Mattel has been exploiting the cheap labor of China for years to make its toys, but what do people in China think of them? Apparently, they are refusing to buy them for their own kids.
The company, which is currently pushing hard to grow their Chinese market, are trying to get little girls excited about Barbie dolls, but is having a particularly hard time doing so. Mattel has since failed opening a Barbie flagship store in Shanghai in 2009, and is now attempting new ways to fit Barbie into the Chinese market. Helen Wang argues in Forbes:
Mattel didn't quite understand what Chinese girls and young women want. The Chinese concept of "femininity" is very different from that of American. In China, "feminine" is more about sweet and soft rather than smart and strong, more about gentle and loving rather than dazzling and fashion-forward. Although it has created a Chinese Barbie Ling with black hair who wears Chinese attire, Mattel failed to understand what Ling would represent in order to appeal to Chinese girls.
Barbie's renewed campaign in China may be a sign that the [Made in China] writing on her butt may soon change again, or, to put it another way, Mattel may begin shifting its manufacturing elsewhere.
So is the only strategy for Mattel to manufacture them elsewhere? [Quartz]
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