China blames African importers for inferior products

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

China has distanced itself from accusations of flooding African markets with sub-standard products.

It instead blamed traders from the continent for ordering manufacturers to produce cheap products at the expense of quality.

However, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Minister in charge of Africa and Middle East Zhai Jun said the Chinese government would strengthen supervision of exports to curb the influx of sub-standard products in African countries.

"It is true that some of our exports are of low quality but we blame traders. The Government will step up efforts to ensure manufacturers adhere to international quality standards," Jun said on Thursday ahead of the opening of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai next Tuesday.

He said Chinese manufacturers could produce high quality products, but some traders ordering products for export to Africa insist on low prices, hence compromising on quality.

"Traders should not not seek low prices, they should understand that if they want quality, every product has a basic price," he said.

Lowest price

Jun cited the case of a Malawian trader who placed orders for bulbs but told the Chinese manufacturer he wanted the lowest price possible "and was not keen on the quality".

Kenyan manufacturers have suffered the wrath of cheap Chinese imports that have flooded the market, edging them out of business. Battery maker Eveready has had to diversify to other products to survive the Chinese onslaught. The company is selling shaving, razors, blades and flashlights to keep a profitable bottom line.

"We will also educate our manufacturers on the consequence of comprising quality," Jun said.

Published on 30/04/2010


By William Gitonga in BeIjing (The Standard)