Foshan city in Guangdong Province is the hub of China's ceramic production. Nearly 80 percent of the country's 1,400 producers involved in the probe are based there. How will the companies there cope with what could be their biggest-ever crisis?
Chen Yanbin is the president of Yashi Gaofu Ceramics. Though his company ranks second on the EU's blacklist, he's not as restless as he would been before. Instead, he's very clear on what to do.
Chen Yanbin, president of Yashi Gaofu Ceramics Co., said, "We will definitely protest. And we're busy collecting the paperwork."
This is what most companies in Foshan have chose to do. They're uniting to defend themselves."
Lan Weibin, director of China Ceramics Industry Assoc.,said, "The companies are much more positive in protesting as a group than we expected. We've arranged consultation and employed a large team of about 1,700 lawyers to fight the probe."
The companies' experience suggests protest is their best choice. Although they understand the move may not lead to the complete removal of the tariffs, they may win a reduction.
Pu Dingxin, president of Louis Valentino Ceramic Co., said, "We'll definitely defend ourselves. Last time when India voiced its opposition, it helped win a full removal of tariffs."
The companies have been on the move, hoping to weather the storm. But for the better development of the whole industry, protesting is far from enough.
Lan Weibin said, "Low prices shouldn't be our only advantage. We need to have our own brands and each company should develop its own signature product. They should also diversify into higher added-value products. It's even feasible for some companies to move their headquarters to Europe to expand their market."
This is the sixth anti-dumping probe into China's ceramics industry in ten years. Though painful, the experience also provides many valuable lessons.