“Too much lead in Chinese toys.” Thats what Mary Orr said when we asked her why she wasn’t buying Chinese toys this year for her son Matt’s birthday. But mostly, Moms and Dads have less money this year and that means fewer toys…
In the U.S. it is too little money so less happiness. In China it is too little money so no jobs and perhaps migrating away from the industrial areas and back to “home.” Chinese authorities fear social unrest….
China’s toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets, state media reported Sunday.
In the period from January to November of last year, China’s shipments of toys abroad totalled eight billion dollars, an increase of just 2.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, the People’s Daily said on its website.
This compares with the first 11 months of 2007, when toy exports had increased by a blistering 20.3 percent, the paper said, citing customs authorities.
In November alone, toy exports declined 8.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the paper.
A worker in a toy factory in Shenzhen. China’s toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets(AFP/File/Wang Lei)
Registered toy exporters plunged by nearly half last year to 4,211, the paper said, reflecting how weakening overseas demand is wreaking havoc on China‘s domestic economy.
The paper quoted customs officials as saying that apart from the global slowdown, toy exports had also been impacted by a series of recent product quality scandals.
For example, in mid-2007, US importers of Chinese toys issued recalls after some were found to be coated with toxic lead paint. Similar products were later banned in several countries.
The paper said that the United States and the European Union account for two thirds of China’s toy exports.
—People’s Daily and AFP
Jobless Chinese toymakers turned vendors. Photo by Barbara Demick, The Los Angeles Times
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)
“Last year, I went back home five or six days before the holiday started. This year, I’m going back about 20 days earlier,” said migrant Huang Mingren as he waited for his train.
For Huang and many others, the trip begins at the crowded station in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, often called the world’s factory floor because it’s China’s key manufacturing base. This is where a huge number of China’s 160 million migrant workers churn out Nike shoes, iPods and Nokia mobile phones.