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October 22, 2020

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Pandemic reshaping childs’ play

China’s exports of toys and children’s products increased by 9.6 percent between July and September despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Liang Mei, president of the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association, said although sales were down in the first and second quarters they had rebounded since July with rising overseas demand.

The latest products went on display at an exhibition in Shanghai which opened yesterday.

The annual China Kids and Toy Expo runs until tomorrow at the Shanghai New International Expo Center. The China Licensing and Preschool expos are also being held at the center.

China exported US$3.54 billion worth of toys in July, up 21.2 percent year-on-year. That rose to US$3.94 billion in August and US$4.11 billion in September, up 2.6 percent and 7.9 percent year on year, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Chinese toy manufacturers still have strong competitiveness in the supply chain, raw materials, quality and production efficiency,” said Liang.

“Many orders have shifted to Chinese manufacturers from those in Southeast Asia and India due to the pandemic there.”

Domestic factories had to suspend manufacturing in January and February after the COVID-19 outbreak, but accumulated overseas orders were completed after March thanks to China’s rapid recovery, Liang said.

Exports are expected to keep growing in the fourth quarter and reach a peak before Christmas, Liang said.

Trends are hard to predict because the world’s major expos in Hong Kong and Germany were postponed due to COVID-19. “International clients are more likely to trust their old Chinese suppliers amid the pandemic,” Liang said.

The association released a report on new trends in toys and children’s products. Compared with new technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, popular in previous years, parents prefer toys that require more interaction.

Outdoor sports and educational toys are more popular than previous years because of concerns about health and safety. Toys made of eco-friendly materials such as wood are also popular.


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