World / Asia-Pacific

Foreign models can help better consumer goods

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-27 07:14

China will boost cooperation with major trade partners and Belt and Road Initiative countries to raise the quality of domestically made consumer products to meet international standards.

"We will study and borrow experiences from other countries in the management of standards so as to improve our standards," Tian Shihong, chief of China's Standardization Administration, said at a news conference on Friday.

The government will also raise the standards for consumer products sold domestically to match the quality levels of Chinese-made products for export, Tian said.

Authorities will encourage Chinese enterprises and experts to help in drafting and revising standards to attain consistency between those used in China and those used abroad, he said.

Meanwhile, China will promote the standards it maintains on its consumer products that are superior to those made abroad, which already have competitive advantages on the international market, Tian said.

The country will promote recognition of standards with major trade partners. A key task will be to create multilingual versions of Chinese consumer product standards to improve international communication, Tian said.

On Thursday, the State Council, China's Cabinet, announced it had approved a plan to make more than 95 percent of the national standards required for major consumer products to be consistent with international standards by 2020. The ratio is currently about 80 percent for major consumer products, such as household appliances, textiles and clothing, shoes, furniture, watches and clocks, and toys.

Although China has become a major producer of such products, the quality standards it maintains fall short of what Chinese consumers want. In consequence, many consumers lack trust in Chinese products, Tian said.

Wu Jingming, an expert on consumers' rights protection at China University of Political Science and Law, said: "Domestic economic growth has been slowing in the past few years, and the government has to take measures to stimulate domestic consumption. That means the quality of products sold in the domestic market must improve."

Many Chinese have been going abroad in recent years to buy consumer goods-including those made in China-as the quality of products there are higher, he said.

"Products made in China for export have much higher manufacturing standards," Wu said. "That is unfair to Chinese consumers. The double standard for products for export and those for the domestic market must be abolished so that Chinese customers will spend more willingly at home," Wu said.

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