After gunpowder, the compass, tea and paper making, behold China’s next great invention: uniquely designed, wooden toilet seats manufactured in Guizhou that are apparently selling like hot cakes in the West.
Guangzhou-based Chinese toilet seat maker Topseat is now selling more than 2 million seats annually on the Western market with 80% of those sales occurring in Germany and Switzerland, reports the state-run People’s Daily, citing a public WeChat account in Guizhou. The US is also apparently a booming market with Americans buying 200,000 seats from the Chinese company every year.
On its website, Topseat calls itself the “world leader in toilet seat design, production and perfection, recognized internationally for its top quality and innovation,” and introduces itself by asking you to “Imagine a toilet seat so artistic that it shows motion pictures when the lid automatically closes in slow motion.”
From its factory in Guizhou’s Anshun city, the company fashions its decorative toilet seats from locally-sourced materials such as bamboo, straw stalks and bio-glues, which they have used to create more than 5,000 unique designs. Reportedly, Topseat also pays attention to local preferences, designing seats that are simpler in design and easier to install for practicality-loving Americans.
On Amazon, the company’s products generally receive high ratings and praise from satisfied customers. “I have never spent this much for a toilet seat and this is well worth the price,” wrote one customer. ”Quiet slow closing of lid and seat just as described. Wish we would have bought these sooner. Have had many compliments and where did you get that?” commented another.
So, it turns out that a country notorious in the West for its squat toilets (and for buying/stealing its fancy toilet seats from Japan) actually has some serious lavatory-game. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before Xi’an’s female urinals and these high-tech public pissers from Chongqing catch on in Western countries as well.
Heck, there may even by hope for Shenzhen-based “Trump Toilets” to one day make a splash of its own, if it can only leap past a few legal hurdles first.
By Máté Mohos
[Images via People’s Daily]
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat