'New national products' gain more respect, get new lease on life

By Cheng Si and Hu Meidong | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-27 11:09
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Customers snap up sports shoes at an Erke store in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, in July. [Photo by DENG YANMING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

The popularity of domestically produced sportswear and fashion items is surging as the country's standing continues to rise globally. Cheng Si reports from Beijing with Hu Meidong in Fuzhou.

After a deliveryman rang his doorbell, Yang Lin opened a package and tried on his new sports shoes made by Warrior, a domestic brand, which he called a "new national product".

"It used to be unacceptable to me to buy sports goods designed or produced on the (Chinese) mainland because of the rustic designs and 'strange' color combinations. I only used to purchase international brands such as Nike and Supreme," the biomedical engineer said.

"I don't know when I got the idea that wearing American or European brands was more fashionable and edgy than buying those made by domestic companies," the 25-year-old said.

"It was a sense of superiority, but somehow stupid. I see that now."

He said that he changed his opinion last year when famous brands, including H&M, Nike and Uniqlo, announced that they would boycott cotton from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region after media stories overseas alleged that it had been produced by the use of "forced labor".

"With the standoff growing in intensity, these brands' ridiculous behavior has enraged customers in China, especially the younger generation. My peers started refusing to buy their products, preferring domestic brands such as Anta and Li-Ning instead," Yang said.

"The domestic brands have also improved their designs and released collections in collaboration with fashion brands, which is exciting and makes me want to buy them. It seems that foreign brands such as Nike are not indispensable to my life."

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