Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

WTO Rules Drive Chinese Jewelry Company To Franchise

Shanghai Lao Miao Jewelry Company is promoting franchise deals at this week's First China International Gold, Jewelry and Gem Fair to expand its presence outside of Shanghai.

After starting the practice in 2003, the gold manufacturer now has 50 franchises in other cities along with 27 outlets in Shanghai and hopes to have 200 franchises within the next five years.

Facing the new competition brought by future tariff cuts and the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement that allows Hong Kong jewelry makers to export products to the mainland with zero tariffs, some local jewelry manufacturers are trying new ways to expand their business.

Under WTO rules, China's mainland will gradually lower its tariffs on imported jewelry and related materials from the current 30-plus percent to zero to 21 percent for categories including pearls, gold, silver and colored stoned.

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