China’s Toy Industry Feels Growing Pains – Calum MacLeod
At the North Pole, the elves are bustling to fill Santa’s sack with toys for the world’s children.
In the real world, Christmas looks like Dongguan: a grey, industrial city in South China, where mile upon mile of factories house mile upon mile of uniformed young women toiling on production lines. Within a single generation, they have swept up the global toy business.
But are they bustling hard enough? Reports suggest that America’s hottest Christmas toys, such as Mattel’s T.M.X. Elmo, are running short this year. And some place the blame on China, where rising labor costs and electricity blackouts have disrupted production. Labor shortages, too, though hard to imagine in the world’s most populous country, now affect U.S. firms sourcing from China.[Full Text]