HOW TO HELP OUR PLANET > BAN all "Made in China" from your life !!
THE MANY DANGERS & PROBLEMS WITH CHINESE PRODUCTS
THE MANY DANGERS & PROBLEMS WITH CHINESE PRODUCTS
Note from NEEEEEXT : for many reasons, avoid all products "Made in China" (also labelled "Made in PRC" for People's Republic of China).
Most (if not ALL) of their products (electronics, hardware, tools, medicine, vitamins, foods, cosmetics, fashion and various other accessories) are harmful, dangerous and/or of very poor quality.
Chinese manufacturers have little concern for global health and the environment, but only for profit.
Over a short time, your purchases "Made in China" will go to the trash bin (so more waste on our planet) and you will have to replace them often, hence pay more than a good and reliable product bought in the first place.
Instead, buy products from your own country (better quality, I am sure), you will then save money over time (better quality/price and better service) and you will reduce the ecological impact without forgetting the financial support for your local factories and your own citizens.
Source : http://www.cbsnews.com/news/made-in-china-piece-of-junk/
Made in China = Piece of Junk
By Geoffrey James
My house is full of crap that was made in China. (Hint: I'm not using the term "crap" as a synonym for "stuff".) My house is pretty typical in that way. The entire United States is flooded with low-quality, poorly-manufactured crap made in China. And it often has a U.S. brand name slapped on it.
Over the past two years, I've gone through 3 cameras, all made in China. Each one broke after about three or four months of light use. I've also had three computers with Chinese-made fans in them, all of which have turned into loud whining electronic whistles. I have an entire collection of Chinese-built vacuum-insulated containers where the vacuum broke within a week of purchase. I could go on, but you get the point.
My kids have been bought innumerable Chinese-made toys, all of which have broken in about a day, except for the ones I had to send back because they had poison paint on them. I recently bought a Chinese-built Etch-a-Sketch. Although new, it barely worked, drawing an almost imperceptible line. So I dug around in the attic for the hand-me-down Etch-a-Sketch I had as a child. It still worked perfectly. It was made in Ohio.
Chinese-made goods mostly suck because many Chinese business people have lousy business values. When a Chinese manufacturer takes a contract, they often feel little or no actual obligation to manufacture according to spec, if cutting corners will make more money for them or their guanxi network of family and friends.
The front page of today's New York Times provides a glimpse into how corruption and lying have become endemic among the Chinese professional class. It documents "dishonest practices that permeate society, including students who cheat on college entrance exams, scholars who promote fake or unoriginal research, and dairy companies that sell poisoned milk to infants." It's become part of the culture and it's reflected in the product quality of goods manufactured there.
Don't get me wrong. I don't blame the Chinese. They're the ones that will suffer in the long term for letting corruption fester. When it comes to the stuff that's sold in the U.S., I blame the U.S. executives who were so stupid that they thought they'd be getting a bargain by outsourcing. By sticking U.S. brand names on Chinese-made products, these executives have played bait-and-switch on the American public.
And now there's nothing that you or I and anybody else can do about it, because now the only stuff that you can buy in this country is cheap disposable Chinese-made crap. And U.S. businesses, with the connivance of the U.S. government, have destroyed the manufacturing base in this country, driving wages down the toilet, so that all most people can afford is this junk.
I keep wondering when U.S. companies are going to wise up and start in reinvesting the United States, which used to be the envy of the world when it came to high-quality manufacturing. I'm not holding my breath though, because while U.S. executives are busy examining their own polyps, Chinese executives are laughing all the way to the bank, which BTW they now own.
I'm curious, though. Am I the only person who's noticed this? Am I the only person this bothers? Am I the only person who would be perfectly happy to buy a camera for $400 rather than $200, if it would last ten years instead of ten weeks? Leave a comment and let me know whether it's just me, because frankly I feel like a voice in the wind when it comes to this stuff.
Note from NEEEEEXT : No, you are not alone to have the same problems with chinese crap, the global population is in the same situation. Just avoid to buy "Made in China" or "Made in PRC" (many chinese manufacturers cheat the customers by using "PRC" for "People's Republic of China").
There is a global awareness about the defective products and low quality from China and buyers are more and more concerned to buy local and not anymore chinese-manufactured.
