China is Not Alone: The Coronavirus and the Toy Industry

Release date:2020-02-21

Article Posted by Richard Gottlieb at Global Toy News

"No man is an island," and no country is either. China is not alone.


Franklin Roosevelt famously said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That was, of course, his calming words to an anxious Depression-era inauguration audience. We could use some of that advice now. Some are responding to China and the Coronavirus more out of fear than rationality.

I, like you, have many friends in China. We are concerned about them and their families and hope that the current scare ends soon.

Sadly, there will, for the first time in decades, be no Chinese Pavillion at the New York Toy Fair this year, and many familiar faces from China will not be in attendance. It is easy to see why. One very senior Chinese industry leader wrote to me that he could not attend because there is a fourteen day incubation period required for Chinese visitors to the U.S.

And its not just people that are being stopped. I saw this quote in a Washington Post article by David J. Lynch entitled: "Virus threatens U.S. companies’ supply of Chinese-made parts and materials."Major airlines in the United States and Europe are halting their cargo and passenger flights to China for up to two months." I can understand the concern regarding people who may be sick, but you can't pack a virus in a box.

The toy industry is fully global, with 86% of its production taking place in China and a growing part of its revenues as well. No man is an island," and no country is either. China is not alone in this as we in the toy industry are, due to the Coronavirus, going to feel the impact of potentially significant disruptions in the supply chain over the next few months.

Yes, the Coronavirus is worrying. Just take a look at the mask-wearing citizens of Hong Kong or the empty streets of Wuhan. Let's do our part to assure that the social, political, and economic bonds between the Chinese and U.S. toy industries stay healthy while we all work our way through this global emergency.

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