HANGZHOU, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A government-backed program to explore the technology behind smart toilets was launched Thursday in east China's Zhejiang Province.
Zhi Shuping, head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said the program was commenced in Taizhou City, Zhejiang, where 45 percent of China-made smart toilets are produced.
Smart toilets, along with air purifiers and rice cookers, were included by the State Council in April 2016 in a guideline to improve quality-oriented industries and the quality of made-in-China products, after reports of Chinese tourists choosing to buy the items from Japanese stores.
High-tech toilets include functions such as heated seats, water jets with pressure and temperature controls, hot-air dryers and ambient background music. The products are sought-after items for China's middle-class.
The program has been hailed as a signal of the nation's improving of manufacturing and innovation ability, Zhi said.
More than 200 industry representatives and 60 experts attended the launch ceremony.
Zhang Wenbing, a quality inspection official with the administration, said his side would help producers find specialists to address obstacles in the manufacturing and product design stages to improve quality.
The administration's quality inspection on smart toilet production in 2016 showed a 82.4-percent qualification rate, up 22.4 percentage points from the level in 2015.