Source : http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-18/china-decline-quality-and-soon-profits
China & Their Decline In Quality (And Soon In Profits)
by Tyler Durden
Aug 18, 2015
Automation poses an insurmountable obstacle to China's full employment and spells the end of Corporate America's vast skimming operation based on low wages and zero-regulatory costs in China.
The general decline in the quality of tools and consumer goods predates the emergence of China as the workshop of the world, but the decline has gathered momentum with China's dominance of manufacturing.
Young people have little to no experience of tools and consumer goods that function for decades; today, everything that isn't disposable is expected to fail/break within a few days/months/years. Whatever doesn't break must be upgraded or tossed as uncool.
This is partly the result of planned obsolescence : designing the device or appliance to fail or become obsolete within a few days (or months, by luck) so the consumer has to replace it.
But planned obsolescence is not the entire problem; the quality of goods has declined dramatically due to shoddy manufacturing, poor quality control and low-quality materials. This trend has accelerated as production moved to China.
A few decades ago, things built in the U.S.A. and elsewhere were built to last : not just tools and appliances, but electronics: My 31-Year Old Apple Mac Started Up Fine After 15 Years in a Box (February 28, 2015)
Correspondent Mark G. has been sharing his experience with machine tools that were made in the U.S.A. 60 or 70 years ago that are still going strong.
By his reckoning, table saws sold in the U.S. in the early 1960s--tools that are still working today--were only 10% to 15% more than current table saws (when adjusted for inflation) that are made of plastic and inferior components that won't last a decade, never mind 60 years.
Here are Mark's comments on comparing table saws made in the early 1960s and those sold today:
" Comparing tablesaws is problematic. The reason is even consumer level American made table saws in 1960 used heavy machined iron castings, structural steel, sheet steel and ZAMAC die castings in all parts. My Magna 10" table saw is a classic example of that era. Far lower grade plastic and stamped metal contraptions are sold now. Devices of that low a grade simply weren't on the market before.
Regarding Do-it-yourself: Popular Mechanics had run a 1950s article on building a Delta Unisaw style table saw from plywood and parts machined on a metal lathe. The classified ads of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics were full of DIY shop tool plan sets for $5 or so. "
The key take-away is that tools and appliances of the current low quality simply weren't available in the Made-in-USA era. In a competitive market, i.e. one that isn't dominated by cartels and quasi-monopolies, competition would drive out low-quality goods designed to fail or made to fail by default.
But with virtually everything made in China now, competition is no longer about quality--it's only about price. Where's the competition in quality when everything is made in China? There isn't any. the quality is low regardless of the brand on the device, tool or appliance.
The life-cycle costs in cash and wasted resources for poor-quality goods are horrendous. What is the total life-cycle costs of low-quality goods that soon end up at the dump? If a table saw (for example) costs 10% less than a table saw in 1965, but the new tool fails in 10 years while the one made in 1965 is still working fine, what is the total cost of having a functioning table saw for 50 years?
Five new table saws at 90% of the original cost equals 450% higher life-cycle costs for the poorly made modern tool.
The profits from fabricating low-quality goods flow to the Western owners and buyers, not the Chinese workers. If you watch China Blue, a documentary on a clothing manufacturer in China, you will see a Western buyer squeezing the factory owner to wholesale blue jeans for $4 each that the Western buyer will retail for $40 each. Meanwhile, the factory workers (mostly teenage girls) go months without pay and are penalized if they can't work crushing slave-labor hours.
The horrendous human costs of working distant factory jobs for low pay is explored in the documentary Last Train Home.
I have explored the dependence of U.S. corporate profits on cheap goods made in China many times : Trade and "Trade War" with China: Who Benefits? (October 5, 2010)
Mark G. compared the modest price reductions in shoddy goods made today and asked where the savings end up.
Here is his answer:
It is crystal clear the slight cost reductions were obtained by reducing the material specifications and much corner cutting[/u] in the manufacturing processes. Where then did the large additional costs saved by the labor and regulatory arbitrage of the China Trade go? We both know the answer to this. See soaring income inequality.
