China’s toothbrush capital back in business as orders surge this year

(People's Daily Online) 09:54, March 28, 2023

Hangji township in Yangzhou city, east China's Jiangsu Province, has a permanent resident population of only 35,000, and is known as “China's Toothbrush Capital". The more than 4,000 toothbrush companies here can produce 7.5 billion toothbrushes a year, accounting for 60 percent of the national total and 40 percent of the world's total production of toothbrushes.

Photo shows a workshop of a toothbrush company in Hangji township, Yangzhou city, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo/Voice of Yangzhou)

In 1826, a local farmer in Hangji named Liu Wanxing made the first toothbrush in the locality using a piece of ox bone and horse tail hair. However, because of the high price, only dignitaries could afford to use them at the time. It was not until 1837 when Liu replaced horse tail hair with bristles in a bid to reduce the costs that toothbrushes became an affordable item for ordinary people.

In 1976, the first toothbrush factory in Hangji was founded.

Spurred on by the reform and opening up drive, the number of toothbrush workshops in Hangji approached 10,000 at one point in the 1980s. By 1995, there were over 200 toothbrush companies in Hangji. During that time, Hangji accounted for around 80 percent of national total toothbrush production.

In 2003, Hangji was named “China's Toothbrush Capital" and in 2011, the China Toothbrush Museum was completed in Hangji.

"The toothbrushes produced in Hangji are sold to 80 countries and regions around the world, achieving an annual output value of over 13 billion yuan (about $1.91 billion)," explained Leng Chuanchun, secretary of the Toothbrush Industry Association of Jiangsu Province.

Jiangsu Keshiduo Daily Necessities Co., Ltd. is located in Hangji township. The company has received a surge in orders for toothbrushes this year, with the value of orders reaching 20 million yuan.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have renewed their awareness of oral care and are now opting to change their toothbrushes more often than before," said Tu Xinning, head of the company.

In 2018, Tu established a toothbrush factory in Hangji township. "At first, we only had one machine, which was able to produce 25,000 toothbrushes a day," Tu recalled. In 2019, Tu founded Jiangsu Keshiduo Daily Necessities Co., Ltd. and the daily production capacity of the company was raised to 100,000.

"Over the past three years, we rolled out between 10 and 20 new products each year and then sold them mainly at stores and on e-commerce platforms," Tu said.

"This year, we strive to produce over 100 million toothbrushes," Tu revealed. In 2022, the company’s sales grew around 40 percent year on year and this year, the company set a growth target of at least 50 percent, Tu said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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