Double Happiness (a.k.a. DHS) was establish in 1959 in Shanghai, China, and is by far the biggest manufacturers of table tennis equipment in China, and one of the biggest in the world. The Chinese National Table Tennis Players, sponsored by DHS and using mainly DHS equipment, have dominated the sport for many years, and continue to win almost all the major championships. DHS produces a wide range of high quality and professional table tennis equipment, suitable for beginners all the way up to the elite levels.
DHS has kindly agreed to an interview with OOAK Table Tennis Shop, an authorised DHS seller in Australia. Interview questions are a collection of questions OOAK Shop, and the members of OOAK Table Tennis Forum and MYTT Table Tennis Forum. For commercial reasons, not every questions could be answered, but the majority of questions and answers can be found the interview below.
I’d like to publicly thank Mr Felix Luo for all the time and effort he spent, sharing his expertise and giving us these detailed answers!
Interview with DHS
DHS Company Questions:
- How big is DHS in the table tennis market? How does it compare to other big brands like Butterfly, Tibhar, 729, etc?
DHS is No. 1 table tennis brand in China which is the world largest table tennis market with the big popular foundation in favor of table tennis. We compare ourselves as the first class manufacturer and professional sports company in table tennis against Butterfly, Tibhar and 729, etc.
- You sponsor many of the world top Chinese table tennis players, but you also make equipment for several other sports. What portion of the DHS company is related to table tennis equipment?
Correct! We have sponsored many table tennis players, including 1st tier and 2nd tier Chinese national team players who represent the most competitive level in the field of global table tennis. Also, we sponsor the players in Australia like Lucas Lum and Nicholas Lum, some players in New Zealand, Europe, USA and Asia, etc.
As for the other equipment besides table tennis for over 60 years, our brand is also known in badminton for 16 years, in basketball, soccer ball, volleyball for 13 years as well as weightlifting equipment for 30 years. Table tennis is mainly our largest portion of DHS company, and then badminton, basketball, soccer ball, volleyball and weightlifting.
- How many staff do you have in the company, and how many scientists do you have working on developing new table tennis products?
Total about 200 people in our company excluding factory staff, but the number and information of scientists is not public.
- What’s the relationship between DHS and Li-Ning?
Li-Ning invests in DHS and is one our our shareholders. Our two companies cooperate with each other in many fields.
- Does DHS have an official distributor in every country? Do you have one in Malaysia ?
Not every country, but we are working on cooperating with local distributor to sell our products there. Yes, we have one in Malaysia. What is special with Malaysia?
- Do you sponsor any players outside China? If so, how does one apply to get sponsored by DHS?
Yes, like I answered previously. We need to see the player’s profile & playing video and evaluate through discussion.
DHS Equipment Questions:
Some of your rubbers, like Hurricane, have a sponge hardness on the package. Is this hardness measured for each rubber sheet, or do you make a large quantity of rubbers with all the same hardness?
Normally, we have all rubbers labeled with hardness on the package. We measure the sponge hardness instead of top sheet for each rubber. Not each batch of rubber has the same hardness, so we will pick up the sponge and measure its hardness and allocate it to the corresponding hardness.
- Do you have different equipment to make the National and Provincial rubbers, or are these rubbers selected from a production run of Commercial rubbers? What is the difference in characteristics between commercial, provincial and national versions? What is the difference between blue and orange sponge?
The commercial, provincial and national versions rubbers are produced together but selected with different criteria. The main difference is the less tolerance on hardness and thickness of provincial and national rubbers.
Difference between blue and orange sponge rubbers:
On the basis of same strength, the catapult depth of blue sponge is thicker than orange sponge. However, the tenacity of orange sponge is greater than blue one. That means the orange sponge rubber is more natural and easier to create trajectory. While the blue sponge rubber leaves with more time to adjust but requires player to have a bigger strength to sustain the catapult. Unless the player can maintain the strength during the complete process of catapult, his/her hit is not stable with blue sponge rubber. Especially for underspin loop drive, the player can feel less heavier by using orange sponge rubber than blue sponge one.
