Experts, execs attribute edge in exports to tech strength

By Zhong Nan (China Daily) 10:05, April 24, 2024

A visitor tries a racing game during the 135th session of the China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, April 15, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's export advantage arises from its competitive strength in the global market, said scholars and exporters, dismissing some Western nations' "overcapacity" narrative, which was generated by anxiety and insecurities about their own deficiencies in certain industries.

The observers said that the "China overcapacity" narrative, particularly propagated by the United States, serves as a political tool to curb the growth of the Chinese economy.

Mao Yanhua, a professor specializing in regional economic development at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, said the narrative lacks economic understanding. Globally, Chinese products are highly popular because of their technological elements, durability and high quality, Mao said.

For example, the competitive edge of China's new energy industries is not a result of subsidies. Rather, it arises from the country's integrated industrial chain and a substantial pool of high-end technical professionals, he said.

Lu Feng, a professor of economics at Peking University's National School of Development, said, "In the advancement of emerging sectors like new energy vehicles, certain Western countries maintain a zero-sum mentality."

Highlighting those countries' industrial policies, Lu said that they often contravene economic laws and intentionally destabilize global industrial and supply chain networks with "de-risking" measures.

He said such actions obstruct the efficient distribution of global resources and stifle the growth of their own industry players.

The ongoing 135th session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, exemplifies China's innovation strength and commitment to providing affordable products to the global market.

Dayun Group, an auto manufacturer based in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, secured export orders for hundreds of pickups and trucks worth over 60 million yuan ($8.28 million) on the first day of the Canton Fair. Most of the vehicles will be shipped to the African market.

Yuan Qinshan, chairman of Dayun Group, said Chinese trucks are generally more affordable than their counterparts from Europe, Japan and the US. This price advantage makes them attractive to African businesses and governments, especially in a context in which budget constraints are common, Yuan said.

Lin Jiantian, director of the General Administration of Customs' Department of Enterprise Management and Audit-based Control, said that by integrating new technologies and methods, Chinese manufacturers are gradually able to pass on the advantages of these cost savings to downstream consumers.

The Canton Fair, which started on April 15 and will run through May 5, attracted 125,440 overseas buyers — up 23.2 percent year-on-year — from 212 countries and regions during the first five days, according to the Guangzhou-based China Foreign Trade Center, one of the organizers.

Meanwhile, Yu Hanfen, vice-president of Ningbo Borine ElectricAppliance Co, said that accusations aimed at China's substantial low-priced exports are unfounded.

Reasonable prices result from thorough competition in the market, Yu said. "For instance, our Malaysian and Turkish rivals may sell a type of automatic coffee machine in the European market for between $100 and $200, but we sell it for $300."

"We are willing to invest in improving the brewing system, thereby enhancing the taste, and entrust German and Italian institutions to conduct product evaluations," he said, adding that the company's research and development cycle might be as long as two years, but the final products can be used for more than a decade.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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