The hottest accessory on the Chinese market right now is the helmet.
While electric scooters are ubiquitous in China, helmets are most certainly not. However, that is all set to change on June 1.
On that date, anyone caught riding on an electric scooter without a helmet will be fined.
While the rule change may be well-intentioned, it was not terribly well-timed with China’s Ministry of Public Security announcing its “One Helmet, One Belt” (一盔一带) campaign on April 21, giving tens of millions of people a little more than a month to buy a helmet.
There are around 250 million registered electric scooters in China. Unregistered scooters could number as many as 50 million. Meanwhile, it is estimated that only 30 percent of Chinese scooter-riders even own a helmet.
That puts total demand at right around 200 million helmets. At the moment, Chinese manufacturers can only churn out a few thousand a day.
To help fill that enormous gap, over 3,500 new helmet-related enterprises have reportedly sprung up in China in the past month as the price of helmets has more than doubled.