Trade War Humor? Zimbabwe Rejects Imported Chinese Condoms For Being "Too Small"

A Chinese condom manufacturer is considering producing its prophylactics in different (read: larger) sizes after Zimbabwe's health minister complained that the condoms its produces are too small, and are therefore ineffective at helping the country combat its rampant AIDS crisis.

Zhao Chuan, the chief executive of condom manufacturer Beijing Daxiang and His Friends Technology Co, told the South China Morning Post that his firm was planning to produce a new suite of products following the complaints.

Condoms

Chuan's announcement comes after Health Minister David Parirenyatwa made the comments at an event in the capital Harare last week to promote HIV/Aids prevention, according to the website New Zimbabwe.com.

"The southern African region has the highest incidence of HIV and we are promoting the use of condoms," Parirenyatwa said.

"Youths now have a particular condom that they like, but we don’t manufacture them. We import condoms from China and some men complain they are too small."

But any changes to these product offerings might be too little, too late, as Parirenyatwa is now calling for Zimbabwean firms to seize the opportunity to muscle out their foreign competitors by producing condoms domestically. Zimbabwe is one of the top five condom importers in the world, while China is one of the world's largest producers. China has about 300 firms manufacturing condoms - producing about 3 billion rubbers a year. 

In other trade news, China announced this week that it will retaliate against the US by imposing $3 billion in tariffs on US imports based on 128 product categories - and has threatened to unleash "tens of billions" more.

Chuan explained that customers around the world have different preferences. For example, Chinese men prefer thinner condoms - but aren't so concerned about size - while American consumers prefer softer, thicker rubbers.

Judging by the map below, Chuan might be on to something...

Map

Size