Rather than just sharing yet another story about allegations of quality control issues in Chinese-made products, I think I'll share a story from a different perspective -- the perspective of a Chinese manufacturer. This story from the Chicago Tribune is interesting, because it's built around the point of view of of a Shenzhen executive, as well as U.S. buyers and government officials. It's striking how the factory owner's complaints sound so similar to the complaints we've heard from North American factory owners. Here's a taste:
Sitting in a windowless conference room surrounded by the remote-control toy Ferraris and Mercedes he sells the world over, factory owner Kuma Gu summed up what it's like to manufacture products for American consumers these days. "A lot of Chinese companies have a saying," he said between drags on a cigarette. "Do you want to kill yourself? Then do business with Wal-Mart."Gu and others go on to complain about high resin costs, rising labor costs, and market pressures that have led to safety problems. There's also an interesting interview with Jiang Ling, Dongguan's vice mayor for economic development, who made it clear that the government is taking the recent spate of quality problems seriously. "If the quality and credibility of our products is bad, that will ruin our city," Jiang said. "In the past, we paid much more attention to quantity. Now we have to pay more attention to quality."