Chinese vendors stay home after anti-Japan protests

Many Chinese firms canceled their attendance at the Japanese electronics show after recent anti-Japan riots

By Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service |  Consumerization of IT

"There have been no problems!" proclaimed Zhang Tingfeng, a marketing representative for Xiamen SET Electronics, when asked about the riots.

"We have had many good conversations and received many business cards," she said, standing in front of display cases filled with rows of tiny components.

Japanese executives, many of whom have made big bets on the exploding Chinese consumer market, have repeatedly said they just want business to get back to normal.

"Right now it's the very important selling season for the Chinese market, and it's just begun, so we'll just have to see how that pans out," said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai as he visited his company's booth on the show's first day.

"But just generally speaking, I'm hopeful that the situation will better itself sooner rather than later."

Attendees on the show floor were mostly unconcerned with what Chinese companies are doing at Ceatec, seen by many as an annual celebration of Japan's tech prowess. An electronics repairman who has come to the show each year for the last decade said he wasn't convinced the riots were a major issue.

"I'm not sure how bad the situation over there really is, or if it's just being played up by the media," he said, asking that his name not be used in a sensitive story about China.

"Either way, there's no danger here. The Japanese don't have that kind of fervor."

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