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Richard Highfield of Surprise Marketing Ltd replies to Jacqueline Vong's Op-ed article East Meet


I refer to last week’s article by Jacqueline Vong that may confuse or even dismay many international readers of The Bloom Report, though it does seem to have some credibility and states some obvious factors.

While the talented Miss Vong does convey the both sides of the story in the ever-changing toy business we love, the international toy community is surely years way away from removing the long-standing Hong Kong Toy Fair to mainland China. I am sure the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council feel much the same way after putting on a wonderful show for so many years.

To remind her, there are over 2,000 global exhibitors, not all local and more than 40,000 visitors.

Is Miss Vong aware of the complexities and costs of obtaining a visa into China from the countries where visitors operate? You don’t just turn up and walk in. How will exhibitors from outside of Asia cope?

Is the infrastructure ready in Shenzhen? Are there enough quality hotels to western standards? What about variable restaurants? Will there be language difficulties?

I sense some scaremongering as the Tsim Sha Tsui area is somewhat removed from the prime toy showroom area in Tsim Sha Tsui East where a Starbucks window appeared to be the only damage I saw. Is Miss Vong making her observations from afar and from her own business standpoint? She really should study the wider core of the toy business. Yes, it is worldwide and serves multiple purposes.

The timing of the annual toy fair at the prestigious Convention and Exhibition Centre dovetails beautifully with toy showrooms in TST East, Canton Road and Kowloon Bay and creates a one-stop opportunity for toy buyers to see new merchandise from the major toy companies together with the ever evolving companies and importantly the start-ups.

This is all before we get on to the Covid-19 situation and the scary moves by the Chinese Communist Party.

Only last week a mainland supplier of mine asked me for new orders ‘now that the virus had gone’ and it seems that the CCP is telling its people something less than the truth. She was oblivious to 46,000 deaths in the UK.

Richard Highfield

Surprise Marketing Ltd.

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