US-based toy giant Mattel on Friday issued an "apology" to Beijing for the inconvenience it caused by recalling millions of China-made toys and pledged to take responsibility.
Thomas Debrowski, executive vice-president of Mattel's global operations, "apologised" to the Chinese people, admitting that the vast majority of its toys were recalled as a result of design flaws rather than manufacturing errors, Xinhua news agency reported.
Director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Li Changjiang, during a meeting in Beijing with Debrowski, said four persons, alleged to have provided substandard paint to Lida Plastic Toys Co. Ltd, a contract manufacturer of Mattel, have been arrested.
"The suspects can expect criminal sentences," he said without revealing their names.
Lida's boss Zhang Shuhong committed suicide after the Mattel carried out the recall recently.
Li said that more than 300 domestic toy makers have had their business licenses suspended or revoked in a national quality overhaul.
Debrowski was not available to comment after the meeting. But a statement from Mattel said that a total of 17.4 million toys had been recalled because of loose magnets and those recalled because of impermissible levels of lead numbered 2.2 million.
"The magnet-related recalls were due to emerging issues concerning design and this has nothing to do with whether the toys were manufactured in China," the Mattel's statement said.