You ask in your Sept. 3 issue (Page 1), “Year of the Snake?” Yes, I would say that aptly describes the Chinese business ethic. We hear stories each week of U.S. companies that manufacture in China that have their products ripped off, their intellectual and proprietary property stolen by Chinese manufacturers who make these products identical to the U.S. company's products, then sell to the Chinese — and in some cases back into the U.S. markets — at half the price.
When U.S. companies go to China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) they must know that in many cases the mold shop builds one mold for the customer and one mold for itself. That is how business operates there. It's not jobs for its people that China wants. It's not U.S. products that China wants. It's U.S. manufacturing technology and ingenuity that China wants, and what better way to get it than by getting some of the world's biggest and best companies to send over part prints and mold drawings?
U.S. companies have asked for this. It's a double-edged, greedy sword. It's too expensive to manufacture here, so they take the work to Asia. Once there, the Chinese can duplicate the products, make these products in their own factories and sell these rip-off products to the millions of Chinese people.
Where does that leave U.S. companies? In many cases, competing with their own products. Their short-sightedness and quest for profit and shareholder value is leading U.S. manufacturers down the road to destruction.
I personally know of several large U.S. manufacturers that are fighting piracy of their products, yet they continue to take work to China where their products are ripe for the plucking. I challenge these big original equipment manufacturers — and you know who you are — to step to the forefront of this battle and tell us about the problems you're having trying to protect your patents on those products you make in China.
China wants to play in the global game, but it wants to play by its own rules. The U.S. government is abetting pirating of products, and intellectual and proprietary property by allowing the Chinese to have Most Favored Nation trading status. Wake up all you OEMs, before you find yourselves put out of business by your own Chinese-made products.
American Mold Builders Assn.