A key observation is the Chinese import retail prices are not as cheap as they should be. Equally clearly, improvements in manufacturing technology and automation since the late 1950s should have enabled such production to stay onshore with production cost cuts and a retention or even increase in quality and specifications. In many instances the 1950s production was coming out of line shaft powered factories. Instead of manufacturing process modernization the movement to China and offshore has been accompanied by process stagnation and even a reversion to more labor intensive hand work methods.[/b]
The rise of cheap automation and robotics dooms mass human labor in China and everywhere else. This poses an insurmountable obstacle to China's full employment and spells the end of Corporate America's vast skimming operation based on low wages and zero-regulatory costs in China.
China Builds City's First All-Robot Factory Replacing Human Workers
The era of reaping stupendous profits from low-quality goods produced by low-cost labor in a lax anything-goes regulatory system are ending, not as a result of policy changes but as a result of far deeper structural changes. Anyone thinking China, Inc. and Corporate America will emerge unscathed is living in Fantasyland.
Author's page : https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1023396/chinese-power-strip-poorly-risible
Chinese power strip so poorly made it's risible
Fernando Cassia in Argentina
IF IT'S too inexpensive to be good, perhaps it's made in China. The country seems to have mastered the art of mass producing everything, but when it comes to quality, sometimes you have to look elsewhere. Of course, when talking quality in any low voltage electronic device, say a $15 webcam, "low quality" often means buggy, unsigned Windows drivers that leak memory and force you to restart the video capture app every few hours, or not very nice low light performance due to a cheap CMOS sensor, and ironically, poor Linux compatibility because few Chinese chipset manufacturers seem to understand there's life outside the Windows world. Yes I'm talking about you, Z-Star Microelectronics Corp..
But when we're talking about high voltage devices, things suddenly get a lot more worrying. When I saw a Made in China five sockets power strip for around $6.33 at a local store, and one supporting a voltage meter, individual power switches for every socket, "in use" lights for every device plugged to it, and a female socket design accepting almost every country's power plug out there - including the UK's three pronged one, the US one, and even Argentina's older two pronged and the current 45-degree three pronged one - I thought it was a deal I couldn't let pass.
Astra: chinese quality hidden behind "Japantex" and "Great Britain" references.
China's "Phantom Manufacturers"
This is a worrying trend. This power strip comes in a transparent, plastic blister with cardboard back. It's identified as "Astra", and below: "Japantex - Great Britain". Once you take it out you quickly realize there's nothing even remotely related to Japan or Great Britain in this unit. Everything leads to China: from the local 220v male plug at the end of the cable with Chinese inscriptions - by the way, assembled backwards, with the cable coming out of the wrong side, that is going up instead of down on a vertical wall socket- to the spelling errors throughout the packaging: "traiting socket", "electronic produsts", and the like.
But as it often happens with Chinese electric/electronic kit, there is no name of the manufacturer, no physical address, no web address, no phone number, nothing!. I really have no idea if these come out of government factories, prisons, sweatshops, or where. It's also difficult to blame anyone if something goes wrong, as nobody seems to be responsible for it.
Mario Bros ?
Male plug rated 250v 10A. Blister reads 250v 13A.
Power cable coming from wrong side of 220v .AR plug.
The specs on the cardboard read: "Electrical rating: 250v, Current: 13A". Yet when you look at the male power connector it's rated "250V, 10A". You don't need a degree in electrical engineering to figure that if you rate a device for 250V, 13A, you cannot put a male connector that can only stand 10 AMPS, because the real maximum charge the device can endure will be 10A, not 13. Lie #1. Then it says it supports "2500W". Let me tell you: I opened this power strip and I almost fall over from my favourite chair. I'd be surprised if this power strip can endure a device drawing 1500w connected to it without bursting into flames.
250v 13A, with a male plug rated 10A? 2500 watts? if you dare...
Suffice to say that during the first month of use, it suddenly stopped working. The cause was simple: one wire leading to the voltage meter got loose due to a bad solder joint. What I saw when I opened it was wires so thin that could challenge IDE cables (remember this is supposed to operate at 250v), solder joints between the thin wires and thin copper tabs so poorly made that I touched one and it became loose immediately. The power sockets aren't really self sustained sockets... the whole structure remains in place because of the bottom screws hold the two halves together. Once you open the unit everything loosens, including the different plastic parts that comprise the supposed "female sockets".
