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issue: December 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

China Report
CHEAA and CECED Hold Bilateral Conference

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by Viloet Han, China Correspondent

As the 2005 annual conference on Sino-European industrial products was taking place and World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers of Trade negotiations continued.

The China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) and European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED) held their own bilateral talks on Oct. 19, 2005.

The sometimes-heated conference focused on how to standardize import standards while maintaining fair competition, and it proposed positive solutions to some of the current conflicts between the two home appliances markets.

Wang Zhiping, an advisor with Philips (China) Investment Company. brought up the continued problem of product piracy in the Chinese market. His company encountered numerous cases of imitation products being manufactured in China. These appliances can be made to look like the company’s products and some violate the company’s patents. Wang said the Chinese government should do more to prevent such copyright violations.

“The Chinese Government has already taken some measures to fight against imitation in the field of medicine and these measures have turned out to be very successful,” he said. “In home electronic appliances, similar measures should be taken. The safety issue of home electronic appliances also influences the users’ health,”

Special attention should be given to geographic areas where copyright violations are known to be most egregious, he added. For example, he said, a number of known copyright violations have come from the Chinese regions of Ning Bo. Production in this vicinity should be given extra scrutiny for copyright violations and patent infringements. Chinese companies themselves need to be aware of copyright issues, especially when they are called upon to produce a product based on samples provided by a distributor.

But, Wang said, the problem is international. “It is necessary for the European Community, the U.S., Russia, and China to cooperate globally,” he said, and he added that he hoped the European community would help all countries reach a common understanding of the implementation of Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

Yuan Chutian, general manager of Media European Sales Company, used the Sino-European market for room air-conditioners as an example of the difficulties and problems that can be encountered when trying to enter European markets. “Although the European Community has adopted the same energy label, different countries and distributors have different requirements for the implementation of the energy label of air-conditioners,” he pointed out.

“Second, the main European channels for selling home electronic appliances are large chains,” Many big retailers care more about price and little about after-sale service, he said. This leads to a chaotic air-conditioner market in Europe and gives European consumers the impression that Chinese manufacturers are unwilling to take responsibility for their products.

Yuan Chutian added that, “The details of implementing WEEE and RoHS are very confusing; different countries have different interpretations of laws and regulations.” This leads to a great deal of confusion among Chinese producers.

According to Qi Bing, minister of Da Jia Electronic Industry Department of the Chinese Standardization Research Institute, the Chinese standardization system is coming in-line with international standards. At present, 10 IEC EMC standards have been adopted in China and are already in use. Seven of the China national standards can be used as attestation for CE product certification. In addition, China has independently formulated energy label criterion and a noise standard for appliances. Standards for networked home appliances and for product reliability are being developed.

Much agreement was reached during the conference. Luigi Meli, director general of CECED, believes it is important to put in place appliance import behavior standards, which partner enterprises from both sides should commit to. Doing so can make it possible to distinguish between responsible and irresponsible enterprises, and help importers choose better products. Meli also indicated he would urge the adoption of European regulations to help standardize European importers.

Through this conference, CHEAA also suggested that the Chinese government should provide more of a role for CHEAA to play in market monitoring.


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