Starting from scratch
In 1981, an optical instrument factory in Xinqiao Town, Wenzhou, received an unexpected order of 50,000 pairs of eyewear products. At that time, Mr. Shunkao Zhou provided spectacle frames and Mr. Jiading Shou provided the temple tips. Unfortunatly the buyer did not make the payment, the factory had to sell all the eyewear products to offset the loans. After gained experience in eyewear manufacturing, more and more people such as Mr. Shunkao Zhou, Mr. Jiading Shou, Mr. Zijian Ye, Mr. Chengzhu Li, Mr. Kela Xia and others joined the optical manufacturing industry. Since then, Wenzhou has gradually formed a whole industrial chain from accessories, electroplating, mold processing to finished eyewear product.
From 1985 to 1990, the Wenzhou optical industry developed rapidly, but with time goes on, the domestic market was saturated, competition is getting fierce, and the phenomena such as the advance payment for dealers are severely running against the living space of Wenzhou eyewear industry. Faced with this severe test of life and death, the Wenzhou people who "dare to be the first in the world" are hard to make a living, and at the same time they were ready to go, looking for new possibilities.
Wenzhou eyewear industry started in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After more than 30 years of pioneering and entrepreneurial, it has formed a characteristic regional economy with flexible mechanism, large industrial relevance, clear division of labor, and considerable scale. It has become a collection of eyewear processing, accessories, electroplating to eyewear production and equipment manufacturing a large-scale eyewear production center, has achieved world-renowned achievements.
As one of Wenzhou's pillar industries, its development history is actually a rise up and condensed version after Wenzhou’s reform and opening up.
Overcome hardship period
In 1993, one of the largest European eyewear companies came to Wenzhou to find supplier. This incident historically subverted the way of survival of the Wenzhou optical industry at that time. Since then, Wenzhou eyewear opened the door for exportation. More and more international optical buyers come to China, and Wenzhou eyewear have turned to foreign trade OEM processing heartland.
Since then, the Wenzhou eyewear industry has entered the fast lane of development. By the mid-to-late 1990s, there were more than 500 companies specializing in the production of eyewear in Wenzhou city, with about 40,000 employees, nearly 30 companies with an annual output value of more than 10 million CNY, and more than 20 companies with self-export rights, and 95% eyewear products exported to all parts of the world, winning the first victory in the international eyewear market.
Immediately after China joined the WTO in 2001, Wenzhou Eyewear Industry has the "first case of China's accession to the WTO". The Turkish government announced the implementation of supervision and evaluation measures for imported eyewear. With the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade of People Republic of China and the support of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-Crafts, the Wenzhou Optical Chamber of Commerce led the enterprises that export to taxi to respond. In December 2001, six companies submitted anti-combat opinions to the Turkmen through a law firm. In February 2002, Wenzhou Import and Export Company and Wenzhou Shunwei Optical Co., Ltd. respectively submitted questionnaires on behalf of their respective companies. Wenzhou Optical Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the manufacturer, submitted a supplementary defense opinion. After arduous efforts, Wenzhou eyewear finally won the case.
In August 2002, India has implemented anti-dumping investigations on plastic lenses exported from China. Zhejiang Dongfang Optical Eyewear Co., Ltd., Wenzhou Mingda Optical Eyewear Co., Ltd., and Wenzhou Wuzhou Import and Export Co., Ltd, three companies involved in the case decided to respond to the case and hired a lawyer to propose to India, striving for market economy status. In November 2003, two Indian officials came to Wenzhou to conduct on-site inspections of the three responding companies. After that, the Indian Ministry of Industry and Commerce finally decided: the three companies have no dumping of the lenses exported to India, and will not collect anti-dumping duties on the exported PMMA lenses.
Since China join WTO, the Wenzhou optical industry has successively responded to 6 trade barrier cases, with 3 winning cases, 2 losing cases, and 1 case cancelled due to suspension of responding. In the long process of responding to foreign trade suits, Wenzhou eyewear industry has accumulated a lot of experience in responding to suits, and the industry has grown rapidly in the course of tempering. With the success of each case, the influence of Wenzhou eyewear in the world is getting bigger and bigger. Since then, Wenzhou eyewear has been advancing all the way.
Booming development stage
With the abundant marketing resources and network, as well as the smart business strategy, Wenzhou Optical Industry has embarked a cost-effective advantage exportation road.
In November 2002, at the Daegu International Optical Fair in South Korea, Wenzhou as one of the world’s four major optical production cities, participated in the International Four Major Eyewear Production Cities Mayors’ Forum. It has made a great impact for Wenzhou eyewear manufacturing in the world optical industry.
In January 2003, the evaluation report of Wenzhou's application for "China Optical Production Base" was formally submitted to China National Light Industry Council and China Optical Association. The evaluation team was composed of Ms. Yunyuan Xu, chairman of the China Optical Association, Mr. Changquan Zha, deputy director of the Comprehensive Business Department of the China National Light Industry Council, and optical experts from all over the country.
After the meticulous evaluation, the experts of the evaluation team all affirmed the industrial scale and advantages of Wenzhou eyewear industry, as well as the broad prospects of the development speed. The evaluations for Wenzhou eyewear companies are all high standard. The complete social division of labor and super-normal speed of the Wenzhou eyewear industry has surprised many experts. The experts also expressed satisfaction with the government's support for the optical industry in Wenzhou, brand strategy, and preliminary information talent advantages, as well as the powerful role of the Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, Wenzhou officially honored the title of "China Eyewear Production Base" awarded by the National Light Industry Federation and China Optical Association.
In August 2003, the first China Wenzhou International Optical Fair offered a large trading platform for member companies at home. The exhibition has far-reaching significance for the promotion of the optical industry. By building a large trade platform for member companies at home, Wenzhou Optical is working hard to realize the transition from "going out" to "inviting in" for exhibitors.
Supervisor：Wenzhou Bureau of Commerce; China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Wenzhou Committee
Sponsors:Zhejiang Optical Association; Shanghai Donnor Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Organizers: Wenzhou Optical Association; Wenzhou Donnor Exhibition Co., Ltd.; Wenzhou Donnor Cloud Expo Co., Ltd.