Missing components, poor solder joints, breaking plastic
The "in use" red plastic indicators next to each female socket have nothing below them. There's obviously a place to put an LED or a light there, but nothing was assembled. When trying to reassemble the unit and tightening one of the screws with normal force (nor forcing it) one of the internal plastic legs broke. I quickly re-assembled it with some glue and a bigger screw because just looking at its internal construction made me see images of a house burning down to ashes.
Trivia: The brits got the biggest ones
This will be no news for readers in Blighty, but I couldn't avoid noticing how well designed the three prong UK power plug is, from a safety point of view. I think everyone - especially the Chinese - have a lot to learn about electrical design and electric safety from the UK.
Time for the US to admit UK supremacy: a fuse in every male plug beats every other country in the safety department.
Power strips like this are, in my opinion, a potential safety hazard. Despite the ISO-9002 logo in the blister and a blurred, totally unreadable "registration certificate" written in Chinese, internal construction of these units leaves me wondering how these units don't self-destruct while being shipped in containers across the world. While I bought this in Argentina, I'm sure the manufacturer is shipping these units globally, only changing the male plug at the end of the cable, since the female sockets on it support almost every plug type in the known cosmos, including the American and UK ones.
The plastic is of such bad quality that I broke two thin plastic holders as soon as I touched them gently with the finger. Loose, poorly soldered joints - hint for the sweatshop bosses: if there's a hole in the metal strip where the cable must be soldered, it's there so the cable passes through it, first let the cable pass through, *then* and only *then* solder it!
Unless you plan to use it to power a low wattage lamp occasionally, I give it Zero Fernandos in my one-to-five personal rating scale. Avoid. And if someone knows the name of the manufacturer flooding the world with these, let us know, I'd like to have a word with them about design and electrical safety.
Author's page : http://www.economist.com/node/13642306
Chinese manufacturing Poorly made
Why so many Chinese products are born to be bad
May 14th 2009
The recent scandals about poisoned baby milk, contaminated pet food and dangerous toys from China have raised questions about manufacturing standards in the country that has become factory to the world. In China's defence, it was probably inevitable that as production grew so would the problems associated with it, at least in the short term. Similarly, it could be argued that China is going through the same quality cycle that occurred during Japan's post-war development or America's manufacturing boom in the late 19th century—but in an environment with infinitely more scrutiny.
Buy it on Amazon : "Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game" by Paul Midler
A response to both these observations can be found in “Poorly Made in China” by Paul Midler, a fluent Chinese speaker who in 2001 moved to China to work as a consultant to the growing numbers of Western companies now replacing factories in Europe and America with subcontracting relationships in the emerging industrial zone surrounding Guangzhou. It was the perfect period to arrive. The normal problems of starting a business, such as getting clients or providing a value proposition, do not hinder Mr Midler, who had the benefit of being in the right place at the right time.
Not only did he quickly, and seemingly effortlessly, find customers, they were delighted with what they found in China. Factories will do anything to please. Prices are famously low and production cycles short. His clients returned from their initial trips to China stunned by how quickly factories became proficient and puzzled by how much could be done so well, so fast, so cheaply. They were right to wonder.
Most of Mr Midler's work is coping with what he calls “quality fade” as the Chinese factories transform what were, in fact, profitless contracts into lucrative relationships. The production cycle he sees is the opposite of the theoretical model of continuous improvement.
After resolving teething problems and making products that match specifications, innovation inside the factory turns to cutting costs, often in ways that range from unsavoury to dangerous. Packaging is cheapened, chemical formulations altered, sanitary standards curtailed, and on and on, in a series of continual product debasements.
In a further effort to create a margin, clients from countries with strong intellectual-property protection and innovative products are given favourable pricing on manufacturing, but only because the factory can then directly sell knock-offs to buyers in other countries where patents and trademarks are ignored. It is, Mr Midler says, a kind of factory arbitrage.
