In Sino-Japanese plastics trade today, almost all of the investment flows from Japan toward China.
But injection press maker Haitian International Holdings Ltd. is reversing that, at least in a small way, opening up a technical center in Tokyo to try to crack Japan's demanding market.
Ningbo, China-based Haitian opened the center in mid-2010 with its Japanese agent, Nomura Trading Co., setting up two injection machines for trials along with a small staff, said Haitian Executive Director Helmar Franz.
Haitian is taking it slow in Japan, but wanted to be in Tokyo because Japanese firms are at the center of technology for all-electric molding machines, Franz said in an interview at the International Plastic Fair in Tokyo.
“There is no way to bypass Japan,” he said. “It is a very big challenge for us to convince the Japanese customer. We pursue a long-term strategy.”
He said there is a still a stigma against Chinese-made machines in Japan, so Japanese firms that have purchased Haitian equipment do not want to be named. But the firm has had repeat business with some Japanese companies, and the tech center has “dramatically improved our business,” he said.
At the IPF show, held Oct. 25-29, Haitian was showing three machines in its booth, including its new Mercury series.