It’s on. It’s off. Back to the drawing board. Renegotiate. Pause. Now it’s on again. Sound familiar?
The whole U.S.-China trade debacle and ensuing tariff threats (and reversals) is not all that dissimilar from the stages leading up to a print order placement, whether it is about striking the right deal, fixing the appropriate terms and conditions, or putting the ink onto paper. But of course, the repercussions from tariffs on print products manufactured in China are far more serious.
In the latest decision (released on August 13) from the U.S. Trade Representative, Bibles and religious books are excluded from the first list of products subjected to 10% tariffs starting September 1, while picture books, drawing books, and coloring books received a reprieve, with tariffs delayed until December 15. All other types of books—trade, education, and professional—printed in China are still subject to 10% tariffs come September.
For print manufacturers in Hong Kong and China, there is no avoiding the elephant in the room. While there seems to be little sense of enfeebled buyer sentiment brought on by the tariffs (or threats or tantrums—all of which do apply) so far, there are palpable worries of a down-trending global economy, fueled by the U.S.-China trade dispute and by other trade standoffs going on in different parts of the world. Confusion and uncertainty reign.
Reactions to the Tariffs
“Unpredictable” is the summation from Ken Kong, managing director of Jade Productions, on the trade dispute. “I still believe that books will be the last item on the list of products subjected to the tariffs,” he says, “and that U.S. publishers and associations will do their utmost to ensure that books are tariff-exempted.”
“Hoping for the best and prepared for the worst” is the motto of Henry Woo, general manager of Leo Paper’s OEM business department. “We are definitely not looking forward to any incident that will adversely affect the close relationships and strong partnerships between American publishers and Hong Kong/China print manufacturers,” Woo says. “Ongoing trade disagreements are never positive and will cast far-reaching implications beyond economic losses, and no one—definitely not Leo Paper—wants that. Having said that, we are collaborating with clients to explore possible ways to minimize the tariff impact.”
The U.S. tariffs will bring about “higher prices and a short supply of innovative, tactile, and interactive children’s educational products into the U.S.,” says Richard Lim, COO of Hung Hing, which has a diverse portfolio covering printing (especially children’s books), packaging, and paper trading. “And if cost becomes the only consideration for printing in China due to the tariffs, then there may be down-speccing of products, which will then lead to less creativity and innovation. This will be a big loss not just to the U.S. book market—especially for children, parents, and educators—but also to the rest of the world.”
The trade war and subsequent tariff implementation—whether it is at 10% or 25%, or if it will be lifted in the near future—has changed publishers’ views on their supply base, says Howard Musk, president and CEO of Imago. “It has now become a more complex equation than simply choosing between the U.S. and China for print manufacturing, and one of Imago’s roles is to help solve that equation.”
For Alice Fan, overseas sales manager at Magnum Offset, the uncertainty over the tariff implementation is fast becoming a new normal. “The negotiations—on, off, and then on again, and at this percentage or that—are very distracting, with no one really knowing the next U.S. or China game plan. What we do know is that we need to treat all these as a part of the usual business environment, where there are ups and downs, threats and opportunities, and we adjust our operations accordingly while staying optimistic and pragmatic.”
Dealing with the Tariffs
By now, most print procurement teams at major U.S. publishing houses would have done their preliminary scoping out of alternative print sources in their contingency plans, says global business director John Currie of CTPS, which supplies to higher education, STM, and reference book publishers.
“For the segments that we cater for,” Currie adds, “some questions have risen from the tariff threats: Is there sufficient capacity—especially in the U.S., where printer consolidations and mergers and acquisitions have been ongoing for some time now—to absorb the sheer volume of print coming from these big publishers? And can these publishers get the same price points, quantity, and quality that they have enjoyed from China print suppliers for so long? These answers will determine the extent of the migration and the long-term impact on the U.S. book industry and China’s print manufacturing.”
Depression in the print segment, Currie says, will then exert an upstream disruption to paper mills and agents in Hong Kong and China. “Reduced inventory of paper is one potential outcome,” he says. “Increased paper pricing is another.” As for CTPS’s own contingency plan vis-à-vis the trade dispute, Currie says that the scale will depend on the eventual percentage of the imposed tariffs. “This may range from downsizing operations and workforce to achieve even higher production efficiency to seeking non-U.S. replacement export business. The latter, of course, will take some time to achieve.”
