I am very much looking forward to visiting Shanghai and the China Toy Expo which will take place there from October 12-14. My interest falls into three major areas:
1. Shanghai the city
I have been to Beijing, the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong but never to Shanghai; the largest city in the world. The city, over the last couple of hundred years, has seen difficult times but also times when it was one of the most important global economic centers.
Today, Shanghai is a major world center for finance, culture, technology and shipping. In fact, it is the biggest container port in the world. Just getting from the airport to the hotel should be an adventure so wish me luck.
By attending the China Toy Expo and its sister event, the China Kids Expo, I will have the opportunity to meet toy industry business leaders and find out about their intentions. With their vast reserves of capital, do they plan to invest in western toy companies in the same way that Li & Fung decided to purchase Technosource? Many up and coming toy companies are cash starved and would benefit from some deep pockets. Their decision could make a big difference in what the European and American toy markets may look like over the next few years.
3. Shanghai the consumer market
China is moving toward becoming a major consumer economy. Asia recently passed Europe as the number 2 toy market in the world. I want to know how the consumer market works in China, who the players are and what the points of entry are.
If you have something that you think I should learn please let me know.