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BUSINESS & TECH

China Steelmaker Finally Puts the Ball in Ballpoint Pen

By Coco Feng
China, the world’s leading maker of ballpoint pens, has finally mastered the craft of making the tiny balls that are the pens’ central component. Photo: IC
China, the world’s leading maker of ballpoint pens, has finally mastered the craft of making the tiny balls that are the pens’ central component. Photo: IC

(Beijing) — China may be the world’s largest maker of ballpoint pens, but it has not been able to master the craft of making the tiny ball-holding sockets that are a key component in one of the world’s most popular writing tools — at least until now.

After a five-year effort, spurred by comments from China’s premier, a northern Chinese steelmaker has finally joined a small but elite group of global companies that can make the steel for the sockets that look simple but require super-high-tech precision.

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