The Norwegian family firm Neptun Toys has patented the right to produce a so-called "diving shark" invented by The Future in Our Hands' (FIOH) founder Dammann. To get the toy in production they contacted the American toy company Safari Ltd., which demanded that the toy be produced in China, even though Neptun Toys would have preferred another production country. The shark is now being produced by Happy Crafts in South China, one of the 12 factories that have been criticised for miserable working conditions. There are no signs that the conditions at the factory have improved. Neptun hopes to be able to influence the working conditions in a positive direction, but it accepts the general prohibition of free trade unions in the country.
In the media, Neptun Toys' representatives have expressed their disappointment at NorWatch's unwillingness to play the role of business consultants. This would imply not publishing information on the company's toy shark that is being produced in China.
Coalition for the Charter on Safe Production of Toys (CCSPT) rejects the Norwegian importers' comments on the report which were presented in NorWatch newsletter 19/98. The author of the report, May Wong, says that the importers hide behind bad excuses, and that the Western companies do too little to improve the standards of their subcontractors. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Knut Vollebæk, has asked the Norwegian Embassy in Beijing to investigate the issues raised in the report.