It would be unfair, of course, to see all Chinese companies in this light. A few are gaining international recognition for quality, but in contrast, say, to Japan or America, this recognition comes at a cost to the firms themselves because it is accompanied by unpopular scrutiny and compliance. This odd situation became apparent when Mr Midler witnessed large, modern Chinese factories outsourcing work to smaller, grittier, facilities even though this meant forgoing the production benefits from economies of scale. The tiny outfits were in a much better position to skirt environmental controls and safety standards for products and workers.
The obvious way to clean up this mess—and to know whether it is really as pervasive as this book suggests—is through broader disclosure, but by whom? The Chinese press is sometimes revealing but typically controlled, as are foreign reporters. Many production problems are well-known within local manufacturing circles, Mr Midler says, but collusion is rampant and there are no rewards in China for whistle-blowing. Most of the people in Mr Midler's position would not dream of disclosing what they see and many testing laboratories protect their reputation by hiding, rather than revealing, what they test. As a result, if Mr Midler's perceptions are true, the primary source of discovery will come in the worst possible way—by consumers who buy Chinese products, only to discover their flaws themselves.
Author's page : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/6962703/Why-Made-in-China-is-a-mark-of-shame.html
Why 'Made in China’ is a mark of shame
By Paul Midler
They say that the first step on the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Only now, as the public becomes aware that the "Made in China" label is tainted with a huge number of shoddy and dangerous products, are companies beginning to understand there is a serious problem. The next step is to ask: why do Chinese manufacturers behave so badly?
The nature of the relationship between Chinese suppliers and Western importers is the key to the problem. Chinese factories are typically paid for their wares before they are shipped, so they have every reason to cut a corner or two.
Only after the containers have arrived at their destination are problems uncovered, and taking Chinese factories to court is not an option because of China's underdeveloped legal system.
Chinese manufacturers will do whatever they need to in order to catch a piece of business, but from there, the relationship often goes downhill, albeit in small steps. "Quality fade", the quiet and incremental degradation of a product's quality over time, is one of the more common issues.
Because Chinese manufacturers know that they cannot be matched anywhere else, and also that their Western customers prefer continuity in their supply chain, they feel comfortable nibbling away at quality levels, despite whatever contracts they may have signed. Product failures are, in effect, the result of a game that is being played and lost by Western companies in China.
Much of the problem is cultural. Chinese suppliers believe that what an importer doesn't know can't hurt him. They change product specifications without asking, and they believe that it is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Quality is seen as a barrier to greater profitability and quality issues are not openly discussed.
Some believe that at the root of the problem is the political system. There is a carrot in China without a counterbalancing stick. China's Communist Party rewards manufacturers that help bring foreign currency into the country through commerce. At the same time, however, there is little or no punishment meted out to those who conduct their businesses in an unethical fashion.
China could prevent unethical business practices such as quality fade by establishing an office that handles such complaints. Why the country has not yet done this is anyone's guess.
Meanwhile, we continue to see worrisome headlines.
In China, hundreds of thousands of babies were sickened (ans some died) by melamine- tainted milk. The government cracked down on the dozens of operators that were involved, and, to deter others, executed two individuals. It had no effect. Just a few weeks ago, another dairy producer was caught adulterating its milk products with the toxic substance.
What can we say about a country in which even the most extreme forms of punishment do not seem to have an impact on criminal activity? And what does our eagerness to import products from such an economy say about ourselves?
Paul Midler is the author of "Poorly Made in China", one of the Economist's top 10 business books in 2009.
Author's page : http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/361599-5-facts-you-need-to-know-if-your-vitamins-are-from-china/
Most Vitamins Are From China—It’s a Bigger Problem Than You Realize
By Michelle Yu
February 8, 2016
If you are taking vitamins, there is a good chance that they were imported from China.
An aging population and growing focus on health in the United States has fueled the growth of a $28 billion vitamin and nutritional supplement market, and it is expected to continue to grow at about 3 percent a year.
Over half of American adults are popping vitamins and supplements. They may not be aware they are eating products made in China, or made using raw materials from China.
China has captured over 90 percent of the Vitamin C market in the United States, according to the Seattle Times. Think about how many labels advertise added Vitamin C. Vitamin C goes into many food and drink products—almost all processed food for humans as well as pets contains Vitamin C.
The consumer has no way of knowing the added vitamin C comes from China, because there is no rule requiring labeling the country of origin for ingredients.
