity in China, our factory is a tourist destination in the making," he added.

"Combining production and cultural tourism is also within our blueprint, not just because transformation is a must despite that it may shake our company to the bone, but also because our uniqueness and determination make it feasible."

The company is now establishing a glassware art museum, a move to shape "glassware culture" in China and thus drive up glassware tourism.

Honghai Glass is just an eiptome of the ongoing transformation in Shanxi province which is striving to free itself from coal-based economy toward a more balanced and scientific development.

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