SHANGHAI, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China reported robust growth in both imports and exports of toys in first eight months this year, which consolidated the country's status as a major toy manufacturer and consumer.
During the period, China exported toys valued at nearly 26.4 billion U.S. dollars, up around 37 percent year on year, while imports hit more than 719 million U.S. dollars, a rise of nearly 34 percent from a year earlier, according to the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association Wednesday.
In addition, Chinese-made juvenile products saw a year-on-year increase of 5.7 percent in exports and 9.3 percent in imports from January to August, the association said.
Chinese manufacturers have done a better job this year, as exports of toys saw year-on-year growth of 9.5 percent in 2016.
Thanks to industrial upgrading, Chinese manufacturers of toys and juvenile products have improved their production capacity, R&D and business negotiation, and sustained rising labor costs, said Liang Mei, head of the association.
Goodbaby, for example, has seen growth of more than 40 percent in revenue from Europe this year. It takes up nearly 30 percent of the car seat market in the United States and around 40 percent in Europe.
"In the past, Chinese companies only manufactured, did not design or sell products. But now we can do all and are more competitive," said Song Zheng, founder of Goodbaby.
The association predicted that domestic market for toys would reach 60.7 billion yuan (9.2 billion U.S. dollars) this year, an increase of 9.2 percent year on year, and that growth of 15 percent, 35 percent and 24 percent in the market size of strollers, car seats and feeding bottles.
China has more than 10,000 toy manufacturers with about 6 million employees. From 2011 to 2015, Chinese-made toys accounted for 73 percent of the toys bought globally.