- A few years ago, Provincial and National rubbers were only available within China. National was only made for National players, and was no sold with packaging. Now both Provincial and National are both made in DHS packaging but only available via a select few DHS distributors. Why the change, and what can we expect in future? Are these National rubbers that you now sell the same as the ones given to the National players?
First, the provincial and national rubbers are small in quantity. A few years ago, we only provide these for professional players instead of for commercial markets. Due to the selected quality and main portion to sponsor the professional players, the commercial market is still short of supply despite that our company improves our production capacity to offer a certain number of provincial and national rubbers to meet the strong demand from customers. The national rubbers for market is the same in quality with what we offer national players, while there will be difference in thickness and hardness due to the requirement from different players.
- It’s widely reported that there are many fake DHS rubbers and blades on the Chinese market. How do you fight this? How can customers check that they have a genuine rubber or blade?
We adhere to fight against the fake DHS goods in Chinese market or any other market in the world. Our company especially sets an independent department to fight this. Besides, customers can check the authenticity of our products on our company website.
- Given that Hurricane 3 Neo Blue Sponge are used by all CNT players (essentially the top players in the world) & still not easily available to the rest of the world, is there a reason (political or otherwise) why this demand & supply imbalance has not been addressed? It seems DHS is missing out on millions of $ of sales by not making this product widely and easily available.
I think it is the same answer to question No.3.
- What is that glue-like layer on the back of Hurricanes Neo rubber for?
This layer is factory tuned to offer better speed and elasticity as ITTF regulates that the speed glue is not allowed for rubbers.
- DHS has an interesting collaboration with Nittaku on some products. Is the Nittaku Hurricane 3 Pro Turbo Blue rubber supposed to be the readily commercially available version of the DHS Hurricane 3 blue sponge national rubbers?
We have the collaboration with Nittaku and develop some products together. However, the Nittaku Hurricane 3 Pro Turbo Blue rubber is not the same with commercially available version of the DHS Hurricane 3 blue sponge national rubber.
- Will Hurricane 3 with the #60 sponge be produced?
It is not know yet, but currently the Skyline 3 with the #60 sponge and Hurricane 3 with the #50 sponge are available.
- Is it possible to make softer sponged versions of Hurricane 3 (36 or 37 degree) more readily available for the western/European market?
I think so. But the quantity of the softer sponge versions of Hurricane 3 (36 or 37 degree) is small and quite short of supply.
- I have seen a purple sponge version of the Hurricane 3 rubber by DHS. A friend bought a couple of sheets from a coach. I don’t know if it was a national or provincial version. Was this genuine? Has it been discontinued? What was the purpose of the purple sponge?
If it is real, I am curious to see the purple sponge version of Hurricane 3 rubber. As far as I know, there is no purple sponge from DHS current rubbers.
- As one of the largest manufacturers and directly suppliers to the CNT why are you relying on ESN for new non-tacky rubber development and manufacturing? One would assume DHS has adequate resources to accommodate internal innovation, would this be a better move for the long term development of the company? Will DHS be developing their own new non-tacky Tensioned (like ESN Tensor) sponged rubber?
This is related to our company policy and strategy, so no details can be public.
- It seems that the rest of the world prefers slightly wider flare handles than the ones provided on the HL5 or the W968. Can DHS provide such handles on these blades? Also, what are the differences between the Hurricane Long 5 & the W968?
So far, we have not received much feedback on a wider flare handle of HL5. The HL5 blades we offer now are with the same handle size. W968 is the lab version of Hurricane Long 5 and the difference is not very obvious.
- Are there any plans to make more blades available with straight handles?
It is also related to our company policy and strategy, but currently there are some blades with straight handles available, like HL5, H301 and PG7.
Other DHS Equipment Questions:
- What quality controls do you use in their production (rubbers and blades)?
We implement internal quality control on all our products according to the ITTF standard.
- Why does DHS not produce anti-spin rubbers?
It is related to our company policy and strategy, so there is no specific reason.
- Some rubber on the ITTF LARC do not appear to be available, at least not in Western countries. What is the reason for this?
Some rubbers are no longer produced, so they do not appear to be available. Some rubbers without ITTF code were canceled from ITTF LARC according to the requirement of ITTF, and the same type of rubbers with ITTF code are still available on ITTF LARC.
End of Interview