China calls for quality not quantity from its cable producers

Chinese authorities are urging its national wire and cable companies to concentrate upon improving the quality of its products and not just expanding capacity.

During a recent two-day summit on wire and cable products in China, Wei Chuanzhong, deputy chief of administration at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) reported that some wire and cable products still fail to reach required quality standards and may endanger people’s health and public safety.

Electric fires account for about 80 percent of severe fire hazards in China every year and over half of such fires were triggered by the use of substandard electrical wire and cable product,” said Wei Chuanzhong.

A quality inspection carried out by AQSIQ, the ministerial-level department under the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, found that of the 1,762 batches of electrical wire and cable products randomly selected from ten provinces, 208 batches were substandard.

Peter Smeeth, spokesperson for the Approved Cables Initiative said: “This is a stark warning for UK cable distributors who currently source cheap cable imports from China. Issues of quality amongst such cable have been a concern for the ACI for a while now and we have brought this to the attention of the cable supply chain on several occasions. We hope distributors and wholesalers will consider more closely what they are importing and whether its quality can be verified.

Contractors have an equally important role to play here checking what they are purchasing has British or other standard references, cable reference number or code and ensuring there is traceability and conformance certification. Third party approval ensures a cable and its manufacturer’s processes have been independently checked and meet relevant standards.”

China has more than 7,800 wire and cable companies and the industry’s output was worth more than $176,000 billion in 2011.

Further information can be found on the ACI website at

Notes to editors
The Approved Cables Initiative is addressing the issue of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cable entering the UK marketplace.  Anyone with information or concerns about a suspected faulty or counterfeit cable should contact the ACI who will test samples and if found to be unsafe supply details to relevant industry regulators and legislators.  ACI can also provide guidance where appropriate to installers.
For suspect importers, manufacturers and distributors, the ACI is direct in its approach to investigate and publicise the results. This is the first initiative of its kind in the electrical industry with the framework to proactively communicate, educate, investigate, eradicate and legislate.
The ACI is an industry-wide working group with supply chain representative bodies including Electrical Distributors Association (EDA); Electrical Contractors Association (ECA); Electrical Safety Council; British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC); British Cables Association (BCA);  Energy Networks Association (ENA); Ascertiva Group; SELECT and JIB.

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