‘Chinese whispers’ are undermining reputation

Chinese firms at The Big 5 fight back after becoming fed up with negative press over building product standards.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  November 20, 2005

The reputation of China as the main hub for cheaply made and counterfeit products is undermining the competitiveness of some genuine Chinese manufacturers. Over 200 companies represented China at this year’s Big 5, but some are struggling to overcome the negative press associating the country with poor quality and potentially dangerous products. Rifeing Piping System has been operating in the UAE for three years and this is the company’s third attendance at the exhibition. “We do have difficulty proving to people that our product is of good quality, which is why we come to The Big 5 and have taken so much trouble over our stand,” said overseas marketing manager, Justin Min. He added that all of the company’s products are certified according to international quality standards to lend assurance to the market. “Counterfeiting is a very serious problem. In China, there are small factories copying our products. We do our best to combat this but, so far, the results haven’t been too good. The government should be doing more to stop it happening.” Chemical building materials manufacturer, China New Era Group, has been operating in the UAE for five years. “Up until now we haven’t really found counterfeiting to be a serious problem for us,” said sales manager Eric Weng. “China is an attractive place for production right now for many big worldwide manufacturers, because of the amount of capacity there and cheaper costs; but as far as our company is concerned, quality is the most important thing we consider when manufacturing our range of products. “We get genuine approvals from international certification laboratories, such as PPR, before our products leave the factory, and on this basis, we get a lot of market assurance,” he said.

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