Royal replicas feed the China's share in jewelry manufacturing
Acoording to washingtonpost it was found that Bruce Zhou was involved into the selling replicas of the famous Diana engagement rings on the website of Alibaba for a few dollars each. All this was reported within 24 hours of the engagement of Prince William last month.
The rings are made in Yiwu, capital of all that is cheap and trashy about Chinese exports. But in all their cubic zirconian splendour, these royal wedding replicas tell an important story about how China is uncertainly moving away from a sweatshop past towards a more up market future. Yiwu is well-known for trading the mass of the world's Christmas decorations - not to mention buttons and zips, hairbands and earrings by the million.
But Fisher Sam of the Yiwu Unnar Jewellery Company, aims to make it famous for high-end royal wedding memorabilia. When he came to know about the news of the engagement on the internet, he downloaded a picture of the famous Diana ring and immediately rushed hundreds of replicas into production, aiming for first-mover advantage.
Although being far from the quality of the original, the reproductions are hardly the tuppenny trinkets westerners usually associate with China. With a 14-carat white gold-plated band, blue cubic zirconia stone and sparkling crystal setting, these rings sell overseas for to .
But better quality, more market-responsive fakes are hardly Beijing's only vision for the future. Jin Xufeng of Kingland International Transportation, a logistics services company in Yiwu, says the International Trade City, the world's largest small goods market, aims for a more profound transformation: it wants some companies to stop exporting completely and focus on importing, to satisfy domestic demand. Yiwu market aims to quadruple the floorspace devoted to selling imported goods by early next year.
Beijing's grand plan to stimulate China's low domestic consumption and tackle internationally contentious trade surpluses such as the .9bn November surplus announced on Friday.Beijing has full hopes that by the time Prince William's younger brother Harry gets married, China will be in the running to design the royal engagement ring, not just copy it.