Archive for the ‘China Trade’ Category

The Blacklist

May 8th, 2012 No comments

After years of sourcing, recording, researching and reporting, ETP has an extensive list of companies that we have identified to have been involved in and partaken in scamming their customers or mishandling their orders.

We have a database of over 3500 companies worldwide reported for fraudulent, scamming behaviour and mishandling of orders. To ensure that they are not trying to contact you or are already doing business with you, simply contact us here and we can check it off this database and let you know. This is absolutely FREE, no strings.

We believe as clients and customers your faith in your supplier should be solid and all doubts cast aside. So over the last few years, we have been constantly building and updating this database, aiming to bring you the most complete blacklist available for free on the web.

Every time we have researched, performed due diligence and audited suppliers and manufacturers, they have been added to our database.

It’s not all bad! We also have an ever increasing database of factories that we have personally vetted and done business with ourselves that we know you can safely do business with. We only work with factories that adhere to international safety and quality standards, and meet our requirements for the Panda Whitelist.

At Enter the Panda, we make it our top priority that you are doing business in the safest and most reliable business environment.

Sourcing from China isn’t always black and white, but Enter the Panda is working hard to make it that way.


Categories: China Trade Tags:

Chinese Holiday Notice – Tomb Sweeping Day (Qīngmíng Jié)

March 28th, 2012 No comments

Burning moneyTomb Sweeping Day - 清明节 (Qīngmíng Jié)

Most Chinese companies will observe this holiday and this year it has been announced that:

Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April are working days

Monday 2nd April – Wednesday 4th April are public holidays

If you find contact with your suppliers, agents and manufacturers over this time is limited, this is most likely why. We’ll be working at Enter the Panda however, so feel free to contact us!

Categories: China Trade Tags:

Shipping Rates Between Asia and Europe Going Up, Way Up! – GRI (General Rate Increase) from 1st March 2012

February 19th, 2012 1 comment

Up and up and up!

Some of you may not have heard about the GRI from 1st March 2012 from almost all shipping carriers yet. But you will likely feel the pinch when you notice shipping prices for containers almost doubling after 1st of March.

Here is what is happening and what we’re being told:


Where & What?

The increases will be applied as follows:

Origin Range: From All Asian ports (including Japan, South East Asia, Colombo and Bangladesh)

Destination Range: To all Northern European ports (including UK & Ireland and the full range from Portugal to Russia) to West Med, Adriatic, East Med, Black Sea and North Africa.

Cargo: Dry cargo, OOG’s, Paying empties, Break-bulk and Reefer cargo.



While some carriers aren’t even offering an explanation for this price hike, others are using a variety of differing excuses. The most common the reasons being offered are: Read more…

Categories: China Trade, Import & Export Tags:

2012 1st QTR Manufacturing Outlook – The Effects of ‘Stagflation’ and Migration

January 4th, 2012 No comments

CNY train station

The world's biggest annual migration

As we read and see more and more in the news that Chinese exports to ‘developed’ countries are considerably reducing it is a time to be very wary about quality. While there is still strong growth from ‘emerging’ markets such as Africa and South America, the reduction in exports from the larger Western markets creates a pressure and strain on all the factories that rely on these orders to maintain their budgeted and normal business.

If Europe and US demand decreases further there will be steep competition between these factories. With this competition comes reduced price margins and this will likely mean compromise on quality as these factories fight to survive. When your products become secondary to the factory’s survival, it is time to spend extra attention to make sure you are still getting the quality you expect.

When the bottom line is threatened, this is when quality problems arise. Instead of focussing their energies on maintaining the standards of your product, factories will be trying to get as many of your products completed as fast as possible so the next order can go through. Factories will likely also attempt to bolster their profits by blaming wage increases and raw material costs. Short-sightedness being a regular player in Chinese business, many factories will let all this happen at the detriment of your relationship with them as a customer. Read more…

For all the Cows! (we are what they eat)

December 28th, 2011 No comments
Give him something to smile about

Give him something to smile about

Recently I wrote about a little tree cone I found in my Mengniu yoghurt and how it bugged me to the point of never wanting to buy that product again. Today I read about how Wang Xiaoshan, a columnist, published a microblog post calling for Web users to boycott all Mengniu products. This was because it was found in October of this year that some of Mengniu’s products were contaminated with over double the national permitted level of Aflatoxin M1. This substance is reported to cause severe liver damage and liver cancer.

How did this carcinogen get in the products?

Reports are formulating that cows were given Mildewed feed which caused the high levels of this toxin in the milk. If the levels were twice the acceptable amount then surely the feed is allowed to be somewhat mildewed (mouldy) anyway. If your animals eat crap, then why would you not expect the product from them to also be crap? Did no one hear of the adage, you are what you eat?

