Fire­crack­ers set to blaze a trail with safe prod­ucts

‘Green’ lights and sounds now mean con­sumers feel more con­fi­dent about ig­nit­ing a cel­e­bra­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS | FOCUS - By ZHU WENQIAN in Wan­zai, Jiangxi zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The py­rotech­nic in­dus­try is on fire as more Chi­nese con­sumers opt for the thrill of fire­works at fes­ti­vals and cel­e­bra­tions, and the glow­ing trend is be­ing set by safe, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and high-end prod­ucts.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers said they have seen grow­ing sales in re­cent years, as Spring Fes­ti­val and Tomb-Sweep­ing Day pro­vide plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to spark up. But con­sumers also like to cel­e­brate mar­riage pro­pos­als, wed­dings, grad­u­a­tions and birth­day ban­quets with the odd fire­work or two.

Wan­zai Shuangyu Fire­works Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co Ltd, one of the ma­jor pro­duc­ers, said it net­ted sales rev­enues of more than 80 mil­lion yuan ($11.6 mil­lion) last year, a 12 per­cent in­crease year-on-year.

“We ex­pect a sim­i­lar growth rate this year. Chi­nese con­sumers have in­creas­ingly pre­ferred high-end prod­ucts, and there is a huge growth po­ten­tial in the do­mes­tic mar­ket,” said Li Zuiguang. pres­i­dent of the com­pany.

Li said the profit mar­gin in the sec­tor ranges from 20 to 25 per­cent and while out­put is in­creas­ing, the mar­ket needs more guid­ance. Par­tic­u­larly, some small mar­kets are grow­ing rapidly, and they may be­come the new growth en­gine of the in­dus­try.

“In re­cent years, to­tal do­mes­tic sales of fire­works didn’t change much. More con­sumers started to buy high-qual­ity fire­works and send them to friends and fam­i­lies to mark spe­cial oc­ca­sions.”

Wan­zai county in Jiangxi province has been fa­mous for 1,400 years for its out­put. As one of the four ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing ar­eas of fire­works and fire­crack­ers, the county ac­counts for 18 per­cent of the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

Shuangyu Fire­works, which makes high-end prod­ucts with prices that are 30 to 40 per­cent higher than av­er­age, saw its largest de­mand from He­bei, Fu­jian and Yun­nan prov­inces, and the com­pany aims to fo­cus more on mar­ket­ing and brand­ing.

“This is a sun­rise in­dus­try. More peo­ple are will­ing to pur­chase the safe and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts with out­stand­ing vis­ual ef­fects,” Li said.

Those fire­works with dis­tin­guished fea­tures and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts will be­come the trends.

“The gov­ern­ment has for­mu­lated stricter rules on the man­u­fac­tur­ing of fire­works and fire­cracker prod­ucts. We need to push for­ward the trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing of the in­dus­try, and in­crease its tech­no­log­i­cal level,” said Zhong Ziqi, di­rec­tor of the China Fire­works and Fire­crack­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The pro­duc­tion of fire­works and fire­crack­ers needs to be more me­chan­i­cal, au­to­matic and stan­dard­ized, and pro­duc­ers should strengthen their brand­ing ef­forts. The trans­for­ma­tion of the in­dus­try can also drive the growth of other re­lated ser­vice in­dus­tries.”

When it comes to the lat­est

We need to push for­ward the trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing of the in­dus­try ...” Zhong Ziqi, di­rec­tor of the China Fire­works and Fire­crack­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

tech­nolo­gies, the Bei­jing In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy has in­tro­duced nan­otech­nol­ogy into prod­ucts, which en­hances the vis­ual ef­fects of fire­works.

In ad­di­tion, the use of rare earth tech­nol­ogy en­ables the prod­ucts to dis­play a spec­trum of new col­ors, be­sides the ba­sic seven.

Du Zhiming, a pro­fes­sor at the Bei­jing In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, said: “The sec­tor needs strate­gic re­com­bi­na­tion and guid­ance. It’s nec­es­sary to es­tab­lish a na­tional in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter for the in­dus­try, and in­te­grate more ex­per­tise from uni­ver­si­ties, sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tions, inspection agen­cies and en­ter­prises.

“Cur­rently, the sec­tor has a weak sci­en­tific foun­da­tion, with ap­par­ently less ac­cep­tance of mod­ern tech­nolo­gies com­pared with other in­dus­tries. The gov­ern­ment and re­search in­sti­tu­tions need to con­duct more sci­ence projects to pro­vide more data and in­for­ma­tion for the in­dus­try.

“Be­sides, those en­ter­prises at ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing ar­eas can con­sider co­op­er­at­ing with uni­ver­si­ties and carry out other forms of train­ing to fos­ter more pro­fes­sional safety and man­age­ment per­son­nel.”

LONG WEI / FOR CHINA DAILY CHINA DAILY SUN WENTAN / FOR

A cus­tomer buys elec­tronic fire­crack­ers in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang province. The city has im­posed a ban on fire­works and fire­crack­ers in the ur­ban ar­eas in a move to curb pol­lu­tion.

Cus­tomers choose fire­works and fire­crack­ers in Yan­tai, Shan­dong province, for fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions.

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