Chinese print manufacturers, says Matthew Yum, executive chairman of Hung Hing, will not be able to absorb the cost of the tariffs if they are implemented on books. “For Hung Hing, market diversification has proven to be helpful, since we are also active in Europe, the U.K., China, and other markets within Asia Pacific. Our operations are spread across several business verticals, and we continually evaluate each segment for its commercial contribution or cost challenges—with or without tariff implementation. In fact, we have been redirecting some of our capacities and resources to other business categories including premium and promotional products for fast-food retailers, which are not operating within the U.S.”
The last few weeks have seen Francis Ho, deputy general manager at C&C Offset, and his management team having long discussions and production planning with clients. “Given the way the U.S.-China trade war is going, we want to be prepared for all eventualities while we keep our fingers crossed for the best—in this case, zero tariff. In any case, the next one month will give us a much better indication of our publishing clients’ plans regarding manufacturing their titles in China. At the same time, we are also actively exploring opportunities to print outside of China.”
Staying proactive, Ho adds, is about reacting quickly to the changes in global political and business environment. “It is always good to know what is going to happen or is already on the way. As the saying goes, ‘forewarned is forearmed.’ ”
Kong, of Jade Productions, has also been preparing for any tariff fallout, including keeping less paper stock for potential orders from the U.S. “We had considered moving print back to Hong Kong, but we found that only paperbacks are possible within the current price range. Illustrated and coffee-table books will be much more expensive, while labor-intensive children’s books are almost impossible to move back at all. The higher manufacturing cost and inadequate production capacity and expertise in Hong Kong make such relocation not feasible.”
For major U.S. clients placing orders with Jade Productions, Kong is going an extra mile in the event that the tariffs come into effect mid-production. “I am offering a certain percentage of discounts to help them out in such cases. That, I think, is the most we can do given the situation.” And in case the tariffs are levied strictly based on supplier invoice, Kong and his team are taking steps to ensure that his manufacturing costs are listed separately from the freight charges.
Asked if publishing clients are rushing orders and shipments or holding back on print orders due to the tariffs, Fan, of Magnum Offset, says, “Not at all. We have new clients looking for quotations and established ones placing new orders. So far, we have not received any inquiries about the trade war and tariffs. Instead, clients are asking if we work on Sundays—and yes, we do, since our frontline production team is 24/6, and our sales team works from home after office hours to meet the needs of our customers.”
Magnum Offset’s main production lines are located right in Hong Kong itself, and that, for Fan, is a big advantage right now. “We do not see any immediate impact on us due to the tariffs, and our printed products are directly exported from Hong Kong ports to the U.S.—and so we are not worried,” he says. “If certain raw materials—inks, plates, chemicals, paper, and packing materials, for instance—are affected by the tariffs, we will be able to weather it without seriously hitting our bottom line.”
Percy Leung, overseas sales manager at Magnum Offset, adds: “Our main strategy is to continue maximizing our capabilities, efforts, resources, and equipment while minimizing unnecessary sub-contractors costs to maintain the highest business performance possible.” And while the U.S. is not Magnum Offset’s biggest export market, it remains an important one. “In the past 12 months, especially, projects from our local market account for a huge percentage of our turnover,” Leung says, pointing out that “our clients come from different parts of the world, and there are opportunities everywhere, including the U.S., despite the tariffs.”
Moving On and Beyond
For some of the print manufacturers, uncertainties caused by the unstable U.S-China relations have turned the spotlight on the growing domestic market, specifically in packaging and publishing sales.
For Hung Hing, its successful foray into the Chinese market and ongoing collaboration with major Chinese publishers are tied to increased consumer spending on books and educational products. “Young Chinese parents with higher disposable income are much more willing to spend on educating their children compared to a decade ago,” says Yum, pointing out that there is a growing appetite for licensed children’s books. “At the same time, with Chinese publishers busy reinventing or upgrading their products with better illustrations and content, Hung Hing is able to ride on this growth for better quality books and expand our foothold in the Chinese market.”
For 2019, Yum’s major focus is to further improve his current manufacturing facilities while working on completing and commencing its Vietnam operation. “We are optimistic about the Vietnamese market for packaging,” Yum says, “especially given the current trend of manufacturers moving to locations outside of China. In the near future, we may even consider expanding this particular operation to include exports of paper products.”
