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North Korea vowed not to make Chinese wigs and eyelashes when transaction results are available – Radio Free Asia

Chinese wig and eyelash-making companies that are made for North Korea will have to look elsewhere after authorities announced that the country’s firms would not accept production orders because The young working students were deployed to other jobs, sources in China told RFA.

Wigs and eyelashes were a major business for Chinese and Korean companies before the coronavirus epidemic. Chinese companies can take advantage of the cheap North Korean labor costs, and Korean workers make wigs and eyelashes much higher than their peers in other industries.

But in January 2020, Beijing and Pyongyang closed the Sino-Korean border and suspended all commercial activities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The move is detrimental to the North Korean economy, especially for those involved in buying and selling Chinese imported goods.

Recent signs suggest that the border may soon reopen, prompting Chinese wig and eyelash manufacturers to stockpile raw materials, only after it became known that their business partners were in North Korea cannot accept chargeable production orders.

A Korean-Chinese citizen in Dandong, across the Yalu River border from North Korea’s Sinuiju, told RFA’s Korea Service Agency that the announcement made it difficult for wig and fur companies. Chinese lashes.

“At the beginning of last year, before the coronavirus crisis occurred, North Korean trading companies were able to earn a lot of foreign currency by receiving orders to manufacture different types of products,” the source said. from Chinese companies.

“State-owned trading companies, local governments and private factories competed to win orders from China, but North Korea suddenly decided not to contract for revenue production,” the source said. New fees for some items in the near future.

Many Chinese companies have started stockpiling raw materials in anticipation that the border will reopen soon, but now they have been left in a wobble state, the source said.

“In particular, manufacturers of wigs and eyelashes … bought tons of ingredients to ensure smooth production after more than a year hiatus,” the source said.

“But when North Korea informed them that it would not produce wigs and eyelashes in the future, they are currently staring at the big loss. The reason North Korea refuses to make wigs and eyelashes is because young students who need training in how to make those products have been deployed to other types of jobs, “the source said.

According to the source, the cross-border production arrangement is not only good for North Korean companies but also for ordinary residents who can make a lot of money doing outsourcing jobs for Chinese companies.

“They jump into the industry, regardless of whether it’s adults or children. Since the production of wigs and eyelash machining requires a young workforce with good eyesight and flexible hand movement, the companies will even hire junior and elementary school students.

Another source, also a Chinese national of Korean origin in Dandong, confirmed to RFA that Chinese eyelash and wig manufacturers are having sourcing difficulties due to North Korea’s refusal to produce. their products.

“Because North Korea is facing a serious economic crisis, all family members who can move have to go out to work to make a living. Elderly with poor eyesight cannot adapt well to wearing wigs and eyelashes, as it requires attention to detail. But students and young teenagers can be paid for food worth more than 10 days by only making a wig, ”said the second source.

According to a second source, North Korea’s move of young students out of this type of work shows that the North Korean situation is dire.

“To ensure that young students don’t work in the industry, the North Korean government has instructed companies not to take orders for wigs and eyelashes even if the trade continues in the future. The second source said it would be difficult for people to quit these jobs because wig production is more profitable than other jobs.

“When the coronavirus emergency quarantine system is lifted and the ban on wearing wigs and eyelashes ends, Korean companies will battle with each other to win production orders for a fee.”

According to the second source, the production of wigs is very profitable. A box of 20 kg (44 pounds) raw materials costs 7,000 yuan (about US $ 1,100), but the finished product made with those ingredients can make a profit of more than 30,000 yuan (about $ 4,600). la).

RFA reported last week that North Korea has completed a new railway designed to isolate cargo to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, a Chinese cargo train crossed the Sino-Korean border for the first time since the pandemic began, and Chinese products started reappearing in grocery stores. in Pyongyang.

These developments suggest that official trade between the two countries may soon be resumed.

Jieun Kim’s Report to RFA’s Korea Service. Translation by Leejin Jun. Written in English by Eugene Whong.



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