Consumers wooed by better quality
Updated: 2016-02-03 07:51
Chinese calligraphy, meaning, "Grand gathering of New Year shopping". [Photo/Xinhua]
It should shame domestic manufacturers that there are frequent stories in the media about Chinese tourists traveling to Japan and frantically purchasing ordinary goods.
The latest product being snapped up by Chinese visitors to Japan is condoms, a product that like previous objects of desire, such as toilet seat covers and electric rice cookers, do not require cutting edge technologies to make.
According to one Japanese condom maker that is battling a shrinking local market, some of its customers have run out of some of its prophylactic products due to the surging demand of Chinese tourists.
Mainland tourists have become big spenders overseas. But while their unhesitating purchase of such expensive goods as luxury watches, handbags and jewelry when on overseas trips are more or less understandable because of the higher prices of such luxury goods at home, their frenzy for such common commodities as condoms is not a manifestation of such cost-consciousness.
Instead, to a large extent, it reflects domestic consumers' doubts about the quality of the home-produced goods. When it comes to condoms, for instance, not only do domestic producers have a poor reputation among Chinese consumers, but they also worry about whether they are buying the real thing.
According to media reports, last April, Shanghai police seized 3 million fake condoms made of inferior materials. Two years earlier, the Ghanaian authorities confiscated 110 million condoms imported from China that were said to have holes and easily burst during sex.
With the continuous rise of Chinese people's living conditions, they have become more demanding about product quality. But the fact that Chinese tourists are buying condoms in Japan should be a loud slap on the face for Chinese manufacturers of prophylactics.
It should also serve as a profound reminder to Chinese companies that if they fail to make substantial efforts to raise their quality, domestic consumers will continue to cast a vote against them with their feet.