Leo Paper is also taking the pragmatic way to move ahead. “We do our best to equip ourselves and positively embrace any changes and challenges that are foreseeable or controllable,” says Woo, who is seeing sales growing in China, Germany, and the U.S. “Over the years, we have emphasized and continued the efforts to maintain our quality, cost, and delivery—which is the most important element to staying competitive and sustainable.”
Leo Paper’s product range, Woo adds, is wide, and so is its client base. “We do not rely heavily on a single region or client to maintain our business,” he says. “In fact, diversification is always one of our corporate strategies in expanding our business portfolio and achieving sustainable growth. Market-wise, we started taking a proactive approach by expanding into the domestic China market in 2015, and this has proven to be an astute move given its growing volume of children’s publications, increasing demand for higher product and content quality and stricter copyright protection.”
Meanwhile, Leo Paper’s trademarked value-added solution Magic Paper World has received positive feedback from publishers, especially from those in Europe. Additional and more exciting solutions will be showcased at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair. (More on Magic Paper World.)
From the beginning, Musk says, Imago offered global print solutions with a focus on China as well as other Asia- and Europe-based print options. “We have strengthened our capabilities outside of China,” he adds. “In fact, since 2018 and continuing through 2019, we will be building on our already diverse printing plant network.” A further push to broaden the network came from the tightening of content censorship in China. “The Chinese government’s process for checking content has changed in recent months, resulting in a much longer process while increasing the amount of content being rejected,” Musk says.
Nevertheless, there are many projects, especially those involving lots of handwork or complex finishing, for which China is the only good option. “In recent years,” Musk says, “we have seen a greater demand for very beautiful editions, and it would be very sad if uncertainty over tariffs makes publishers invest less in this area. The industry has seen growth in printed book sales, which is great for us printers, publishers, and booksellers, as well as for readers, who can enjoy getting their content from a well-made book instead of a tablet.”
On the positive side for printing in China, Musk notes that the trade tensions have already put some downward pressure on the yuan, and that paper prices are softer than they have been in recent years, which helps to keep China manufacturing competitive.
Greening Is Still the Word
For the Chinese government, keeping its manufacturing industry well and alive (and active) is very much about sustainability. Ecological citizenship is de rigueur while the call for more environmental protection is getting louder. Tree-planting and space-greening activities have taken on a frenetic pace never before seen in every city and township. Tightening regulations are aimed at reducing pollutants and increasing the days of blue skies, hence the closure of many factories around major metropolitan areas and the launch of the three-year Blue Skies initiative last year. (See “Of Inks and More,” below, on the vast implication of China’s eco-initiatives.)
For print manufacturers, acronyms such as FSC, SFI, and PEFC and others pertaining to forest stewardship, are now an indispensable part of the industry lingo. Being sustainable and carbon-neutral is the goal—which is easier said than done, but the manufacturers are trying very hard.
Hung Hing, for instance, is equipping its Hong Kong headquarters wth solar panels—which will generate an estimated 200,000 kWh of power annually—and the company is participating in a pioneering project that uses artificial zeolite to absorb volatile organic compounds released by indoor applications. “Another pioneering project that we are carrying out uses advanced electromagnetic methods to kill germs in water and prevent water scale buildup in heat exchange pipes so that our water system can run in peak efficiency at all times,” Lim explains.
C&C Offset is continuing its investments in greening its production facilities, while Leo Paper has initiated a company-wide plastic-free movement. In fact, none of the print manufacturers and brokers featured in this report are idling by when it comes to being ecologically aware and active.
Printing press manufacturers are also getting into the act, by increasing machine throughputs and energy efficiencies while decreasing wastage and emissions. Presses are becoming carbon-neutral, using water-based inks, and requiring less (or no) alcohol-based solvents. Some are automating and bypassing tedious processes in the bid to be faster and more eco-friendly. (See “The Case for Digital Print Enhancements.”)
For Hong Kong and China printing industry players, any solution that will bring forth higher productivity, faster time to market, and eco-friendly practices is lauded and much welcome. Here is a roundup of seven major export print suppliers on their strategies, investments, and hopes for the coming months.
Extensive management efforts and investments in greening C&C Offset production facilities have continued unabated, says deputy general manager Francis Ho. “Wastewater treatment, energy saving, VOC purification, central dampening supply system, you name it. We are currently reviewing and upgrading these systems as and when needed to ensure that they meet with the newer and higher standards,” adds Ho, whose management team has also replaced two binding lines to further enhance productivity. “Our new Kolbus BF530 case binding line is one of the most sophisticated models in the market right now, with the highest speed and many in-line features.”
