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More trouble for China as Mattel recalls toys

China has been suffering a public relations nightmare over the quality of its products. Quality of food, pet food, toys, toothbrush, etc have all been depicted as suffering from quality issues. Over this, the media has done investigation in China and come out with reports about the bad condition of quality control in China, further scaring people. China has claimed to be taking some tough measures, including sentencing a former head of a drugs inspection agency to death for corruption. It has also gone on the offensive in terms of claiming that these issues are being over-blown. At this time, this was the last thing that China needed to hear:

Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toymaker, said a recall of 1.5 million Chinese-made products will reduce second-quarter operating income by almost 50 percent and that it will review the production methods of all its contractors in China.
The lead discovery might force Mattel to find new sources of low-cost goods and may further damage China’s reputation as an exporter, following a recall of “Thomas & Friends” toys in Asia, a U.S. ban on Chinese toothpaste and scandals involving tainted cooking oil and diseased pork. The company is recalling 967,000 preschool toys sold in U.S. stores since May, including Elmo’s Guitar, Dora’s Talking House and 81 other products, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said yesterday.


This is something that is directly affecting Mattel since this will hit its revenue, and hit on its reputation. Also, since this affects children, one can be sure that politicians will jump on this, and start investigations in Congress on this. It also benefits trade unions since they have always claimed that sending these manufacturing jobs abroad is based on a compromise. It also increases the pressure on China to ensure that quality control is made more stringent.

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