|who makes all of those cheap chinese crap lighters?|
another of my impulse purchased windproof Chinese
lighters bit the dust, I
pondering just this question tonight . As the owner of at least 20
such crap novelty cigarette lighters acquired from confused
looking Chinese couples in market stalls in Italy,
I have often wondered just who was
responsible for the flood of shabby consumer items
which have washed up on European shores like so
much other plastic flotsam and jetsam. I knew that
somewhere were factories, workers, companies
devoted to the creation of these fine items. Of
course there are. I mean, they donít just
spontaneously appear somewhere in the hills over
Florence where the Chinese go to collect them at
dawn, like Manna. Or DO THEY? Here is a
non-linear, slightly edited document of my search
for knowledge on the electrical speaking telegraph
network which links our galvanic difference
engines so admirably.
My E-mail to WENZHOU WASHIDA SMOKING SETS MAKING CO.
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 8:25 PM
Subject: keep up the good work
I am very very excited by all of the quality chinese products now available in europe. I want to know more about where your factories are situated and some details about your work. Keep up the good work!!!
I am the proud owner of many products which no doubt originate in your factories. These include sportswear, cigarette lighters, shoes, luggage and many other items. The appealing thing about chinese products in the european market is price. To be honest, the low price combined with a certain sense of style makes me go for the chinese option every time, whether it be in a shop in the Firenze train station or on the streets of Berlin.
I would love to work with one of your companies as an advisor on english-language website design.
blaine l. reininger
development poster for the region
The Wengzhou City Skyline
the actual factory
The unassuming coastal town of Wenzhou has bombarded the world with novelty lighters and fake goods. But no one's going to rip them off
By David Murphy/WENZHOU
Issue cover-dated August 23, 2001--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NO BUSINESS IN CHINA is immune to the curse of the rip-off artist. Unless you make cigarette lighters in Wenzhou, that is. Then you are likely to come under the self-regulatory, protective umbrella of the Wenzhou Lighter Industrial Association, which registers new designs, regulates supply and cracks down with a vengeance on infringers.
This guild-style organization comprises around 300 companies in the coastal city of Wenzhou, which has long had a reputation for unbridled but low-tech capitalism. But there is a history here, too. The methods of the association hark back to imperial China, when local merchants in southern coastal cities formed highly disciplined networks of credit and cooperation. These networks extended to relatives overseas, and some of them formed the basis for Triad societies.
the industrial pie in wenzhou region. Notice that " smoking sets" take the biscuit.
Businesses in this part of the world have had a long and sometimes bitter history with the powers in Beijing. They tend to prefer to come up with their own solutions when state control is weak. In Wenzhou, the lighter makers have iron-clad protection against counterfeiters, enabling the industry to grow from a mere flicker in the late 1980s to dominate the world market in cigarette lighters, all but snuffing out the competition in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Backed by the city government, the association enforces strict regulations that ban member companies from copying the products of other association members. That frees companies to conduct research and design and properly market and distribute products without constantly looking over their shoulder for low-end fakers who might undermine their product, according to Lin Rong, secretary of the association.
It is allowing them to meet ISO standards and match safety regulations in North America and Europe. Lin estimates--and his figures are acknowledged as reasonably accurate by independent researchers--that the association has now captured more than 90% of the Chinese lighter market. With more than 30,000 designs, it also supplies 60%-70% of the world market. According to government figures, China exported 3.39 billion cigarette lighters to Europe in 2000, and 346 million to the United States and Canada.
Wenzhou could turn out to be an interesting model for other Chinese companies, which currently spend very little on R&D because they have no way of protecting their innovations. Yu Hui, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Industry and Economy Research Institute who has studied the Wenzhou association, certainly thinks so. He describes it as "an informal strategic network combined with a governance mechanism" and says that enterprise and civil society have replaced government and family-run businesses in Wenzhou. For him this is a significant change from China's past experience which could serve as a model for the future.