Social accountability and family support is also taking a front seat at C&C Offset. This year, for instance, its Shanghai facility is participating in ICTI Ethical Toy’s Family-Friendly Spaces program, which allows parent workers to spend time with their children, who often live far away in their hometowns and only see their parents during the Lunar New Year holidays. “We have arranged for the children of our staff to attend four-week summer camps at our factories, where they will learn and play while their parents work. We see this as something nice and beneficial for the morale and welfare of our staff and their children.”
Business-wise, Ho is seeing growth in adult trade books and children’s titles, especially in the first half of this year. “It seems like American and British publishers are trying to get their orders done before the tariffs are implemented and Brexit comes into effect, respectively,” he says. “Sales from the educational publishing segment also picked up slightly compared to the same period last year.”
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of C&C Offset, and plans are afoot to further leverage on its varied offerings and solutions in offset, digital, security, and packaging printing. “Given the advanced printing equipment and color management systems in the market, anyone can print a beautiful book or manufacture a unique packaging product,” Ho says. “So future development and opportunities are about being smart and connected. We believe that the value of C&C Offset—and the print manufacturing industry—lies in providing solutions to clients in different verticals, and that their needs are multidimensional and wide-ranging, and all this fits our capabilities to a T.”
Lean manufacturing practices carried out at CTPS in the past year has seen a lower workforce at the same capacity output but with increased production efficiencies. “In terms of cost structure, it gives us a much better position to face 2020, which is widely expected to go into stagflation and possibly a global recession triggered by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war,” says global business director John Currie.
On its production floor, populated by HP Indigo, Heidelberg, and HP inkjet web presses, there are now less labor-intensive books and Bible/lightweight printing projects. “Labor cost, which is rising in China, is a challenge,” Currie says. “For clients, the less labor used, the better the unit price of their project looks, which is also better suited to the current, more conservative market. Overall, mid-to-short runs of between 20 and 1,000 copies—on digital or offset printing, or hybrid—remain our sweet spot and our most competitive product range.” Currie adds that an updated CTP system has provided the team with the capability to produce 40,000 plates per month.
Despite the on-and-off tariff threats, there have been no reductions of orders or relocations of print orders (to the U.S. or elsewhere), says CEO Peter Tse. “Publishers obviously have had time to evaluate alternative print options and are ready to implement contingency plans for some scope of their print production program,” he says. “For now, it remains very much a wait-and-see scenario.”
Business development is picking up speed, with the CTPS team seeking new opportunities and engaging in RFQs. “As far as I can see, publishers continue to seek print partners—with improved supply chain capabilities—that work for their program. We are also exploring noncore printing business with solutions-focused clients, which are a good fit for our digital and offset print offerings,” Tse says.
Publisher M&As, for Tse, may not be all bad news for his company in particular and the Hong Kong/China print manufacturing in general. “With M&A,” Tse says, “comes a sudden increase in the cumulative number of titles, higher purchasing power, and the need to keep everything—print orders, works-in-progress, inventories, and logistics, for instance—easier to track and manage.”
And CTPS, Tse adds, “has the deep supply-chain solutions needed for the above publishers to implement customized short runs and digital printing, auto-replenishing inventory and fulfillment programs, smart warehousing, track-and-trace and anti-counterfeiting capabilities via our Phygitalbook technology, and distribution support.”
In the past year, Hung Hing has launched two new business initiatives (STEMplus and YumMePrint), kickstarted HH Dream (Vietnam) facility, and acquired Rengo Shunde (Guangzhou) corrugated factory. “All these will complement Hung Hing’s core book and packaging printing business,” says commercial director Christopher Yum.
STEMplus, Yum adds, “is a platform—or a marketplace—to help publishers, schools, and educational/learning institutions to promote STEM-related products.” At the recent Hong Kong Book Fair, STEMplus occupied 50 booths, with schools and other educational institutions, publishers, and related industry players displaying STEM products, creating awareness, and interacting directly with end consumers. (See the sidebar below for details on YumMePrint.)
As for the 35,000-square-meter HH Dream facility, slated to commence operating in November, it will initially focus on supplying packaging products to industries in Hanoi, before expanding to include export clients in the near future. Rengo Shunde, Yum says, “significantly increases our corrugated box manufacturing capacity, broadens our market share and customer base, and provides further leverage in expanding our paper purchasing power to bring about lower costs and higher efficiency.”
