One-third of the world’s socks, 80% of the world’s mid-to-high-end violins, nearly half of the microwave oven turntables in the global market, and one-third of China’s electric guitars… You may be unable to imagine that the above production records are actually created by some little Chinese towns.
How can the small towns have such great potential? Verifyfull planned a series of blogs to answer the question. Today, we will introduce you to the town of Violin— Zhugou Town, Henan Province.
Introduction to Zhugou Town
Zhugou Town, Queshan City, Henan Province, is a famous violin town in China. There are 122 violin companies and 2,000 employees. The products are exported to the world, mainly exported to the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, with annual exports earning tens of millions of dollars. Represented by Zhugou Town violins, Dieshan County violins account for more than 80% of China’s mid-to-high-end violins, and have become a well-known brand in the international piano industry.
The Development path of the town
As a farmer born and raised in Zhugou Town, Wang Jintang hopes to get rid of poverty. In 1984, when he was 16 years old, he went to work in the north and became an apprentice of handmade violin in Beijing. In 1991, he independently opened a violin workshop in Beijing. Then more and more people from Shanzhugou Town come to Beijing to engage in violin making. Wang Jintang said: “In the earliest days, I did it by myself. Later I recruited 30 people, all of whom were from my hometown. At first, we couldn’t earn our living so we really cherish what we have now. ”
After 20 years of development, “Master Queshan” has become a well-known business card of Beijing’s musical instrument manufacturing industry, and Queshan masters’ craft standards have also become the technical standards of the handmade violins. At the same time, their hometown, Queshan, is quietly changing, with high-speed railways extending in all directions and an airport in the outskirts of the county. In 2015, the county government decided to provide free workshops and tax incentives to encourage craftsmen to return home to start businesses. Wang Jintang said: “Going back to my hometown, I feel safe. I dare to invest. The government provided a lot. This is also the process of upgrading the entire industry.”
Violins exported to the world
More than 60 luthiers have returned to their hometowns to start their own businesses, and 122 violin companies have opened in Zhugou County. As the world’s largest producer of violin, China accounts for more than 90% of the world’s violin production. What’s more, one of every two violins in China comes from Zhugou, which is the birthplace of 80% of the world’s mid-to-high-end handmade violins. They are shipped all over the world. When the reporter interviewed Wang Jintang, he was labeling violins “Made in China”. He told the reporter: “This batch of musical instruments was sent to Denmark. There are more than 30 cellos and 50 violins. This year, the violins produced by our company from February to May are basically in stock because of the impact of the epidemic. Great. From June to the present, foreign orders have gradually increased. Now it can sell around 375,000 yuan every month.”
During the epidemic
This year, affected by the international economic situation and the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, various industries have suffered heavy losses. The overall export volume of violin in Zhugou Town has dropped by about 30%. In order to reduce losses, Peng Guangfeng, the head of Queshan County, Henan Province, stated that Queshan County Government has established a list of requirements for each company, implemented a fee reduction and tax rebate policy, and raised 500 thousand to 3 million yuan for each violin company to help them overcome the difficulties. Peng said: “During the epidemic, they still have an opportunity because of the decline of raw materials and consequently the cost reduction. The government contacted the Rural Commercial Bank and Zhengzhou Village Bank to ensure that those companies can tide over the financial difficulties. At present, only the violin companies in Zhugou Town have raised 35 million yuan. It is necessary to protect this industry.”
Now, Zhugou Town has an annual output of about 300,000 violins of various types, with an annual output value of about 450 million yuan. “Stabilizing the foreign market and broadening the domestic market” has become a new idea for violin sales in Zhugou Town. Actively expanding domestic demand is also Wang Jintang’s choice. Wang Jintang said: “In fact, the domestic market is very large.”
“Livestream marketing” has long become an essential way for violin sales in Zhugou Town. Professional violinist Dong Zhongke played the violin while introducing the characteristics of violins to customers. Wang Xinli is the person in charge of a manufacturer in Zhugou Town. He was the first to sell violins through “livestream marketing” in Zhugou Town. Online sales have become the main domestic sales channel for his company. Wang Xinli said: “The most expensive violin I sold online is 30,000 yuan.”
New product development
Wang Jintang knows that he has to not only immerse himself in making violins, but also look at the market. He is developing a new product-electroacoustic violin, which can turn the sound up, change the tone, and customize violins according to the needs of enthusiasts. Wang Jintang said: ” You play the electroacoustic violin, press a button, and turn it over. Decreasing the octave and then it is directly the sound of the cello. This is what we are doing. It is young people’s stage and also a start for innovation. I think it will definitely be a good development in the future.”