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Brush industry thrives in E China's small town

Pub Date:2023-08-01 08:57 Source:People's Daily

With a permanent population of over 90,000, and more than 30,000 of whom being engaged in the brush industry, Yuantan town in Qianshan city, east China's Anhui Province is dubbed "China's brush hub." Last year, the output value of Yuantan's brush industry exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).

Yuantan produces many kinds of brushes, including paintbrushes, industrial brushes, bristle brushes, steel brushes, brushes for sanitation vehicles, household brushes and brushes for cleaning precision instruments, among which brushes for sanitation vehicles, industrial brushes and household brushes comprise a growing share of the domestic market and are sold to more than 70 countries and regions in the world.

Chu Wenming, general manager of Anhui Liushunda Brush Industry Co., Ltd., was one of the first persons in the town to open a small brush company.

"Back then, there were 100 to 200 brush companies in Qianshan, all of which were small workshops. They had no unified standards to follow or stable sales channels through which they could sell their products," Chu recalled.

At the start of the 21st century, the local government built an industrial park for private companies, inviting small workshops to settle in the park, while rolling out differentiated policies to support the businesses.

The government also attracted investments for local brush manufacturers. Thanks to these efforts, Yuantan's brush industry began marching toward standardized development and industrial clusters started to emerge in the town.

The government's help injected energy into local companies. After resigning from a foreign trade company, Xu Yanmiao founded Anhui Huanmei Brush, which is the first brush manufacturer in Qianshan to achieve an output value exceeding 100 million yuan.

The number of business entities in Yuantan has increased to nearly 5,000 from over 200 in 2010. The size of the industry expanded nearly nine times over the course of 10 years. In 2019, the China National Light Industry Council granted Yuantan the title "China's brush hub."

Yuantan had tried to develop other industries but didn't succeed.

Qianshan city then decided to develop the brush industry. Since 2011, the city has made continuous efforts to boost the brush industry.

The local government has built various platforms, including a 7-square-kilometer brush industrial park that has brought together 175 enterprises and a 100,000-square-meter high-tech venture park which is aimed at attracting medium, small and micro enterprises, as well as newly signed projects, and helping upgrade these enterprises and projects.

In November 2022, the first China (Yuantan) International Brush Industry Exhibition was held in Yuantan town, which attracted the participation of 120 enterprises from home and abroad.

In 2017, the Anhui Brush Chamber of Commerce was established in Yuantan, becoming Anhui's first provincial-level chamber of commerce of an industry built in a town.

Yuantan is also home to Anhui's first public bonded warehouse built in a town.

The brush industry of Yuantan has seen explosive growth since 2017, with its output value expanding by 1 billion yuan each year.

A brush product independently developed by Anhui Qianshan Yida Brush Co., Ltd. is used on China's first domestically-built large passenger jet C919.

"The product is used to clean aluminum sheets on aircraft wings. In the past, the item was imported. We spent two years on researching and developing relevant technologies and revised our design more than 10 times before finally signing the order," said Wang Wenbin, general manager of the company.

Brush companies in Yuantan have carried out cooperation with universities including Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Hefei University of Technology, to try to leverage the latter's innovation resources. They also collaborated with Anhui University of Technology to build a brush industry engineering technology research center. The brush companies in Yuantan have filed 185 patents.

Technology has empowered the upgrading of the brush industry in Yuantan, and the broad overseas market has created a wider space for the industry to grow. Anhui Huanmei Brush was the first brush company in Yuantan to start to engage in foreign trade. The annual output value of Huanmei has approached 100 million yuan, and 60 percent of the company's products are sold overseas.

Editor:Zheng Chen

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