• Thomas Russell

Chinese officials say DaVinci's ‘Italian' furniture made in China

But company CEO says it was produced in Italy
SHANGHAI, China — China customs agency officials say that furniture that retailer DaVinci Furniture said was imported from Italy was actually made in China and later stocked in a bonded warehouse to be able to claim status as an imported product, according to news reports on English.Eastday.com and ChinaDaily.com.

The report came several days after news broke on China Central TV reported a claim that furniture DaVinci said was made in Italy was made in China. The station also said customers were upset with DaVinci after buying furniture they thought was solid wood, but actually was made with particleboard.

The issue has arisen largely due to DaVinci's reputation for selling quality, higher end furniture made overseas, reports said.

China Daily reported that DaVinci general manager Panzhuang Xiuhua said at a press conference Thursday that the furniture in question was indeed made in Italy. However, she added that certain furniture with American names sold in its stores was made in Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Indonesia and China.

At the press conference, a tearful company CEO Doris Phua also said that the Italian brands it sold were produced in Italy, China news source Eastday.com reported. She also accused a Chinese manufacturer mentioned in the CCTV report of copying DaVinci's designs.

Eastday.com said the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau found that the furniture DaVinci said was imported was made in China and shipped to a bonded zone before it was stored in a Shanghai warehouse. Products that are transported to a bonded zone for at least one day are said to be imported rather than domestic, a bureau official told Eastday.com.

Chinese authorities continue to investigate the matter for possible violations of consumers' interests, China Daily said.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday
trussell@furnituretoday.com

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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