China’s new perspective on global product quality standards

2018-05-17 5 minute read China

Wooden toy blocks (Pexels.com)

Highlights

  • The Council's goal in the renovation of China's quality standards
  • What foreign businesses stand to benefit from these updates
  • How these new changes will affect the manufacture of children's toys

Chinese Council rolls out sweeping overhaul of China’s quality standards; changing the game for both the country’s, and imported products.

In May of 2018, during the National Light Industry Quality Standard Conference held by China’s Light Industry Council, talks of the sweeping overhaul of China’s quality standards were reignited.

These developments have been quietly working in the background of Chinese production and distribution regulations for light industries (small commodities). Now, we’re firmly within the accelerated integration stage of these new standards. This will both modernise Chinese industrial output to global consumers, and immensely increase exporters’ access to the Chinese market.

Global standards

The Council’s goal is to adjust existing quality standards to global standards across 95% of products, in sectors such as baby & infant products (including toys), clocks & watches, lighting, and home appliances, by the end of 2018.

Zhang Chonghe, head of the Council, says that the existing quality standards are far too outdated to meet the modern demands of China’s industry. So, in an effort to upgrade these standards, the Council is bolstering supply-side structural reforms. The resulting standardisation will improve quality inspection, testing and certification for both domestic companies and foreign exporters.

Mr Zhang adds that the council’s focus is on making concrete efforts to make standards even more adaptive and safe, whilst also being aligned with global practices.

Navigating more easily

Moving forward, the outcomes of this will leave a lasting, positive effect on businesses looking to export to China as the standardisation will also affect quality inspection agencies and laboratories.

After the CIQ and Customs merger for the facilitation of export, these new quality guidelines will also simplify exporting. Applying for relevant export certifications, for instance, will be faster if regulations from the country of export are already aligned with China’s new standards.

This means that companies exporting to China will be gifted with a reduction in both costs and time-to-market delays.

The reform is beneficial companies seeking export, but also to Chinese consumers — whose own demands and standards are slowly rising along with the availability of disposable income.

The roadmap to safer toys

China’s increasing middle class, projected to reach 700 million within the next decade, demands high-quality products to fulfil their needs. Among this is the desire to provide quality children’s products, with an non-negotiable high-safety standard.

The China-EU initiative, The Roadmap to Safer Toys, works to improve safety standards. While most toy companies manufacturing in China voluntarily submit for testing by independent, certified laboratories, as a token of China’s commitment to safe, efficient and productive manufacturing.

In 2016, China’s one-child policy was lifted too, and there has also been an increase in child-raising costs, partly because of Chinese parents’ fervent desire for the best-of-the-best for their children, including fast-moving consumer goods, and services like education and entertainment.

Anita Zhang, ACOLINK CEO, visited the headquarters of MIA – one of the biggest baby & mum focused online platforms in China. Their showroom reveals the wide variety of in-demand imported products from prams, to baby food & personal care, to toys and scooters. This is just one example of the various different Chinese platforms looking for these kinds of products.

China’s aim for consistent international quality standards in light industries is a big task, but willingness to adjust to global standards is indicative of China’s openness and their ready-for-business stance in the import-export trade.

Developments and upgrades are coming in all shapes and forms, introducing great, unmissable opportunities for companies both foreign and domestic to China. At ACOLINK, we’re continuing to build a network of such platforms that directly feed into the pathways we’ve developed to export foreign products directly to China.


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