SHENZHEN, China (BRAIN)—With a fusillade of festive confetti, the Intlbike show opened with a bang, showing off China’s most important bicycle exporting region.
“We are paying more attention to the culture of the bicycle,” said Wang Zhao Wen, president of the Shenzhen Bicycle Association, which sponsors the event.
Association officials did not have attendance numbers for opening day on Friday, although traffic was relatively light in the two halls of the airy Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center.
Few foreigners were among the visitors, but Wen said he expected many were visiting nearby factories and would attend the show during the weekend.
During a conference on the international cycling market, one researcher offered sobering news for China bicycle makers. Rising costs and a flat global market mean that China’s bicycle production will flatten.
“China’s bicycle industry has a bright future, but the way is harder. We have challenges,” said Guang Shi Yu, director of the China Bicycle Information Center.
Yu recited a litany of problems that have affected all Chinese bikemakers, including an appreciating Chinese yuan that is making all exports to the U.S. more expensive; rising raw material prices; and zooming salaries as more Chinese workers strive to take advantage of their fast-growing economy.
He said Chinese bicycle makers should focus on developing their own brands and making higher quality, more expensive bicycles.
Also Friday, show officials awarded two Taiwanese bicycle leaders with the “International Green Transportation Medal” for encouraging the growth of environmentally friendly cycling.
Receiving the awards were Charles Wu, present of KMC Chain and one of the first foreigners to invest in China’s bicycle industry; and Ike Tseng, founder of the Merida bicycle manufacturer.
Intlbike ended yesterday.