What do you think of Chinese manufacturing?

Now many things in the store are from Asian manufacturing companies, such as Apple. I don't know what people think of these products.

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Comments (36)

Jul 3, 2018

A few years ago 'Made in China' = shit quality. Now I think a lot of things are made well. Clearly there could be ways of making them with higher quality materials but they aren't bad.

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Jul 3, 2018
G-I the pharma guy:

A few years ago 'Made in China' = shit quality. Now I think a lot of things are made well. Clearly there could be ways of making them with higher quality materials but they aren't bad.

Definitely true. Big companies such as Xiaomi started to expand their product line into consumer electronics and appliances. The thing about those companies in China is that it's mainly an oligopoly, there isn't much competition anyways so it's a brand where you can buy a lot of your goods from (Think Uniqlo in Japan with basics from streetwear to business). Having went to China a few times in the past few years, you'll notice the improvement in weather conditions (outside of Beijing) and the technological advancements.

Jul 13, 2018

You mentioned an oligopoly in Chinese manufacturing, however, I feel that there seems to be greater competition in China than here in the States. For instance, you mentioned Xiaomi as an electronics (and now phone) manufacturer. However, in huge competition with them is Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Oneplus, Asus, and you can't rule out ZTE just yet. In addition, there is significant foreign phone presence in China as well primarily coming from the likes of Samsung and Apple (which is doing pretty well in China rn as while their revenues were down worldwide, the China market apparently increased 12%). This is comparatively different from the essential duopoly we have here in the US of Apple, which alone holds a 45% stake in the US smartphone market, and Samsung, which dominates the plurality of the remaining 55% android market. That's just my perspective, however, and I'm by no means too familiar with this market.

Made ya look

Jul 13, 2018

Maybe it depends on how you define "oligopoly." In China, don't most major companies only flourish because of connections to the Communist Party? In that sense, there is no real competition.

Jul 14, 2018

Well, as far as I'm aware, in the tech realm yes. Since China's CCP has a pretty strict monitoring program where they literally spy on anything, they typically force out those companies that won't cooperate and encourage those companies that do cooperate with their monitoring program. Also, the founders of a lot of the big tech companies were granted membership to the CCP. One notable case is Ren Zhengfei, who was initially denied access to the party, but after founding Huawei, was granted access. Also, note how the CCP pushed the almighty Google out of China because they wouldn't cooperate with the censorship that China imposes on the internet, but Apple was allowed to remain because they complied with China's demands. Basically, if you want to get far in China, you better get in good with the CCP.

Made ya look

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Jul 3, 2018

The era of "shit quality" apparel from China is rapidly ending, because of ongoing increases in minimum wages that have been running at ~15%/year. Low-end production has moved to Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, and in some cases Africa. Cut & sew production bound for North America increasingly comes from Central America, where competitive wage rates and shorter supply lines make the economics more attractive.

https://shenglufashion.com/2016/01/28/minimum-wage...

Jul 4, 2018

In fact, Chinese manufacturing has already represented the upper-middle level of production in the world, while cheap and poor quality products have been turned to lower-productivity countries. In fact, we have reason to believe that Chinese manufacturing has represented the level of quality that most customers can accept.

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Jul 4, 2018

I am a Chinese. In fact, it is actually a difficult process to start from the inferiority of "Made in China" in China and to become more and more confident about it.

Jul 4, 2018

Well, China seems to have managed to make a comeback from that stereotype so congrats!

Jul 9, 2018

Yes, but China has to continue to work hard and cannot stop moving forward.

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Jul 4, 2018

The speed of hardware manufacturing in Shenzhen is insane. Highly skilled tech manufacturing, China gets shit done. All of the cheap made in China plastic toys and stuff are moving to the rural shitty parts of China or Bangladesh, India, or Africa because it's too expensive to manufacture it in 1st tier Chinese cities.

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Jul 9, 2018

Shenzhen is full of cottage products, and high-quality imitations, in fact, now has a large industrial chain.

Jul 10, 2018

Not enforcing intellectual property rights in Shenzhen spurs innovation in manufacturing IMO. That being said, at the expense of western companies.

