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Vuvuzelas may be African but made in China

Beijing: Vuvuzelas may be the sound of
Africa, but a bulk of the popular trumpets that are the reason
behind a noisy football World Cup in South Africa can be
traced back to Chinese factories.

China`s manufacturers have enjoyed resounding success
in selling vuvuzelas -- the plastic horns sounding like
swarming bees -- that have been the buzz among World Cup
spectators.

Up to 90 per cent of the vuvuzelas in South Africa
were made in China, industry experts have said.

Jiying Plastic Products Factory`s general manager Wu
Yijun said the company`s factory in Zhejiang province had sold
more than 1 million horns since April.

Nearly all of the vuvuzela blown by World Cup fans
come from five factories in Guangdong province and Zhejiang,
he was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

Wu`s factory produces different models of the horns,
ranging from 7.3 cm to 67 cm in length. They are exported at
prices ranging from 0.6 yuan to 2.5 yuan.

However, they are sold for between 18 yuan (about USD
2) and 53 yuan in South Africa.

"Most of the profit goes to the dealers and importers.
Our profit margin is less than 5 per cent," Wu said.
FIFA, the soccer association in charge of the World
Cup, faced demands to ban the plastic horns by people who
believe their buzzing sound is annoying. But FIFA resisted,
saying the vuvuzela is "the sound of Africa".

And the plastic trumpets are also growing in
popularity in other countries.

One vuvuzela is reportedly sold in Britain every two
seconds for two euros apiece.

Amazon.com has reported a 1,000-per cent sales
increase of its horns, which sell for USD 9.99.

Ebay.com had more than 400 bids for vuvuzelas, with
one already reaching USD 17.64.

On Amazon`s Chinese counterpart, taobao.com, more than
100 stores have also started selling the trumpets, with prices
ranging from 6 to 39.5 yuan.

"I sell dozens of vuvuzela every day, and my customers
come from all parts of the country," a store owner in
Zhejiang`s Hangzhou city was quoted by local media as saying.

"I sold 440 of the 14-yuan models last week".
Fans have said vuvuzela enrich their World Cup
experiences by creating a sense of participation.

"I can`t go to South Africa, but blowing vuvuzela
while watching the games makes me feel as if I`m among the
fans in the stadium," said Cheng Qing, a 25-year-old Shanghai
International Studies University postgraduate student.
But the vuvuzela is not the only popular type of
made-in-China World Cup paraphernalia.

The country`s manufacturers also make hats, wigs,
national flags and glow sticks used by fans, in addition to
the Jabulani, Adidas` official match ball for the competition.

It is reported that 99 per cent of Jabulani orders go
to Jiangxi Maisibo Sports Equipment.

The company has produced more than 12 million Jabulani
for tournament and commercial use.

The balls sell for 1,080 yuan at Adidas outlets in
China.

Bureau Report

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