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Shantou Toy-makers Put Under Closer Inspection
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Authorities in Shantou, a major toy-manu-facturing center, launched a special drive over the weekend to ensure the quality of its toys.

Pu Changcheng, vice-minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, is leading a team of inspectors.

It comes in the wake of cases where exported toys have had to be recalled allegedly due to various defects.

The team will inspect all factories manufacturing toys to ensure they are up to standard. Those found to be making toys that endanger the safety and health of children will be closed down, Pu said on Saturday.

One manufacturer, operating without a license, was closed down.

The drive will also help improve the quality of toys, and the industry to develop faster, Pu said.

The Chenghai District of Shantou is one of the leading export bases for toys and gifts. It is home to about 3,000 toy makers, each earning an average of 10 million yuan ($1.3 million) a year.

The industry employs more than 100,000 workers. At least 70 percent of the products are exported to more than 100 countries and regions.

Official figures show that the industry generated 13 billion yuan in output last year, which accounted for 37.6 percent of the total industrial output of the district.

Cai Zongze, mayor of Shantou, said toy and gift manufacturers must improve quality, create their own brands, and enhance technologies, according to a report in Shantou Daily.

However, some manufacturers, especially the small and medium-sized ones, said it was difficult to maintain profits due to increasing competition.

"We have many quality standards to follow in domestic and foreign markets. We have urged workers to improve their skills to meet them, but it is costly," a businessman surnamed Yi, said. He runs a small factory in Chenghai that makes toy watches for the domestic and Middle East markets.

(China Daily August 28 2007)


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