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Is the electric chair an IQ tax? The bosses of China’s chair industry tell you

Anji County, Zhejiang Province is the home of China’s chair industry. Anji’s chair industry has developed for nearly 40 years. Statistics show that in 2019, the total number of Anji furniture enterprises will exceed 700, with sales revenue of 40.5 billion yuan and accumulated exports of 19.036 billion yuan. One is that for every three chairs produced in China, one comes from Anji; There are two chairs at each exit, and one is from Anji. Anji chair industry has been famous for a long time, but its reputation has been limited to the industry circle for a long time. A while ago, Anji chair industry was unexpectedly “broken” because of an electric chair. On November 7, the Chinese team EDG successfully won the championship in the League of Heroes S11 Global Finals, and domestic game players were filled with joy. As a result, during the “Double 11” this year, the e-sports chairs became the most popular on the Internet, and the turnover on the e-commerce platform was several times that of the same period in previous years. At the same time, the E-sports chairs produced by Anji have achieved outstanding performance in overseas markets, becoming one of the fastest growing export categories this year.

Although the COVID-19 hit us head-on last year, we didn’t expect the upsurge of home economy and the demand for home office generated by the epidemic, which enabled enterprises to achieve growth against the trend, especially the export growth of e-sports chairs.

Around 2013, the prototype of the electric racing chair appeared in the Anji industry: “At that time, we called this chair ‘racing chair’, and the modeling design imitated the bucket seats of racing cars and sports cars. The main selling point was cool appearance.” The racing chair did not cause too much water splash in the market, but soon, the domestic e-sports industry ushered in a development opportunity. Marked by the decision of the General Administration of Sport of the People’s Republic of China to establish a national team of e-sports in March 2013, the concept of “e-sports” has gradually become popular among young people. At the same time, the popularity of competitive online games represented by League of Heroes in China has brought business opportunities to Anji bosses who have a keen sense of smell – the “E-sports chair”, which has grafted the concept of E-sports on the basis of the existing racing chair, came into being at the historic moment.

To some extent, it can really be considered that Anji’s chair industry bosses “invented” the E-sports chair. Due to the high transparency within the industry, local chair enterprises in Anji soon began to test water to produce this fashionable new product. With Anji as the source, peers in Guangdong, Henan and other places are also competing to follow suit. E-sports chairs are gradually becoming a separate category of furniture.

More than 80% of the chairs produced by Anji are exported, and the e-sports chairs produced by Anji have also quickly occupied a place in the overseas market, with a good response in the European, American and Southeast Asian markets. In contrast, in the domestic e-sports chair market, there are many brands in recent years, with prices ranging from hundreds of yuan to tens of thousands of yuan, and the quality is mixed. As the E-sports chairs have gradually become the “standard configuration” for game players, the low-end E-sports chairs have become the hardest hit area in the price war.
There is a consensus within the Anji chair industry that there is little room for the expansion of e-sports chairs. In the face of the global high-end market, the development ability and brand influence of Anji enterprises that focus on cost performance are not enough; However, if we enter the low-end market, we will have to continuously lower profits and participate in the price war. The export business of Anji E-sports chairs also has worries. Since last year, the prices of bulk commodities and sea transportation have risen again and again, reducing the profit margins of foreign trade enterprises; International shipping has not returned to normal, and one container is hard to find, resulting in a sharp increase in enterprise inventory risk. To sum up, the housing economy market derived from the epidemic has come to an end. After the noise, it may be another round of reshuffle waiting for Anji chair industry.

Statistics show that the number of Chinese E-sports users will reach 500 million by 2020. Some institutions predict that the E-sports market will exceed 180 billion yuan in 2021 and 215.66 billion yuan in 2022. The huge market volume brings about the imagination space of E-sports chairs and related E-sports extension industries.


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