Mon, Sep 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Bookstore owners criticize trade pact

FEELING SQUEEZED:Members of the stationery sector said they already face stiff competition and if Chinese investors join the market, they would have to close shop

By Ting Wei-chieh and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The manager of one of the older bookshops in Chiayi City, the Hung Tu Bookstore, Kuo Hao-sheng (郭皓昇), said that more than 70 percent of all stationery items in the nation were manufactured in China and quality control was a constant problem.

Every shipment of stationery is double-checked and unqualified products are sent back, such as erasers made in colors that differ from the original or plastic stationery cases that smell bad, Kuo said.

Taiwanese stores try to ensure that students and parents enjoy quality purchases, but the price difference between Chinese and Taiwanese products — Taiwan-made plastic stationery cases may cost up to NT$59 per case, but Chinese products sell for NT$39, or even NT$29 per case — may be an indicator that Chinese-invested stores may not take such precautions, Kuo said.

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