China is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Rick Oldenberg, chief executive of Illinois-owned family-owned educational product and toy learning resource, says many Chinese suppliers at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany, were confident of their confident reopening.
“But no one is quite sure how much to rely on this information,” Mr Oldenberg said.
Due to the trade war, the toy industry was effectively prepared for a moment in which Chinese suppliers were denied access to it, Mr Oldenberg said. In December, when the Trump administration was threatening to impose an additional 5 percent on Chinese imports, many toy companies extended their deadline to order. Some shifted production to Thailand and Vietnam to avoid tariffs altogether.
Toy manufacturers will need to rebuild the list soon. “If this continues for another four months, we’re talking about a major problem,” said Jim Silver, CEO of TTPM.com’s consumer research site.
After the SARS, China suffered several months of economic contraction and then returned dramatically. This can happen again. The only certainty is that what happens in China will be greatly felt.
“Obviously China has become a much more influential player in the world economy,” said Mr May of Oxford Economics. “It is much more involved in the global supply chain. It has spent the last decade of the global economy resorting to the past decade.
Jack Nickas, Patricia Cohen, Emily Flitter, Ian Austen, Don Clark, Michael Corkery, Julie Cresswell, Neil E. Baudette and Gregory Schmidt contributed to this report.