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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Chinese enterprises aim for "created in China


09:41, January 15, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- When the 2012 Summer Olympic Games open on July 27 in London, China's largest down apparel company Bosideng will open its first European store near Oxford Street, the city's busiest shopping street, presenting a brand widely known in China to Londoners and visitors from across the world.

To house the store, the company spent 20.05 million pounds purchasing an entire building on nearby South Molton Street, making it the company's most expensive outlet.

The store is part of the company's long-term strategy to move upward in the value chain, morphing from a producer of inexpensive "made in China" goods to a global clothing brand that sells "created in China" goods with higher added value.

Gao Dekang, Bosideng's chairman, founded the company in the east coastal province of Jiangsu in the late 1970s, the same period of time that saw China's reform and opening up, with policy shifts that have propelled China's growth ever since.

Like many export-oriented manufacturers in east China, the company soared with the Chinese economy, taking the global market with inexpensive goods, thanks to relatively cheap labor and land costs. But the company's competitive edge began to diminish when the global financial crisis began in 2008, causing production costs to soar.

"Gone for good is the era of the last 30 years, when Chinese clothing companies dominated the lower end of the global clothing market," Gao said. "Since the global economic crisis started, the cost of labor and raw materials has been rising in China, while labor costs remain very low in countries like Vietnam and Cambodia. All of this is creating a huge challenge for the Chinese clothing industry."

Gao said the solution to this problem is to seek out new competitive advantages based on innovation and design.

Bosideng has been doing exactly that. In addition to opening its store in London, the company spent a record high of 658 million yuan (104 million U.S. dollars) on research and development last year.

In the official and academic discourse in China, the move from "made in China" to "created in China" is generally seen as part of the country's economic transformation and industrial upgrading.

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Canada at 2012-01-1670.36.49.*
Perhaps "created in China" designer brand purses would be lucrative. Ridiculous prices on many Western designer brands.

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