This may raise quite a few eyebrows as Chinese food safety scandals make headlines every day.
Here are five facts any consumer of vitamins should know:
1. Only 2 percent of all imported vitamins and other supplements are inspected. Why? Vitamins and supplements are classified as “food” by law and therefore not subject to the tough regulatory scrutiny of prescription drugs.
2. China’s top vitamin and supplement production areas are among the most polluted in the country (and thus in the world).
Vitamins and nutritional supplements usually use agricultural products as key raw materials. The top vitamin exporting province, Zhejiang, has an alarming level of soil pollution from heavy metal. As matter of fact, one-sixth of China’s farmlands are heavily polluted.
- ‘Organic’ From China Exposed
- China’s Environmental Catastrophe
For example, rice planted in several key agricultural provinces was reported to contain excessive Cadmium, a metal commonly found in batteries, coloring, and the industrial waste from making plastic. It may cause serious kidney disease.
Irrigation water is a nightmare: Half of the country’s major water bodies are polluted, as are 86 percent of city water bodies. Pollution is largely caused by the country’s numerous factories, which rarely have equipment for treating pollution. Seventy to 80 percent of the country’s industrial waste is directly emitted into rivers.
3. Even those labeled as “organic” are not safe, since USDA organic standards place no limit on levels of heavy metal contamination for certified organic foods.
4. Approximately 6,300 Americans nationwide complained about adverse reactions to dietary supplements between 2008 and 2012, according to FDA statistics. But the actual number may be more than eight times higher, some experts say, because most people don’t believe health products can make them sick. While not all such problems would be caused by pollution in China, that pollution may have played a role.
5. Worst of all, China-made vitamins are everywhere, and even those who do not consume vitamins and supplements can hardly escape. Many vitamins end up as ingredients in items like soft drinks, food, animal feed, and even cosmetics.
Author's page : http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/how-made-in-china-became-a-stigma/
How 'Made in China' Became a Stigma
Is there any hope that “Made in China” can overcome its current negative connotations?
By David Volodzko
July 16, 2015
China is easily one of the most amazing places in the world when it comes to food, yet when locals ask if I like Chinese cuisine, I draw a distinction between recipes and ingredients. Few can rival the resourceful variety of China’s recipes, but the quality of its ingredients is often so bad as to be terrifying. This is an illustration of the larger problem of Chinese quality control, but exactly how bad is it? And what can actually be done?
The 2008 milk scandal compromised the health of 300,000 individuals, requiring the hospitalization of 54,000 babies and ending in the deaths of six infants. I wasn’t living in China then but I remember reading about this and feebly trying to comprehend the pall of grief these poor parents must have suffered. This tragedy assumed a shade of evil when the government tried to cover it up and the whistle blower was later beaten to death. When I have raised the topic with Chinese friends, they usually prove themselves incapable of discussing it without first referencing Western corollaries or insinuating I am being prejudiced. Can we at least agree it’s wrong when Chinese children suffer and die, I wonder, whether or not it also happens in the West?
Not many Chinese, owing to state censorship, are aware of the extent of the problem. There are insecticides in dumplings, eggs repeatedly tainted with melamine, urea in bean sprouts, 40-year-old meats, hepatitis A in frozen berries, plastic rice, formaldehyde in beer, sewage used as cooking oil and tofu marinated in human feces. This brief list hardly runs the gamut, because for every scandal that breaks there are hundreds of unreported cases — and that’s only looking at food. Foreign nations have endured cyanuric acid in pet food, toothpaste adulterated with diethylene glycol (a chemical used in antifreeze and brake fluid), carcinogenic crayons, poisonous cough syrup, and toys containing date-rape drugs.
“This is not just a food safety issue,” says Chen Qiaoling, a Tsinghua University postgraduate student. “Serving such ‘food’ is spitting on basic human dignity and society itself.”
Also, China’s quality crisis is partly by design. Chinese manufacturers, writes columnist Mike Wootton, are “manufacturing cheap […] in order to capture markets in which people think they cannot afford to pay or simply don’t want to pay for quality.” Consumers play a role too. Michael Diliberto, General Manager of Lynx Displays China, says in China “it is assumed that if you want quality, then you buy the best one; otherwise just buy the cheap one. So manufacturers are not rewarded for making incrementally better products.”
