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Industrial Designs Win Honors for Their Good Looks and Added Value

The winners of China's top honors for patented industrial designs are winning over customers with products that are both good-looking and practical.

The Awards for Outstanding Chinese Industrial Designs were bestowed on the top 10 winners at the opening ceremony of the 16th China (Wuxi) International Design Expo held from Nov 14-16 in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu province.

"Good designs enhance not only the quality and functionality of a particular product, but also its attractiveness and added value," said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the National Intellectual Property Administration. CNIPA organizes the awards in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization on an annual basis.

The manufacturing industry is paying increasing attention to the important role of design in product development and marketing, he said. "CNIPA has been stepping up the protection and application of industrial designs to help Chinese manufacturing move up the global industrial chain and value chain."

Daren Tang, director-general of WIPO, said it is hoped that the awards will encourage opinion and innovation leaders in China to push the commercialization of IP beyond the domestic market.

One of the top 10 award-winning designs was a locomotive of the Fuxing bullet train family by CRRC Qingdao Sifang and China Railway.

"The design of the locomotive was inspired by the Chinese dragon," said Liang Jianying, chief engineer of CRRC Qingdao Sifang. "The stripes decorating the exterior were inspired by the beard of a Chinese dragon."

Painted red and gray, the train has a handsome and imposing shape that resembles a dragon ready to soar into the clouds, according to Liang.

The design embodies traditional Chinese culture and aesthetics, she said. "Smooth contours, curved surfaces and science-based proportions are important features of a Chinese high-speed train."

Capable of running up to 350 kilometers per hour, Fuxing bullet trains entered commercial service on the Beijing-Shanghai line in September 2017. The design of the locomotive was patented in March 2015, according to Liang.

The Fuxing series has so far generated 37 billion yuan ($5.63 billion) in sales revenue and is in the process of being exported to Indonesia, Liang said.

Besides trains, cranes and robots, the awards also commend creatively designed products for everyday use, such as home appliances, stationery and baby strollers. A dishwasher called "Little Seashell" was another winner.

Developed by the Haier Innovation Design Center and Haier Dishwasher, the seashell-shaped dishwasher "is tailored to the needs of Chinese homes", said Liu Haibo, a senior executive with the Haier Innovation Design Center.

"Kitchens in Chinese homes are generally small," he said. "Most Chinese homeowners do not think to reserve space for installing a built-in dishwasher in the kitchen when they remodel or decorate their homes before moving in."

The free-standing dishwasher, which opens upward like a seashell, can be placed over a kitchen counter or hung on the wall, eliminating the hassle of remodeling the kitchen, he said.

Occupying an area slightly larger than a sheet of A3 paper, Little Seashell "has a small stature but a big belly", Liu said. "It can clean the dishes for up to six people per cycle."

More than 210,000 units of the dishwasher have been sold since its debut four years ago, generating 735 million yuan in sales revenue, according to Liu. "It holds over 40 percent of the countertop dishwasher market in China."

Liu said he hopes that the popularization of dishwashers can inspire changes in the lifestyle of Chinese people by freeing them from time-consuming household chores.

"The time saved can be spent with the family or reading a book," he added.

Source:China Daily Global