Visiting CITExpo in 2018 had the potential to be a gloomy affair. A trade show that has specifically targeted medium-sized tyre Chinese manufacturers as a gateway for raising global interest, the trading environment in major export markets in Europe and North America have not been the most hospitable, with tariffs or anti-dumping duties affecting various product segments. In the UK, we heard from a major Chinese truck tyre importer that business had effectively been put on hold with the announcement that the EU was imposing tariffs in May. Pressure had also been mounting domestically, as the Chinese government moved to bring a halt to production at factories it considered to be too polluting, which led to upstream supply chain problems, as raw materials suppliers to the tyre industry were among those affected.
The Chinese Yongtai Group, which once ranked as the 32nd largest tyre manufacturer in the world and which used to produce World Rally Championship tyres for DMack as well as the well-known Durun budget brand, is bankrupt. Shandong Yongtai Group Co., Ltd. officially entered administration on 16 July 2018. On 4 August 2018 Shandong Dongying Intermediate People’s Court published documents showing that Guangrao County-based Caijin Asset Management Co., Ltd.’s application for Yongtai to enter administration had been accepted. The Beijing-based Dacheng (Jinan) law firm was appointed as the administrator of Yongtai Group.