Thank you to our politics if our population is getting poorer and poorer, only able to buy dangerous and contamined chinese products.
Not all Chinese products are awful. Xiaomi makes a phone roughly as good as the iPhone (in fact in some ways I prefer it) at a fraction of the cost, while Huawei scores high on the consumer satisfaction index. Still, a few good apples don’t compensate for a spoiled bunch. Why then are so many Chinese products of such poor quality? A Deutsche Welle report this year cites a litany of obstacles: cyber-security, Internet speed, wasted funding, poor management, scientific misconduct, lack of clear bureaucratic responsibility and lack of an open atmosphere needed to create innovation, “with all the political implications that this entails.” It’s unrealistic to expect a politically open atmosphere anytime soon, but in the meantime hiring private firms to test product safety doesn’t help either since Chinese manufacturers have ways of deceiving lab tests.
Yet foreign companies continue to solicit Chinese manufacturers. God made life, as the old joke goes, and the rest was made in China. Indeed, Chinese merchandise exports exceed those of any other nation. Manufacturing can be done more safely and quickly back home, or more cheaply in other parts of the world, but the “Made in China” label continues to appeal, despite the costs, because of the ingenuity of Chinese manufacturers who can work directly from samples, providing greater expediency.
As for the future, Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” program to give “manufacturing a makeover” is great news, though it’ll be difficult to prevent manufacturers from gaming the system so long as the government is doing so itself, e.g. using the label “Made in PRC,” rather than “Made in China,” for clothes shipped to Japan “because many Japanese customers don’t know what this stands for.”
To be sure, the shoddy quality of Chinese products are partly the result of economic growing pains, but as we can see, political and social factors weigh heavily as well, and foreign companies are by no means innocent.
“In the final analysis,” writes Dan Harris, attorney and editor of China Law Blog, “you will get the quality you demand and if you don’t get that quality, it is up to you to go elsewhere to attain it.”
Author's page : http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/18/news/china-fake-food-seasoning-factories/index.html
China's fake food problem: Soy sauce and spice mixes
by Serenitie Wang and James Griffiths
January 18, 2017
One major food company said counterfeit products are often sold to small street vendors and wholesale markets.
China's problem with fake goods even includes the condiments and seasonings that people sprinkle on their food.
Authorities in northern China say they have busted several underground factories that were churning out counterfeit versions of products like soy sauce and spice mix.
The fake goods were being made in a district of the industrial hub Tianjin and passed off as real brands owned by major companies.
Police acted after an investigative report from state-run newspaper Beijing News exposed the problem. The article reported that the fake food items were being produced on a large scale, using dirty tap water, industrial salt unfit for human consumption and recycled spices bought at knockdown prices from other factories.
The newspaper estimated that around 50 family-run factories had been making fake condiments and seasonings for as long as a decade, producing up to 100 million yuan ($14 million) of them every year. Materials were often stored in the open next to rubbish dumps, it reported.
Related: The 'fakes' industry is worth $461 billion
CNN wasn't able to independently confirm the details of the Beijing News report. Local government officials in Tianjin didn't immediately respond to requests seeking further comment.
China's Food and Drug Administration said in a statement that it had ordered an investigation of the claims.
"Local food and drug regulatory authorities should seriously investigate and rectify counterfeit and shoddy food products," the statement said.
Nestle, which owns several of the brands that were reportedly being copied, said it condemns "any illegal counterfeiting of food and beverage products."
"We are working closely with the authorities to identify and take action against counterfeiters in order to protect consumers," company spokeswoman Liu Ying said.
Another big food firm, Lee Kum Kee, urged consumers to buy seasoning products through established channels like supermarkets. It said that from past experience, most counterfeit products are "sold to small or medium sized street vendors or wholesale markets."
Other major companies whose products the Beijing News says were being ripped off -- including Knorr and Wang Shou Yi -- didn't respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
Related: China box office scam: Phantom screenings, fake sales
According to the Beijing News, the counterfeiting operation in a residential area of Tianjin was large and sophisticated. The dozens of factories each had dozens of employees, with surveillance cameras and spotters stationed outside to warn of any potential inspection by the authorities.
