“E-cigarette factories are laying off workers now. Are you still jumping in?” On October 28, the reporter of China times came to Xinxintian Industrial Park, Shajing, Shenzhen. After learning that there are two electronic cigarette processing plants in the park, the reporter tried to find the recruitment information about the electronic cigarette production posts on the recruitment bar at the gate of the park, but was responded by a young woman who issued a recruitment leaflet to the job seekers.
Shajing street and Songgang street in Bao’an District of Shenzhen city gather about 80% of the global e-cigarette processing plants, which makes China occupy a mature position in the e-cigarette supply chain. In such an environment, the research report released by Aimei consulting once made a “plump” expectation, “in the future e-cigarette market, e-cigarette technology components and device supply chain companies have a good prospect.”
However, this “base camp” of vape production is making us see the cruel reality: the “Vape Street” no longer exists, and any cooperation related to e-cigarette is subject to be filtered “layer by layer selection”.
Disappeared Vape Street
The central road in Shajing, Shenzhen used to have the name of “Vape Street”, but when reporters tried to find this “street”, it was not as easy as they thought.
Passing by the airport, Shajing station is almost at the end of Metro Line 11. Under the stairs of four subway exits, there are more than a dozen electric bikes. Beside the bikes, there are a group of riders staring at each outbound passenger. “Do you want to go?” The sound of the bike taxi riders began to appear here and there at the top of the stairs.
“Where is the electronic cigarette street?” This group of people who are most familiar with the block didn’t give a quick and accurate answer after hearing the reporter’s inquiry. Instead, they changed from grabbing each other’s orders to introducing each other’s businesses: “Hey, do you know the e-cigarettes street?” “Electronic cigarettes? I don’t know. ” One of them said, “it’s on Central Road, but it’s all rented offices in the office building, which can’t be seen outside.”
The reporter inadvertently found that, on the next floor of a shopping mall, a billboard which was facing the exit and printed with the words “Member Recruitment” was facing the exit of Shajing station D, just above the sign of SEG electronic market. The sign reads “welcome to join the e-cigarette industry committee”. One of the “rights and interests enjoyed by the members” is “members have priority to enjoy the resources or preferential conditions opened by the government departments to the committee”. However, when the reporter entered the market, he found that the whole building was empty. Mr. Jin, the security guard at the door, told reporters that the e-cigarette industry committee was on the third floor. There was no one on the third floor, but only someone occasionally came to have a meeting. It seemed that it had moved to another place.
When asked about “Vape Street”, Mr. Jin said: “There is a street, the processing plants on central road have moved to Jinsha Road.” When talking about the reasons for the relocation, Mr. Jin told reporters: “the main problem is the conflict of interest.”
Unlike some well-known e-cigarette brands in China that invite media to visit their factories, the processing factories located in the narrow streets of Shajing seem reluctant to let people know that they are related to e-cigarettes. After searching, the reporter found that most of these companies are hidden in various industrial parks under the name of “science and technology companies”. Only by querying industrial and commercial information, can they find that they have electronic cigarette component processing and other businesses, and the floor for processing electronic cigarette is usually not on the first floor.
Cautious technology companies
The policy regulation of Shenzhen began to work.
On October 1 this year, the regulations on smoking control in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”) put electronic cigarettes into the management of tobacco control for the first time and formally implemented. According to the regulations, smoking will also be controlled at bus stops, tourist attractions and other places. Violators can be fined up to 500 yuan. A woman who issued a recruitment leaflet in front of the gate of Xinxintian Industrial Park told reporters that after the US smoking ban and the “Regulations” were issued, e-cigarette processing plants began to lay off workers.
“Innokin is the largest e-cigarette processing factory in Xinxintian Industrial Park. Now they don’t recruit many workers, they hire a cleaning aunt.” Said the lady. On the way to recruit workers, it was also not found that the two e-cigarette production and processing plants in the park had personnel needs for the production of “electronic appliances” and other related posts.
After a visit, the reporter found that the full name of “Xinyikang” is Shenzhen Innokin Technology Co., Ltd. Unlike other manufacturers in the park, Innokin has a very strict visitor system. It has a security booth at the door and cannot enter without contacting the management. If you enter, you need to write down the visitor’s name, ID card number, the name and phone number of Innokin contact person, etc. on the registration form.
In the face of e-cigarette related issues, these companies are very cautious. After calling the management of Innokin, the reporter put forward the need to visit the factory as a purchaser, and was told to go to the company’s office to know each other, establish contacts and negotiate with each other before putting forward the next requirements, such as whether to enter the factory or not.
According to Baidu Encyclopedia, “Shenzhen Innokin Technology Co., Ltd. is a world-famous e-cigarette manufacturer. The company insists on independent research and development to create a unique e-cigarette brand.” Reporters found that it has a strict visitor management system.
Technology companies don’t seem to want to be discovered. There are a lot of people on Huangpu Road in Shajing. There are hotels, restaurants and gas stations on the street. Another e-cigarette factory, Shenzhen Feipuer Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Feipu er”), is in the middle of the road between a fire station and a hotel. When approaching, you can only see a gate sign of “Litai high tech Intelligent Industrial Park”. Feipuer is on the third floor of the building.
For the visit, Feipuer front desk and management staff are very cautious. The front desk said that the whole floor is Feipuer’s factory, and the production of electronic cigarettes is also here. The reporter found that the first floor of the whole building is an automobile repair workshop, and the front and back doors of the second floor are locked but bright.
In the face of visitors with cooperation intention, Mr. Wang, the person in charge of Feipuer, is also very cautious. First, he asked the visitors about the source hearing about Feipuer, then asked about the business scope and turnover of the visiting company, and understood the operation status of other trading companies in the place where the visiting company is located.
During the conversation, Mr. Wang often turned his eyes left and right, pinched his fingers tightly, hardly disclosing the company’s own information, only indicating that the electronic cigarettes produced by the company were sold overseas.
From encroaching on the whole street to scattered distribution in dark corners, Shajing’s era of “Vape base camp” may be coming to an end.