3M rules China’s mask market

Source:People.cn Published: 2017/1/24 9:45:24

Despite the huge need for masks due to frequent and severe smog, China has been slow to take advantage of the mask market, which is currently dominated by US company 3M.

3M ranked as the top mask manufacturer in 2015, followed by Sinotextiles Corporation Limited in Shanghai and Honeywell. Sinotextiles was the only Chinese brand in the top five. An industry insider revealed that 3M may possess up to 90 percent of the market share, leaving Sinotextiles with just 5 percent of the final 10, according to National Business Daily (NBD).

3M's prominence is hardly unexpected, as the manufacturer is already a well-known brand, explained Zhao Danqing, CEO of Sinotextiles CEO.

Currently, there are over 1,000 mask manufacturers in China, double the 500 that existed in 2013. Annual mask production is currently estimated at 600 million, though estimates show that China has a demand for 800 million masks every year, some 200 million of which are for civilian use.

However, more market players have come price competition, which has led to many poor-quality products, leaving the industry vulnerable to quality control issues. Quite a few small factories are incapable of making professional-grade masks, as doing so requires precise techniques and molds. A single mistakes could mean the failure of a whole batch of products, according to Cui Guoyu, a manager with a Suzhou-based mask manufacturer.

A recent check by a quality inspection bureau in Jiangsu province showed that 99 out of 166 batches of inspected masks were found in some way faulty, NBD reported.

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