Business from the publishing segment continued to grow last year. “We embarked on a program to create ‘customer stickiness’ by offering more value—including handling of foreign rights sales for the Chinese market, warehousing and distribution within Asia, and technology solutions via our Beluga sister company—to publishers that have long been on our client roster,” says Yum, whose company has also experienced growth in the premium/promotional materials segment, specifically for fast-food retailing companies.
Mapping clients’ product development and design to Hung Hing’s manufacturing capabilities is another strategy to promote customer stickiness. “With value stream mapping, we are able to reallocate machines and resources to bring about a high-efficiency manufacturing environment that is capable of producing faster and more affordably for customers,” says executive chairman Matthew Yum, adding that his U.K. office, for instance, has a design team and prototyping equipment to enable quick dummy and sample production for approval, design revision, and ideation. “In the longer term, this strategy will foster better interaction and closer partnership with clients.”
Currently, the Hung Hing team is reviewing a high-end digital printing solution to meet the demand for shorter runs. “While our digital post-press machines such as Highcon and Scodix have proven successful,” the senior Yum adds, “we need to supplement this lineup with an appropriate front-end solution.”
Imago’s key manufacturing areas are now China, Europe (eastern and western), Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, says president and CEO Howard Musk. “Our clients are increasingly asking us to provide several options and measuring the cost and schedule to see what works best for a given project, and also asking for a plan B in case the editorial work runs late,” Musk explains. “If we print in Europe, for instance, we can typically deliver to a U.S. warehouse within eight weeks of order placement, and the pricing will fall between Asia and U.S. prices, and our clients will still get sheet-fed quality with strong sewn binding.”
Within its factory network, Musk sees two clear trends: “There is increased automation in areas that were traditionally done by hand to mitigate rising labor costs. Then there is increased awareness of greener practices such as moving over to plate systems that do not require chemical processing.”
Client-side, there is an interest in reducing plastics, Musk says. “If there is a plastic component, clients want to find creative ways to recreate the plastic part using paper and board, or switching out plastic tape on cartons to paper-based tapes.” His team also did tests using biodegradable shrink wrap this year. “Unfortunately, we don’t think it is quite there yet for our industry as it is still uneven during shrink-down. But it is fine for lower-end products, even though it doesn’t give a crisp, clean appearance. We will definitely monitor this, as I’m sure the technology and material will improve further.”
At the factories, Hybrid UV (H-UV) printing is growing. “It has helped us to print very high ink coverages without the need for a varnish to prevent ink rub,” Musk says. “This is a major advantage over normal offset printing, where high ink coverages can cause gas ghosting even with varnish, and requires a longer time for drying. We are now exploring using H-UV presses to print on uncoated paper to deliver bright and punchy pages as there is no ink dryback issues.”
Starting this month, Musk and his team are offering a new type of digital proof—at lower cost—through its partner Bright Arts. “We can proof on actual production stocks and apply finishes.”
Mainstream publishers were more conservative in the past year, says managing director Ken Kong. “In contrast, we are getting more work from self-publishers, who require more hand-holding and guidance throughout the print manufacturing process.”
So while it is impractical to expect self-publishers to return within a short period with new orders—since they simply do not publish that often or many—“We have received enough recommendations and referrals to know that we have delivered the goods. And that helps our business and credibility a lot,” Kong adds.
More reprints are coming in recently, Kong says. “But the current economic situation is not very positive, given the tariffs and potential recession. So we have been much more open to suggest cost-cutting measures to clients, such as using cross-grain paper to minimize cut waste, even though we much prefer using the correct grain.”
As a small print management company, Kong’s policy is to make sure his team fully understands the ideas and expectations of each client and project. “We have to make product that exceeds their expectations, or modify the specifications to make it much more cost-effective,” Kong says. “Our rule is to analyze and share with clients the pros and cons of each option and solution. In other words, we must give the client a good reason to choose Jade Productions over other companies.”
At times, the team has to question the client on certain job specifications and drill down to the rationale behind them. He cites a recent example: “One self-publisher came to us for a quotation for 300 and 500 copies, which is either too high for on-demand digital printing or too low for offset printing. He also specified seal varnishing as one of the requirements, which pushes the manufacturing cost even higher. During the ensuing conversations, I found out that the publisher’s printing experience was limited to certain brands of digital printing presses, which gave him the impression that seal varnishing was an essential element. I had to explain that such finishing was unnecessary in offset printing but would be a nice touch if his budget allows.”
