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A woman works on a stuffed Zabivaka, the mascot of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, at a workshop in Dongguan, China. The local toy industry has struggled in recent years.   © Reuters
The Big Story

China's toy making capital scrambles to reinvent itself

Dongguan was at the forefront of 'reform and opening up.' Now its big bet is on tech

NIKKI SUN, Nikkei staff writer, and KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei Asian Review chief business correspondent | China

DONGGUAN, China/HONG KONG -- At its peak, the city of Dongguan in southern China produced half of the world's toys, including one in three Barbie dolls.

Then rising costs and fierce competition from manufacturers in Southeast Asia began to bite, and thousands of factories were forced out of business as profits shrank. China's ongoing trade war with the U.S., a key market for toymakers, has only made things worse.

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