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Expect more from the Chinese market


Joseph Liu
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I just read the news article about GM selling more cars in China than in the US. article here

We have known that the Chinese have been shipping tons of instruments to the US and perhaps the European market, but so far they haven't been buying a lot of instruments from foreign countries. I believe things will change soon.

GM was one of the first to enter the Chinese market when they had to invest a lot of money with little return, and now Buick is one of the most popular brands in China. Western violin dealers who can step into the big cities of China, I believe, will reap the benefits in the next few years.

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I just read the news article about GM selling more cars in China than in the US. article here

We have known that the Chinese have been shipping tons of instruments to the US and perhaps the European market, but so far they haven't been buying a lot of instruments from foreign countries. I believe things will change soon.

GM was one of the first to enter the Chinese market when they had to invest a lot of money with little return, and now Buick is one of the most popular brands in China. Western violin dealers who can step into the big cities of China, I believe, will reap the benefits in the next few years.

Joseph,

What is the basis for your belief in this reversal?

It's true that Chinese players like European instruments but you need to be Chinese to make the sale.

Furthermore, the appetite for old European instruments is not very rational in view of the fact that China is now producing splendid violins at a fraction of the price of European ones.

Glenn

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Glenn, I am thinking more of old instruments instead of new instruments. Taiwan is often viewed as a model for Chinese economic growth. By this, I mean that the economic growth pattern from the 1950's to today in Taiwan can be used to predict the market growth pattern in China. The difference is that China is growing much faster. Today Taiwan has one of the largest collections of valuable old instruments in the world in Tainan's Chi-Mei foundation. They do not just buy from Taiwanese or Chinese dealers. Carl Becker's shop set up a branch in Taiwan a few years ago. I think a Taiwanese person runs it now. The number of people who can afford older Italian instruments in China is growing rapidly. There are also many conservatories and orchestras in big cities. Many Chinese parents encourage their kids to learn to play piano and violin. That's why I think it's a matter of a few years instead of decades before China catches on.

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Joseph,

What is the basis for your belief in this reversal?

It's true that Chinese players like European instruments but you need to be Chinese to make the sale.

Furthermore, the appetite for old European instruments is not very rational in view of the fact that China is now producing splendid violins at a fraction of the price of European ones.

Glenn

My wife is Chinese, and From what I have seen, the Chinese that have money would rather buy imported things from USA or Europe even right now. My wife is always asked by her friends for things from USA or Europe and sent back to them.

Violinests with any money will do the same. Right now my wife has been asked to get a Violin from USA for the daughter of her (15 year old ) of one of her friends in China . This friend has money to buy any violin they could ever want in China, But like most others with money in Chins She doesn`t want to buy Chinese things.

Larry Lewis

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Larry, I agree with what you are saying. It is somewhat similar in the US. People with money would rather buy non-Chinese violins, even though Chinese instruments have vastly improved in the last 20 years. Older instruments have until recently been out of most people's budget in China, but when the Chinese currency starts to be controled by the market instead of the Chinese government, everything Western will suddenly become a lot cheaper to the Chinese!

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Joseph, I think you are right as to some of the best violinists are going to by older violins, BUT! I have see that most Chinese people would rather get something new and shiny. I think that there will be more Chinese buying new violins from outside China than old one. Right now I think most of them don’t know anyone they trust to buy from. That is why they ask a friend to get things for them.

If some American violin maker would go to China to get to know some Violin dealers there, they could do a good business there.

Larry Lewis

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For violin makers, the market in China will probably overwhelmingly reject most of us here on Maestronet even some of the best makers. The Italians, however, will need to ramp up their production soon!

Joseph,

I agree with most of what you say and what has been stated in this thread.

I would just add one thing.

Although Italian provenance is a great help when selling antique instruments in China, it isn't essential.

The Chinese have a refreshing approach to violin selection and it is based on the performance characteristics of the instruments - now there's a novel approach.

My experience is that Chinese performers are very careful about testing out the acoustic properties of an instrument both under the ear and from the back of a hall and what the label says is secondary.

Glenn

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We don't sell, yet. We buy, and one of the owners here spends several months a year in China working with our suppliers. We have been trying to find an appropriate partner and circumstance to sell Western instruments in China (violin family), both older ones, and the ones we make.

BTW, we have been getting some really beautiful instruments lately. :)

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We don't sell, yet. We buy, and one of the owners here spends several months a year in China working with our suppliers. We have been trying to find an appropriate partner and circumstance to sell Western instruments in China (violin family), both older ones, and the ones we make.

BTW, we have been getting some really beautiful instruments lately. :)

That's the way to do it! Spending time in China to work directly with them. Good luck with your business. By the way, it's Chinese New Year now. Happy New Year!

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