Jul 10, 2018

IP theft is real, but don't get trapped in a 1990s timewarp thinking all Chinese tech is knock-off imitation. Look no farther than mobile payments. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-mobile-payment...

Jul 11, 2018

You are telling the truth, but when people pursue low prices, the quality is also improving, and mobile payment is convenient for users all over the world.

Jul 11, 2018

You're right that Chinese manufacturers are delivering world-class quality in many product categories. The primary barrier to mobile payments worldwide is conservative retailers who resist change.

Jul 12, 2018

China's mobile payment and WeChat is super advanced! A lot of Chinese consumers don't even carry cash or cards around anymore nowadays. Of course, one of the primary reasons for mass adoption of mobile payment is that credit cards and traditional banking never fully penetrated the market- so it got superseded by mobile (whereas in the US, the limited mobile adoption is largely driven by traditional banking institutions.) I remember trying to buy fresh orange juice from a vending machine in Shanghai but I couldn't because it only accepted Alipay and WeChat.

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Jul 12, 2018

Institutional rigidity is a major factor constraining innovation for both companies and economies. There's a natural tendency to keep improving something that's working and to reject new technologies that don't quite fit in. Innovators that start from a different position may quickly over-take seemly-impregnable incumbents. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator%27s_Di...

Jul 13, 2018

Can confirm, WeChat Pay is the most popular way of payment now, especially in the cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and the various other big Chinese Cities. WeChat is also the primary way of texting too. It's pretty neat.

Made ya look

Jul 13, 2018

Ride-sharing scooters popular in SF were also made by a Chinese company - Xiaomi

https://qz.com/1257198/xiaomi-makes-the-bird-and-s...

Jul 13, 2018

One of my closest friends is a Chinese immigrant to the United States who still consistently does work in China. She said that in a generation, the Chinese will be as fat and as lazy as Americans, that wealth changes a nation. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Jul 15, 2018

Culture is also an important part

Jul 13, 2018

I am from India - raised in the USA - so before you Chinese or Asians go gung ho blasting me , just know that I am rational and not your typical Chinese hating Indian origin person.

I have a lot of respect for Chinese manufacturing.

Manufacturing is tough because it requires an entire ecosystem more than product in place. You need water, electricity, good roads, transport/logistics, port, non-unionized workers, and disciplined workers along with serious management.

In India you can't get shit done in manufacturing because the power breaks. Power cuts are often. Add to that the workers are technically incompetent. China probably has more skilled laborers than any place on earth - welders, mechanics, etc.

Add to that know-how of capital equipment. From plastic injection machines to how to forge a steel bar properly.

Despite my nation of origin having differences with China, and my general opinion of Chinese people, I have respect for Chinese industrialization. Manufacturing isn't a joke, and Chinese manage it better than anyone else on earth. Truly astounding.

My only concern is Chinese products on the whole aren't equal. The contractors for Apple are different than a small shop. Mattel is a company that went through trouble as led was found in their China made products.

Made in China is improving, but you seem to get what you pay for. Someone once said the Chinese will never say no, the issue is the product quality will match the price.

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Jul 15, 2018

Thank you for your answer and your respect. You mentioned the water and electricity necessary for the operation. In China, the government is also strongly supporting the innovation of the manufacturing industry. In fact, as a Chinese, we are also looking forward to the changes in this industry and expect it to achieve great progress.

Jul 16, 2018

I'd also add infrastructure as a major point of difference. The Chinese government had perfected the ability to churn out roads and high-speed rail networks at an astonishing rate, while inadequate transportation seriously constrains manufacturing in India.

Jul 16, 2018
WardrobeEssentialist:

I'd also add infrastructure as a major point of difference. The Chinese government had perfected the ability to churn out roads and high-speed rail networks at an astonishing rate, while inadequate transportation seriously constrains manufacturing in India.

Asia, in general, is great at building infrastructure because they don't have that pesky thing called private property like the West has.

