Shengze guitars from China try to strike a chord overseas

World Today

Top Chinese officials have spoken a great deal about improving manufacturing in China. One young man is trying to carve out a niche in the market for electric guitars.

Sean Callebs has more on a business aiming to make it on the world stage.

Raw materials are handmade in a guitar factory in the small town of Tangwu, about an hour’s drive from Weifang in eastern China.

It’s all part of a well-crafted, ambitious dream. Production, that hopefully culminates with the sweet sound of success. The finished product is called a Shenghze guitar. It is not just made in China, it is created here. It may sound like a subtle difference but it is an important one.

The young man with a vision is Jason Jia. “It’s really, really hard from the beginning,” said Jia. It’s not going to be easy to succeed in a crowded international market. “First thing you have to think how to let people know the brand, no the sales product. So give them details about where I am from and what we are doing,” he explained.

Jia said that his Shengze guitars fit in with President Xi Jinping’s call to improve, and emphasize Chinese quality construction as well as developing a homegrown brand.

Jia added that he is trying to get away from China’s reputation of counterfeiting well-known U.S. guitar brands, such as Fender and Gibson, which he said hurt the consumer and legitimate businesses.

He showed us back and forth legal documents from Gibson guitars that said he is going to great lengths to show his instruments are not knock offs, rather a product he is proud of. “I don’t want the people to think…the first impression, maybe you see some product made in China and that means bad quality.”

Even though Shengze guitars are made in China, it is easier to find out about them in nations like the US. Word of mouth is already spreading on the internet

The average guitar can be sold and shipped just about anywhere around the world for about 300 U.S. dollars.

Shengze is a fledgling company. Jia said he won’t know if it will succeed for a couple of years. But, with a little luck -he hopes the product strikes the right chord with consumers. A guitar he boasted is dreamed up, developed, and created and made in China.