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Firecrackers set to blaze a trail with safe products

'Green' lights and sounds now mean consumers feel more confident about igniting a celebration


The pyrotechnic industry is on fire as more Chinese consumers opt for the thrill of fireworks at festivals and celebrations, and the glowing trend is being set by safe, environmentally friendly and high-end products.

Manufacturers said they have seen growing sales in recent years, as Spring Festival and Tomb-sweeping Day provide plenty of opportunities to spark up. But consumers also like to celebrate marriage proposals, weddings, graduations and birthday banquets with the odd firework or two.

Wanzai Shuangyu Fireworks Manufacturing Co Ltd, one of the major producers, said it netted sales revenues of more than 80 million yuan ($11.6 million) last year, a 12 percent increase year-on-year.

"We expect a similar growth rate this year. Chinese consumers have increasingly preferred high-end products, and there is a huge growth potential in the domestic market," said Li Zuiguang. president of the company.

Li said the profit margin in the sector ranges from 20 to 25 percent and while output is increasing, the market needs more guidance. Particularly, some small markets are growing rapidly, and they may become the new growth engine of the industry.

"In recent years, total domestic sales of fireworks didn't change much. More consumers started to buy high-quality fireworks and send them to friends and families to mark special occasions."

Wanzai county in Jiangxi province has been famous for 1,400 years for its output. As one of the four major manufacturing areas of fireworks and firecrackers, the county accounts for 18 percent of the domestic market.

Firecrackers set to blaze a trail with safe products
Customers choose fireworks and firecrackers in Yantai, Shandong province, for festival celebrations. [Photo/China Daily]

Shuangyu Fireworks, which makes high-end products with prices that are 30 to 40 percent higher than average, saw its largest demand from Hebei, Fujian and Yunnan provinces, and the company aims to focus more on marketing and branding.

"This is a sunrise industry. More people are willing to purchase the safe and environmentally friendly products with outstanding visual effects," Li said.

Those fireworks with distinguished features and environmentally friendly products will become the trends.

"The government has formulated stricter rules on the manufacturing of fireworks and firecracker products. We need to push forward the transformation and upgrading of the industry, and increase its technological level," said Zhong Ziqi, director of the China Fireworks and Firecrackers Association.

"The production of fireworks and firecrackers needs to be more mechanical, automatic and standardized, and producers should strengthen their branding efforts. The transformation of the industry can also drive the growth of other related service industries."

When it comes to the latest technologies, the Beijing Institute of Technology has introduced nanotechnology into products, which enhances the visual effects of fireworks.

In addition, the use of rare earth technology enables the products to display a spectrum of new colors, besides the basic seven.

Du Zhiming, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said: "The sector needs strategic recombination and guidance. It's necessary to establish a national innovation and development center for the industry, and integrate more expertise from universities, scientific institutions, inspection agencies and enterprises.

"Currently, the sector has a weak scientific foundation, with apparently less acceptance of modern technologies compared with other industries. The government and research institutions need to conduct more science projects to provide more data and information for the industry.

"Besides, those enterprises at major manufacturing areas can consider cooperating with universities and carry out other forms of training to foster more professional safety and management personnel."

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