Read more…

China Daily European Weekly – Cover Story – December 2011

December 20th, 2011 No comments

The following is an excerpt from a China Daily European Weekly cover story entitled “Little to Cheer About”. It deals with the effects of the economic downturn on consumers, retailers and Chinese suppliers. David Bartram of China Daily spoke with Enter the Panda about our experiences on the ground here in China. To read the full article click here.

“There has certainly been a notable tightening of the purse strings this past year,” says Shane O’Neill, co-founder of Enter the Panda, a company that helps connect overseas businesses with Chinese manufacturers. “But from the retailers, distributors and small business owners we’ve dealt with, their focus has been on cutting costs without reducing the overall quality of their products.”

This will come as welcome news to Europe’s consumers this Christmas. One way consumers are looking to save is by doing their Christmas shopping online. In Ireland, 82 percent of shoppers will do at least some of their Christmas shopping online this year, spending an average of 155 euros ($205) each, according to research by Visa Europe.

“China has always provided online retailers with opportunities to undercut the bulk distributors,” O’Neill says. “To add a competitive edge, some online retailers now want to deal directly with factories in China. This gives them access to an infinite range of goods and services that allow them to develop new and exciting products for their home market.”

As well as online retailers, the economic slowdown this Christmas offers low-budget retailers in Europe an opportunity. High streets across the continent are seeing an increasing number of low-budget stores appear, and many source a lot of their goods from China.

Read more…

Categories: China Trade, ETP in the Press Tags:

Incoterms at a glance

December 11th, 2011 No comments

The Incoterms rules or International Commercial terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) widely used in international commercial transactions.

A series of three-letter trade terms related to common sales practices, the Incoterms rules are intended primarily to clearly communicate the tasks, costs and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods.

The Incoterms rules are accepted by governments, legal authorities and practitioners worldwide for the interpretation of most commonly used terms in international trade. They are intended to reduce or remove altogether uncertainties arising from different interpretation of the rules in different countries.

As an overview, we’ve taken the incoterms and simplified them. Call it a cheat sheet for anyone less familiar with international trade! Read more…

Categories: China Trade, Import & Export Tags:

Suppliers going back on their word (Part 2)

December 5th, 2011 No comments
Give an inch...

Give an inch...

(Have you read Part 1 of this article?)

By this point, the overseas purchaser has been let down dreadfully by the supplier and had to compromise their margins in order to have their goods released. But it got worse. When the CI (Original Paper Commercial Invoice) and COO (Certificate of Origin) were requested from the supplier, they refused to do even this stating that it would cost yet more money to produce these documents and therefore not worth it.

We explained that in order to export the products these documents were required from the manufacturer. This was met this time with abuse and a refusal to have anything else to do with the matter. The aggression showed by the supplier at this point was typical to a kneejerk reaction by a lot of suppliers when their back is at a wall and they have gone so far that even though they are wrong, they don’t want to lose face by admitting it or even compromising.

Luckily my time in China has allowed me to meet some influential individuals in the export and customs world here and we were able to get some documentation to push the order through customs and onto the ship for our client. This documentation was also enough to comply with import, customs and duty purposes when it arrived at its destination port. Doing it this way should of course always be a last resort.

Read more…

Suppliers going back on their word (Part 1)

December 5th, 2011 No comments

Recently I was contacted to assist in a case whereby a Chinese supplier had decided to change their mind about delivery terms on an order. This was post-production and while it was held at a 3rd party shipping agent. Initially, a quote was supplied to a European purchaser that was priced for FOB, Chinese port. These terms were accepted and the ordered processed.

Somewhere between ordering and before loading onto the vessel at the port, the supplier decided to change their mind and claim that this was no longer FOB and were only prepared to pay a small courier fee to the shipping agent. Not only did they do that but they also refused to offer a Commercial Invoice and Certificate of Origin – two documents that are critical when exporting from China and importing into your own country.
Read more…

Ordering from China for the first time

November 21st, 2011 No comments
Taking on the dragon?

Taking on the dragon?

Sourcing from China for the first time can be a daunting experience.

There are many cultural and language differences as well as huge differences in business mindsets. These combined issues can put you on the back foot from the start and put the supplier at a much more advantageous position.

This can easily negatively affect the result of your negotiations, both in terms of price and product quality.

Consider appointing an agent for you in China, who has local knowledge, experience and connections that can put you at an advantage over your new suppliers and your competition.

For a more detailed look at sourcing from China, take a look at some of our earlier articles, including:

Developing your products with existing Chinese manufacturers

Read more…