E-commerce fuels Huzhou writing brush sales

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Dec 1, 2022

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An artisan promtoes Huzhou writiing brush at a livestream. [Photo/hz66.com]

Huzhou writing brush makers have achieved anti-recession growth in sales by leveraging e-commerce platforms.

Located in Huzhou's Nanxun district, Shanlian town is home to about 400 enterprises that make the writing brush, and more than half of them have opened online stores or launched livestreaming channels to cope with shrinking offline sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their efforts to tap into online platforms have proved to be effective.

The output value of Shanlian's writing brush industry totaled 950 million yuan ($135.7 million) in 2021, up 11.8 percent year-on-year. Of the 400 companies, over 200 achieved annual online sales of over 500 million yuan, official statistics show.

According to Yao Yulin, a veteran Huzhou writing brush maker, she can sell more than 20,000 yuan worth of writing brushes in a three-hour livestreaming promotion.

The local government has also been supporting brush makers by offering free livestreaming venues and training sessions.

Earlier this year, a professional livestreaming center was inaugurated in Nanxun district. In the first 11 months of this year, more than 300 livestreams were staged in the center, resulting in 5.5 million yuan in sales, according to Zhong Guolin, vice general manager of the center.

Shen Minyong, Party secretary of Shanlian town, said that the facility's establishment will help extend the writing brush industrial chain, and can also act a display platform to attract potential clients.

The Huzhou writing brush is a traditional Chinese brush pen that is believed to have a history of over 2,000 years. The brush, Hui ink, Xuan paper, and Duan ink slab are considered the "four treasures" of Chinese stationery.