Jul 16, 2018

Hahahaha, are you referring to so many forced demolition things? For those whose homes have been demolished, it is estimated to be pitiful.

Jul 16, 2018

@real_Skankhunt42 makes a good point, and I was thinking about mentioning that in terms of China's rapid infrastructure growth.

That said when the question is infrastructure development in India vs. China, do you really think the primary issue holding India back is greater reverence for property rights?

Jul 16, 2018
WardrobeEssentialist:

@real_Skankhunt42 makes a good point, and I was thinking about mentioning that in terms of China's rapid infrastructure growth.

That said when the question is infrastructure development in India vs. China, do you really think the primary issue holding India back is greater reverence for property rights?

Nope, just making a snarky, defensive comment about Asia's infrastructure. :)

Jul 17, 2018

Have to admit I had a serious case if infrastructure envy the first time I went through the Shanghai high-speed rail station.

Jul 17, 2018

I'm Indian origined who has lived there and abroad (USA). I'm rational and call a spade a spade.

It's not just property rights.

In India the number one issue is corruption and extortionism and the rules are changed on you, or the carpet is pulled under your feet.

Let's say you want to build a mega car factory or a steel factory. First off, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry will take 5-6 years to give you a permit. What the Minister really wants is a $2 million cheque from the industrialist.

Then there's rule changes - so even if the plant ends up getting built, the government changes, people change, different people - different policy. So the new Minister will repeal your permit and extort you until you write a $3 million cheque.

In China, they're not less corrupt, they can't and won't do this because they get executed if they're found guilty of corruption. So shit works in China.

Lastly - reverence for property rights is obviously an issue. In China you can take a bulldozer and mow down a neighbhorhood and nobody would bat an eyelid.

Best case of why India hasn't industrialized is the case of two industrial giants in India:

Company A: Tries to set up rural area mega steel factory - never pulls it off due to protestors who allege land theft or improper compensation.

Company B: Sets up a mega power plant, only to see the Supreme Court quash its fuel linkage due to corruption in bidding process allegations. You spend 6 years of your life building a $800 million asset only to see it dead and non-cash flow producing.

There's an excellent case recently. India's largest copper smelter was shut down after protestors held rallies and riots in front of the facility that it was polluting the environment.

No offense to the Indian government, but employment isn't a charity club. Let the billionaires/private sector feel confident they can make a fortune without a hiccup and the investment will come. Otherwise you'll always see private sector flocking to China where shit just gets done with 0 questions asked.

You're seeing this in America now with the Keystone pipeline. The issue is in India every mega-investment turns out to be a keystone pipeline. Only those with solid connections to people who matter can push it through. In China from small timers to big timers, it's easy.

In India you have layers of bureaucracy, rule changes, instable policy, tax terrorism, lack of honorance in contracts, extortionist politicians who frame industrial policices, so on.

India, Africa, South America - they're all the same story. Nobody is going to spend $1 billion on a facility if 4-5 years after building it the politicians say oops sorry your free electricity concession is cancelled.

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Jul 17, 2018

In my limited China experience, I found it ironic how it's less bureaucratic to do business in "Communist" China than in the United States. It was a real wake-up call. We are doing pretty well in the U.S., but it's despite the American bureaucracy, not because of it.

Jul 18, 2018

Chinese are born with customer service friendliness. They'll never say no to your requests. If you go elsewhere it's a "take or leave " kind of model. Chinese are just born to do business. They have what I call "Profit and loss account skills". That's not something every culture has. Like if you go to South America - the Fortune 500s get a you do what I tell you deal from dictator nations. In China you get a red carpet.

And this is true for Oriental Asians in general. I've worked with Indians, Americans, Canadians, Europeans. All have some level of ego, arrogance. The oriental Asians are very accommodating and kind.

Jul 19, 2018

I'm reminded of the old joke:
How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, provided the lightbulb sincerely wants to change.

Chines bureaucrats make it easy to do the business they want to do. When you get at cross-purposes, watch out! https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-anbang-re...

Nov 1, 2018

Get your brand's clothing made from Bangladesh - https://newthread.biz/

Nov 2, 2018