Part one of this two-part series discusses the factors that make the city a key production center.
A strong network of raw material and service providers, along with support from the local government, sustains Wenzhou’s position as a major hub for massage equipment. The city hosts more than 40 manufacturers, including some of China’s top exporters.
One of the factors contributing to the development of the sector is the presence of numerous electronic component providers in the area. Administered by Wenzhou, the county-level city of Yueqing alone hosts about 760 companies from which makers often source PCBs and motors.
Molding, meanwhile, can be subcontracted to more than 3,000 enterprises. Offering various products, the industry has an annual output equivalent to $770 million.
In terms of government support, policies encouraging product innovation are in place. Incentives to build strong brands are also being offered.
One program that has been implemented since August 2005 involves rewarding those who have made important contributions to scientific and technological progress in Wenzhou. Under this, Zhejiang Haozhonghao Health Product Co. Ltd, received more than $1,000 in 2008 for its computerized massage chair.
That same year, the Wenzhou Municipal Science & Technology Bureau proposed a project to develop a system that will measure a massage chair’s level of comfort. Zhejiang Haozhonghao accepted the undertaking, creating a program that evaluates technical specifications such as gravity distribution and body contact. This helps makers figure out a more efficient design, subsequently cutting product development outlay and lead time. The system passed the examination conducted by a group of experts from the bureau in April 2011.
In 2009, the district of Ouhai awarded Zhejiang Haozhonghao more than $10,000 for an R&D project involving a 3D massage chair. Wenzhou Reluxe was given capital for its venture into zero-gravity designs with swaying function in 2011.
Local governments also provide subsidies for patent applications. Pingyang, for instance, has been offering this support since 2006. In 2008, among the 149 applications granted funding, three involved massage equipment.
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Note: This article "Wenzhou massage equipment makers leverage locational advantages" was originally
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