A visit to one local maker--Wenzhou Honest Smoking Sets--reveals a staggering variety of cigarette-lighter designs: Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong, naked women, golf balls, the Sphinx, mobile phones, beer cans, pens and even penguins can all be persuaded to produce small jets of flame on command. When a company brings out a new lighter design, "we register their product, the style and type and a picture of it and check that it's up to national standard and whether it is being produced by another member," says Lin. A description of the new product is carried in an industry bulletin.
National patents can take at least six months to come through from the patent office in Beijing, and are far more trouble to enforce. But in Wenzhou, any company found imitating a locally registered design comes in for heavy punishment, according to Yu Hui. "If the association finds a breach they can destroy the rival manufacturers equipment and confiscate the counterfeit products," he says. This has happened on a handful of occasions.
Things weren't always so orderly. Back in the early 1990s, competition was as cut-throat as the pirates who once plagued the Chinese coast. After decades of political obscurity caused by its history as a merchant port with ties to the outside world, Wenzhou sought to claw its way back onto the map. A manufacturing free-for-all ensued, together with the ubiquitous copyright infringement. Today, the latter-day pirates are still active, churning out fake goods from hundreds of factories in the area.
And it's not just fakes, either. Between their booming industry and remittances from relatives abroad, mainly in Europe, Wenzhou people are rich by Chinese stardards and can afford to hire immigrants from poorer provinces like Sichuan and Anhui. State-owned production now accounts for just 2% of Wenzhou's GDP; the private economy is everywhere. And the city's overseas networks provide it with a ready-made web of importers and distributors for its low-tech products.
But while tight-knit local loyalty has brought brand protection to the Wenzhou lighter manufacturers, foreign brands are just as vulnerable to infringement as they are anywhere. A factory making fake BIC products was raided by intellectual property-rights enforcers last year. Fake versions of 555, Marlboro, Armani and Dunhill have all been uncovered in IPR raids in recent years, according to industry sources. And the industry has been shown to be highly flexible when it comes to dealing with foreign markets. As Wenzhou entrepreneurs piled into the lighter business in the early 1990s--there are thought to have been more than 3,000 factories back then--exports surged to the point where the European Union filed an anti-dumping action against Chinese-made lighters as imports shot up from less than 10 million to more than 70 million units in the four years to 1993.
Wenzhou companies have dodged EU tariffs since by attaching a useless valve to disposable lighters and shipping them out as refillables. Refillable-lighter imports to the EU from China then rose from 23 million in 1994 to 144 million in 1997, or 44% of the entire EU market. The EU has now extended the tariff to all lighters, including those made in Taiwan, because the Wenzhou lighters had been re-routed to Europe via the island. A question of doing business according to one's own lights, perhaps.
province industrial base
Luchang, land of waterfalls
"The sand of Dashaao sand beach of Dongtou Island itself is also pure, fine and clean. This beach slopes gently and the water in the sea is still and peaceful, without eddy. It is a nice place suitable for swimming, surfing, picking shellfishes and angling (By the way, it is a fishery zone of gropers).
Here is a place with very rich humanistic resource too. In this county, you can enjoy the custom and circumstance of the fishermen.
Here is the paradise of birds. In addition to the mild climate and the abundant bird- eatables of seafood, there are 89 islands without any residents. Therefore, They provide the birds with an excellent dwelling environment"
who makes all of those cheap Chinese toys that my son breaks constantly?
Toy Bricks Set - "Happy Time"
Every child has ever received some education, more or less. That would be really a happy time for them. This toy bricks set contains English letters, Pinyin, figures...
Runyuan Intelligence Toys Factory
Located in Chenghai City of Guangdong Province, the renowned "City of Plastics", the factory is devoted to producing intelligence toys and has gained rich experience in this field. Its intelligence toys are mainly characterized by stimulating children's potential intelligence. Listed are only part of its products for on-line product popularization such as "Happy Time" toy bricks set and "Luck Lottery" machine.
Durability and richness in color bring into your baby a optimistic outlook of life.
Hongji TX229-02F/1-4 Toys
Sample Toy--Giant panda
To be accompanied by electronic organ