Japan's smart toilet seats made in China

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Despite tourists' interest in purchasing smart toilet seats in Japan, as many as half of them are made in China with domestic sales only accounting for less than 30 percent, reported China Business News on Monday.

The buyback of home-manufactured products has sparked heated comments at the two sessions among industry giants, who saw it as an epitome of the urge to shift from "made in China" to "innovated by China", said the newspaper.

The average sales of smart toilet covers in Japan is about 4 million per year, with almost all of them manufactured outside the country, in China, Malaysia and Vietnam, said Ma Yue, managing director of Xi'an RYOJI Home Appliance to the Business News. "China manufactures about 1 to 2 million smart toilet seats per year and exports most of them to Japan. Domestic sales amount to less than 300,000," said Ma.

"The sanitary ware industry in China only has a history of dozens of years, while their international peers have developed hundreds of years," said Liu Wengui, secretary general of Foshan Sanitary Ware Trade Association, to the newspaper, adding that besides product quality, the gap also exists in popularization of the market.

It's not until four to five years ago did China's smart toilet makers embark on promotion, with currently about 30 market players located in Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian provinces, said Liu. He expects the topic to serve as a "tipping point" for the domestic market.

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