Are China made lifts the reason for recent accidents involving lift malfunctions?

picture credit: CNA

A letter writer to TODAY newspaper saying that he is very concerned about the recent spate of accidents involving lifts malfunctioning has asked if China-made lifts are the reason for such breakdowns.

The letter writer, Patrick Tan Choon Hong, said that “before the Lift Upgrading Programme began, the majority of the lifts were manufactured by the Japanese. With no serious accidents happening, the lifts appeared reliable, something the world could say about Japanese engineering quality.”

He said that he noticed that the upgraded lifts in the HDB estates are supplied by Chinese manufacturers and wondered if there is “some compromise in quality, reliability and thus safety in our housing estates, compared with Japanese lifts.”

Mr Tan pointed out how a Japanese-made car is more reliable than a China-made one to prove his point about the difference in quality between the lifts made by the manufacturers from the two different countries.

The town councils where the last three lift malfunctioning accidents happened are managed by EM Services. EM Services is a joint venture between the HDB and Keppel Land. On its website it said, “We pride ourselves as a leader in the property management services field.”

On its website, EM Services also said that they are the sole agent for the sale and installation of Chinese brand lifts, Shenyang Brilliant Elevators. It’s not known if the malfunctioned lifts in the above 2 incidents came from Shenyang Brilliant Elevators but some netizens have reported interesting story about the elevator.
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A contributor to this website pointed out a few days ago how EM Services stated on its website that they were awarded the 7th, 10th and 19th term contract for the HDB Lift Upgrading Projects (LUP) comprising of 2,200 lifts.

“Presumably, since they are the sole agent for Shenyang Brilliant Elevators, they would be installing the Chinese lifts in the HDB LUP contracts they have clinched,” he said.

Adding: “The logo of Shenyang Brilliant Elevators would not be seen in these elevators for the LUP programme. Instead, EM logo will be used.”


The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has said that they are auditing lifts islandwide with the intention to review lift regulations later this year.

Members of Parliament have said that the review should take into account factors such as the quality of lifts used and the increasingly heavy use of lifts.