Noisy African Vuvuzelas made in China

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.

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