28 November, 2020

Tales Of Toyland

Enriching or just cheap? Bitter-sweet lessons in trade with China.

Tales Of Toyland
Some like it, others don't. Some have fun during their stay there, others aren't so lucky. But all of them have realised they just can't ignore China. This feeling is not restricted to the senior managers in big corporates; it has even sunk into the hearts of mid-level managers, exporters and small-time traders. It's apparent in Mumbai's Crawford Market, the largest wholesale mart in the city. In some lanes dubbed China Bazaar, the red dragon is inextricably linked to the livelihoods of Muslim traders who import Chinese products, travel to the country, and talk about it with great familiarity.

Ali Mohammad, a partner in Toy World, which sells Chinese battery-operated toys, can reel out statistics about Shantou, a hub in China's Guangdong province, whose 3,000-plus toy-makers employ 1,00,000 people, and export $1.5 billion worth of products each year. "Dolls, cars, aeroplanes, talking-and-walking animals and animated jokers are hot-selling Chinese items. The ease with which one can source products from there and the cheap costs was the reason...


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