The above example, Kong notes, shows that “communication, understanding, and patience are crucial to forging effective publisher/printer partnerships, as well as in delivering the right product at the right price—not just for the client but also for the client’s clients.”
For Leo Paper, 2019 started with the successful application of an investment license for Vietnam’s Hai Duong province. “We will build a new factory there in line with our Leo China Plus development strategy. This factory, expected to be operational by 2021, will enable us to remain competitive beyond our China-based production base,” says director Alvin Lai, adding that “it will increase our OEM capacity while mitigating possible operational risks”.
Meanwhile, its Factory Next initiative continues to gather momentum. “We kicked off ERP 2.0 project in the first quarter, marking a key milestone in our group’s Industry 4.0, SMART factory, and digital transformation journey. The ERP 2.0 project, taking about 30 months, will start with our Heshan factory and is aimed at enhancing the overall supply chain efficiency,” adds Lai. “Overall, our leagility progress—along with various SMART and lean manufacturing projects such as pilot workshops, SMART management, AI, cyber physical system (CPS), and Gemba Kaizen—have reignited our passion for lean culture after we initiated lean manufacturing more than a decade ago. We fully expect the lean adoptions and applications to become more in-depth and practical as we reinforce its strategies and implementations companywide.”
Green practices continue at Leo Paper, which is known for its many ecofriendly initiatives and recognitions. “More than 85% of our group’s annual volume of paper purchase comes from ecofriendly sources and certified forests,” says Andy Lau, general manager for sales, adding that “we have developed and installed a closed-loop heat pump drying system for sludge drying, which has successfully reduced water content in the sludge from 83% to 30%.”
Striving to be a green printer with zero waste and zero negative environmental impact is one of Leo Paper’s major goals. “Our practices, processes, and methodologies are extensive and continuous, and they include saving energy, reducing carbon emissions, controlling and preventing air pollution, eco-utilization of resources, and ensuring green facilities,” adds Lau, who is also paying close attention to the louder plastic-free calls from clients in Europe and the U.K.
“The plastic-free movement has taken over our facilities, covering areas such as accessory purchasing and production, where we seek to minimize the use of plastics, especially for single-use plastic products in factory areas, packaging process, and logistics,” Lau says. “This movement will be carried out in tandem with our Green Harmony and Zero-waste eco-initiatives.”
Inspiration, communication, diversification, active participation, and continuous self-improvement encapsulate Magnum Offset’s business stance, says overseas sales manager Alice Fan. “We believe in not keeping silent nor do we want our clients to be silent. Otherwise, they will go away silently and that will be bad. Paying attention to market trends and sitting down with clients is part of our culture. So is being positive and proactive in our communication and collaboration.”
Listen, share, collaborate, and anticipate (ideas and opportunities) are the basics, Fan adds. “As much as possible, we prefer going direct to the clients instead of through third parties. In other words, we want to reduce the filters and get to know exactly whom we deal with. In recent months, for instance, we are accelerating the growth of our direct customer base to include schools and learning institutions, business chambers, and art galleries.”
Additionally, the solutions from Magnum Offset have been expanded to include design, typesetting, security printing, and marketing and branding collaterals. “Our verticals have broadened to cover not just the publishing industry but also financial services, insurance companies, educational institutions, and retail industries. As such, we also offer a comprehensive solutions package that ranges from data printing to lettershopping and distribution, in order to add more value for our clients.”
Many event-based clients have been using Magnum Offset’s exhibition services. “Printing aside, we provide banners, display stands, premium gifts, and other materials that these exhibitors need to make their participation a success,” Fan says. “We also deliver the items to designated locations in Hong Kong and China. We are a one-stop solution for exhibitors, especially for foreign companies looking for convenience, reliability, and quality services.”
Throughout the 30-odd years that it has been operating, Magnum Offset’s core business strategy has remained the same, Fan says; “Keep the machines, staff, and factory running—instead of idling—has always been the principle. And since our position has not changed over time, our clients know it very well.”
Currently, the market is about hybrid printing, Fan notes. “So in the past 12 months, we have been aggressively investing in pre- and post-production equipment for digital solutions instead of on printing presses. As I mentioned earlier, we listen to clients and follow the market trends, and hybrid solutions is what we are hearing from the ground.”