The Chinese National Soccer team ostensibly failed to qualify for the World Cup.
But sources close to the team insinuate that they intentionally did not make the cut due to knowledge of what lay ahead; to wit, that Chinese manufacturers would dump over 1,000,000 vuvuzelas on to the market in South Africa.
Yes, those annoying plastic horns that drone only a single irritating note at 127 decibels are - Made in China.
More precisely, they are produced in "The City of Toys" - Chenghai, China.
This city boasts over 3,000 toy factories and is arguably the center of global toy manufacturing. From the fertile minds and adroit manufacturers of Chenghai sprang the plastic, low-cost vuvuzela.
Originally developed on the African continent to drive away wild baboons, the modern equivalent has served to drive away all but the most ardent soccer fans.
Despite many major sporting events now banning the vuvuzela (e.g. - Wimbledon), the market for these despicable horns is expected to increase globally. The Chinese government has already approved vuvuzelas for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou - giving local companies one more leg up in dominating this industry.
"The exposure at the World Cup will expand the market," stated Chen, who was unwilling to provide his full name for fear of soccer fan reprisals, "I can see vuvuzelas at every sporting event - particualrly at American college and high school sporting events where annoyance and irritation, mixed with alcohol, are points of pride."
The vuvuzela is but one more example of technology innovation in one region - in this case Africa - being copied and mass produced in China. Like so many products before it, the vuvuzela market has been ceded to the manufacturing might of China.