The Chinese Want Quality, Too

A young couple shop at Markhor Furniture in Beijing Photograph by Mark Leong/Redux

Lisa Deng, petite and fastidious, is co-owner and business manager of Circle Furniture—a small manufacturer in China’s southern Guangdong province that employs about 300 workers sawing, assembling, and polishing tables, desks, cabinets, and fireplace mantles. The factory floor hums with the sound of machinery, and a layer of sawdust coats the ground. Deng says orders from the United States and Europe still lag behind pre-recession levels, but fortunately demand is steadily picking up among Chinese consumers; within five years, she expects to sell 30 percent of the factory’s furniture within mainland China.

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