Plea to build 'Made in China' brand

The city's deputies to the NPC say traditional Chinese brands need to build themselves up in the face of growing competition from foreign brands and the rise of online shopping.

CHINESE brands need to build themselves up with professional craftsmen and by preserving traditional skills through workshops and apprenticeships, Shanghai deputies to the National People’s Congress say.

Zhang Zhao’an, deputy head of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and an NPC deputy, said many traditional brands were losing out with the rise of online shopping and overseas brands.

Zhang said too many companies were stuck in their old ways and were unwilling to change.

He cited the example of Chinese tea — China is a major exporter, but a great deal of high quality tea is processed overseas and then imported back to China.

And the country does not have a world famous tea brand, unfitting for the “home of tea.”

He says traditional brands should bring in professional managers, craftsmen and other workers from home and abroad.

Zhang supports the idea of linking traditional brands with vocational schools and establishing workshops and schools where skilled craftsmen can hand down their skills.

He also thinks traditional skills should be protected legally and socially and special funds and awards set up.

Innovation and promotion should be encouraged to build a “Made in China” brand.

Another deputy, Wang Wei, vice-general manager of the Shanghai Textile Decoration Corp (Group) said many traditional brands, such as Threegun underwear and White Rabbit candy have patriotic stories behind them.

“We had many good national brands during our childhood in Shanghai, such as White Rabbit candy, Threegun underwear and Conch shirts,” Wang said.

“However, with the introduction of more and more foreign brands, which have fast-updated designs and strong advertising teams, the living space for our domestic brands is getting smaller and some have even faded away from the market,” Wang said.

“It’s important for national brands to have sustainable development and continuously update their products to keep up with changing demands and tastes.”

She called for tax breaks and the promotion of talent, along with strong promotion at home and abroad.

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