2. To be precise, China is the world’s biggest supplier of ballpoint pens with a production rate of 38 billion per year, but it had to rely on importing a vital component — the nibs.
3. It bothered the country (not the consumers) so much that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang openly complained about it enough that it seemed like his words were falling on deaf ears.
Chinese pens felt “rough” compared to those made in Japan, Germany, and Switzerland, Li said, where 90% of the country’s nibs are imported from, costing its industry $15 million per year.
4. Good news for hardcore “made-in-China” fans: Five years of “countless failures” in, a state-owned stainless steel maker, Taiyuan Iron & Steel, declared it had “bit the hard bone” and that in two years the country would be making all the nibs itself.
5. And boy, the Chinese media are so goddamn excited about this development. They’re calling it a “#tech breakthrough.”
8. Some Weibo users are over the moon, shaking off the ballpoint pen stigma.
“When I was still at school, my teacher picked up a ballpoint pen and said, we could make airplanes and rockets but we have to import the nibs. Now hearing this news I’m so excited!”
9. Others asked a question all of you have right now: “Is this so difficult? I thought we have always been able to make nibs.”
11. The seemingly small achievement may signal the end of the “cheap but undurable” stigma of “made-in-China” products, so pen makers from elsewhere now face some stiff competition.
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