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Local 'bamboo culture' stretches from grove to globe

By DOUGLAS DUENO| China Daily| Updated: December 11, 2023 L M S


An expat from Italy admires a bamboo artwork at an exhibition hall of Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts. LIU XIA/CHINA DAILY

In a remarkable stride toward global outreach, Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts, a leading bamboo-focused enterprise in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, is making waves with its commitment to promoting "bamboo culture" on the international stage.

Established in 1995, the company has evolved into an export-oriented powerhouse, specializing in the design, development, production and sale of a diverse range of bamboo products.

With a comprehensive portfolio covering furniture, kitchen and bathroom utensils, household items and bamboo crafts, Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts products have found their way into several international markets, including the United States, Germany and Sweden, representing 67 percent of Ningbo's bamboo product exports.

The company's mission is to amplify the power of "bamboo culture" globally. Every product represents the materials from Ningbo and the rich cultural heritage of China, and in an era of economic globalization, Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts is actively participating in international conferences and events to tell the captivating story of bamboo.


A display of bamboo-made products from Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts. CHINA DAILY

Wang Xiaoqing, general manager of the company, has participated in live online events organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, delivering compelling speeches on the future of the bamboo industry. Fluent in English, she emphasizes the beauty and significance of Ningbo bamboo, and her participation in events like the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the World Forestry Congress reflects the company's commitment to promoting Chinese bamboo culture on a global scale.

A distinctive feature of Shilin's global strategy is the creation of exclusive souvenirs with a Chinese touch. At international exhibitions, the company often gifts clients and friends with crafted bamboo souvenirs, including carved Maitreya Buddha pendants and scenic bamboo fans, showcasing the unique charm of Chinese bamboo culture. "These souvenirs are not just products; they are a representation of the elegance and craftsmanship rooted in Ningbo," Wang said.

To further enhance its global presence, the company has strategically aligned itself with renowned international brands, including Germany's Zwilling, Sweden's Ikea, and US retail giant Costco. This collaboration has elevated the company's competitiveness while establishing it as a well-known exporter of cultural bamboo products.

As Ningbo Shilin Arts and Crafts continues its journey of promoting bamboo culture globally, it aims to continually invite experts and scholars from around the world to conduct research and host thematic seminars in Ningbo, further increasing its international influence.