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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas toy market faces China crisis.

China Toys and Uighurs.

It's November, and by mid-afternoon London's streets are already shrouded in autumnal twilight. There's a bitter chill in the air.

Yet the city's shopping districts are brightly lit, colourfully decorated and thronging with people. Christmas may be more than a month away, but in the slightly surreal world of seasonal retailing, it's here already.

But this year, the risk of a toy shortage is higher than ever. And this time, the reason lies in China, where a large proportion of the toys sold in Europe and North America are made.

Most of China's toy factories are based in the south of the country, in southern coastal areas such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

In the past, these factories have relied on a steady, and cheap, supply of migrant labour from poorer parts of the country where work has been less readily available.

Now, though, the supply is drying up. The government in Beijing has been investing huge sums recently to promote development in inland regions.

Plus some other reasons - read full reports | BBC news 17 November 2010