Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Proudly Made in China?

Just came across this in the China Sourcing Blog: http://www.chinasourcingblog.org/2008/07/chinas-no-longer-cheap-from-lo.html

This article covers what we all have been facing, rising costs in China, and makes particular reference to Foxconn's recent announcement to move factories from ShenZhen to northern China in search of lower costs. I know we're all looking elsewhere, and the jury is out as to where the next hot, low-cost manufacturing country will be -- in Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Phillipines? Will the supporting infrastructure in these countries develop quickly enough to really challenge China's manufacturing sector?

Of course, there has also been much talk about China's attempts to move up the technology ladder by rejecting lower cost, less value added product, in favor of more advanced, high technology manufacturing. Those of us sourcing in China have seen the VAT rebate changes that favor more value-added manufacturing.

To me, it seems that the biggest challenge for China is not manufacturing, but breaking the negative emotions associated with "Made in China." I guess I'm not old enough to remember when made in Japan was a bad thing. I think the Japanese make some of the world's greatest products (certainly cars), and don't remember ever thinking any differently. How long did it take for Japan to change the stigma?

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