Fifty-year-old Fu Erqiang heads the Friendship Intelligent Electric Appliance Factory, a manufacturer of adult sex toys in Fushun, Liaoning Province. The factory has more than 10 employees and is responsible for such products as the Sexual Love Chair, the Sexual Love Magic Ball (video clip of the “Magic Ball”) and Fu’s favorite, the Passionate Knight sexual love apparatus for women. Shanghaiist caught up with Fu at the second annual China International Adult Toys and Reproductive Health Exhibition, also known as the Adult Expo or the Adult-Care Expo, which ran July 29-31 at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center in Shanghai’s Hongqiao area. (Click here for more photos of the event.)
How many products does your company make? We have four products now. Two of them are new. The old products are actually better than the new ones. This one is especially good, the Passionate Knight. It’s a remake of last year’s product. This product has all the moves, starting from the beginning of making love until the end including ejaculation and orgasm. We added some new functions to this product.
Did you invent these products? This is our patented product. We invented this product and started producing this product and I own the patent. I’m the head of the manufacturing.
How did you come up with the idea for this product? I have been to Japan twice and stayed for two months. I got the idea there. People need this product. People who say they don’t need this product — they are the ones with the problems.
Who are the people who would like this product most? When women reach a certain age, they are more horny than men. Generally speaking, women want to add more spice to their sex lives, and modern women in pursuit of special feelings in sex buy this product. It’s also for couples doing a long-distance relationship.
How have sales been? We didn’t sell many last year because a German business gave us advice to make this product better. We export our products to European countries, Australia and Japan. Our company is targeting the overseas market.
What about Chinese people? Do they like your products? Chinese people wouldn’t buy this at all in the past, but now the market is getting better. We have a lot of office lady customers, but they won’t buy it themselves. They always have a guy purchase it for them. Still, most Chinese people are too traditional for this. We got 70 local orders today from an agent. Yesterday, I had one Japanese company buy 300. I don’t usually sell to individual people.
When do you think products like this will be popular in China? I don’t consider the domestic market much. This product sells better in European countries. Growth of the domestic market will depend on the development of the culture, and the education level. People are becoming more and more open to sex. But it’s a very low process, this liberalization. It’s getting better, but the market here is small compared to other places.
How long have you been in the business of manufacturing adult products? I have been doing this for two years. I studied automation back in university. I also work as a manager for a government bureau.
Are you a Communist Party Member? Um, uh, er … No.
How did you get involved in the adult products industry? I went to Japan and found that the market for sex products was promising. That’s why I started. I saw that they had a high quality product and I wanted to make an even higher quality product. In China, labor resources are good, costs are low, material costs are low. In Japan they have these products, but I can produce them much cheaper here in China
How do people back in Liaoning react when you tell them what you do for a living? I don’t tell them. There is no need. I don’t tell other people what I do because it’s not necessary.
What about your friends? What do you tell them? Some of my friends know what am I doing, and they think it’s just another career. But when people ask, I usually say I work for the government.
Did you attend last year’s Sex Expo in Shanghai? Yes, I was here. We met a German customer who asked about this product in a very serious way. But we didn’t do business with his company since our product still needed improvement. Last year’s product was only semi-finished.
How do your products sell in Shanghai? These products sell best in Shanghai compared with other major cities in China like Beijing and Guangzhou. But I have been to other countries such as Thailand and Japan, too. In Japan, the price of the same product is five times higher than what we sell them here for.
Are you married? Am I married? My kids are married.
What does your wife think about your manufacturing business? My wife doesn’t say anything about these products. She doesn’t care about it.
Is satisfaction guaranteed with your products? There is no way that people won’t be satisfied with our products. This product is equal to 10 men. How do you think she will still be unsatisfied?
Ten men? That sounds painful. You can adjust the level of intensity.
Can we take your photo? Who is this interview for again?
A website. A Shanghai website. It’s not a porn website, is it?
No. Not really. OK.
Luis Tapia helped with this interview. Translation by Zat Liu.
More about the Sex Expo at Shanghai Diaries.
Interview is a regular feature on Shanghaiist. Know someone in Shanghai you think would make for a good interview? Email tips(@)shanghaiist.com.