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Made-in-Guangdong products swamping HCM City   2009-06-01 - VietNamNet/NLD

The information that many articles of clothing and children’s toys made in Guangdong, China contain toxic substances might have startled Vietnamese consumers, since goods from Guangdong are selling everywhere in HCM City.


Chinese commodities evading Vietnam’s net


Made-in China products here, there and everywhere…


China-made are selling at a supermarket in HCM City

Chinese media recently reported the results of a survey made by Guangdong authorities which said that 46.5 percent of clothes produced in the province have been found as containing excesses of toxic substances, including formaldehyde, which can cause skin and respiratory infections. Thirty-two percent of clothes have been found as containing too much formaldehyde and toxic heavy metals.


Reporters of the Vietnamese newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong made a quick survey of the market in HCM City right after the news was released and found out that China-made products, especially ones made in Guangdong, are flooding the HCM City market.


According to petty merchants at markets in HCM City, no less than 40 percent of the clothes targeting medium and medium-high income earners are sourced from China. These include trousers, jeans, T-shirts and many other products, which have the same prices as locally-made products.


Saleswomen at Tan Binh Market said that China-made products are favoured by domestic consumers because their prices are ‘soft’. The price of every model decreases by a half after just a few months. For example, a model of T-shirt now favoured by the city’s youth was initially priced at 150,000 dong but is now selling like hot cakes at 80,000 dong. Vietnam-made products of the same kind are selling at 50-60,000 dong, but domestic consumers seem largely indifferent.


Thien Phuong, the director of a HCM City-based garment company, said that she frequently drops into markets and supermarkets to keep an eye on clothes sales and she can see China-made goods selling very well because they have diverse colours and designs, especially the products priced at over 150,000 dong.


“Sellers say the products are made in Hong Kong, Thailand or South Korea, but I know 80 percent of the products are made in China,” Phuong said.


The above newspaper also reported that China-made toys are selling everywhere in HCM City, from pavement shops to Binh Tay, Kim Bien, Tan Binh and Ba Chieu markets.


Tran Thai Hung, the owner of a toy shop on February 3 road, said that 100 percent of toys on sale at his shop are made in China. Hung said that other shops are also selling Chinese toys. “Salesmen say the products are sourced from Japan, US or South Korea because they want to sell them at high prices. In fact, these are made-in-China toys,” he added.


Cuc, a toy merchant next to Binh Tay Market, also affirmed that nearly all the toys in the area come from China, while there are only a few toys from the US or Japan which are very expensive. Similarly, products for children’s use like nipples, feeding bottles, cups and footwear also come from China.


How are China-made goods getting to markets?


Thanh, a petty merchant at An Dong Market, related that most China-made goods available in HCM City are from Guangdong. Traders either go directly to Guangdong to bring goods to Vietnam for resale, or get goods from wholesalers in the border province of Lang Son.


“Big merchants always make deals directly with suppliers in Guangdong,” Thanh said.


She went on to say that she gets goods once every one or two weeks from wholesalers, totalling 200-300 million dong worth each time. At first, merchants go to Guangdong to meet suppliers and visit their shops, but after that, they just place orders by phone.


Vietnamese merchants all say that Guang Zhou, the chief city of Guangdong, is considered the ‘paradise’ of imitation brand name goods. Products carrying brand names of Louis Vuitton, Prada and Burbery are produced there and then carried to neighbouring countries, including Vietnam. Previously, goods from Guangdong went to Hanoi first and then moved on to HCM City. However, over the last six months, merchants in HCM City themselves have been going to Guangdong to bring goods directly to HCM City for resale.

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