The newspaper said it was tipped off to the operation by a whistleblower, after which reporters accompanied anti-counterfeiting officers on a raid of one of the workshops.
China has been plagued by food safety problems in recent years.
Almost half of Chinese food-processing plants fail to meet internationally acceptable standards, according to a 2015 report. Last year, hundreds of tons of smuggled frozen meat, including one batch from the 1970s, were seized in Hunan province.
In December, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration said it had conducted 15 million inspections in the first three quarters of 2016, during which more than 500,000 incidents of illegal behavior were found.
-- Christy Chen contributed to this report.
Auhtor's page : http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/opinion/the-price-of-made-in-china.html
The (high) Price of ‘Made in China’
By Peter NAVARRO, AUG. 4, 2013
HERE is a symbol of China’s assault on the American economy: the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island. This landmark, which opened in 1964, is North America’s longest suspension bridge. It’s also in urgent need of renovation. Unfortunately, $34 million in steel production and fabrication work has been outsourced to China.
How did this happen? The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a Chinese fabricator was picked because the two American companies approached for the project lacked the manufacturing space, special equipment and financial capacity to do the job. But the United Steelworkers claims it quickly found two other American bridge fabricators, within 100 miles of New York City, that could do the job.
The real problem with this deal is that it doesn’t take into account all of the additional costs that buying “Made in China” brings to the American table. In fact, this failure to consider all costs is the same problem we as consumers face every time we choose a Chinese-made product on price alone — a price that is invariably cheaper.
Consider the safety issue: a scary one, indeed, because China has a very well-deserved reputation for producing inferior and often dangerous products. Such products are as diverse as lead-filled toys, sulfurous drywall, pet food spiked with melamine and heparin tainted with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, .........
In the specific case of bridges, six have collapsed across China since July 2011. The official Xinhua news agency has acknowledged that shoddy construction and inferior building materials were contributing factors. There is also a cautionary tale much closer to home.
When California bought Chinese steel to renovate and expand the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, for a project that began in 2002, problems like faulty welds by a Chinese steel fabricator delayed the project for months and led to huge cost overruns. Those delays eroded much of the savings California was banking on when it opted for the “cheap” Chinese steel.
There is a second reason not to buy “Made in China” products: jobs. The abiding fact is that steel production is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. These subsidies range from the massive benefits of a manipulated and undervalued currency to the underwriting of the costs of energy, land, loans and water.
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Because of China’s subsidies — most of which are arguably illegal under international trade agreements — its producers are able to dump steel products into America at or below the actual cost of production. This problem is particularly acute now as China is saddled with massive overcapacity in its steel industry.
Of course, every job China gains by dumping steel into American markets is an American job lost. Each steelworker’s job in America generates additional jobs in the economy, along with increased tax revenues. With over 20 million Americans now unable to find decent work, we could certainly use those jobs as we repair the Verrazano Bridge.
The M.T.A. has ignored not only the social costs but also the broader impact on the environment and human rights. Chinese steel plants emit significantly more pollution and greenhouse gases per ton of steel produced than plants in the United States. This not only contributes to global warming but also has a direct negative impact on American soil, since an increasing amount of China’s pollution is crossing the Pacific Ocean on the jet stream.
Finally, when American companies and government agencies opt for Chinese over American steel, they are tacitly supporting an authoritarian regime that prohibits independent labor unions from organizing — one of many grim ironies in today’s People’s Republic. As a result, American workers are forced to compete against Chinese workers who regularly work 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, without adequate safety gear. Both Chinese and American steelworkers wind up as victims.
The bottom line here is this :
Buying “Made in China” — whether steel for our bridges or dolls for our children — entails large costs that most consumers and, sadly, even our leaders don’t consider when making purchases. This is hurting our country — and killing our economy.
Peter Navarro, a professor of economics and public policy in the business school at the University of California, Irvine, directed the documentary film “Death by China.”
"Death by China" documentary (1h 20min)
Ten Reasons to Halt All Trade With China
by Dave Pollard
With every new revelation about what is happening in modern China I become more appalled. Our Canadian prime minister earlier this month stressed the importance of trade with China, but despite the disgraceful and illegal actions of Bush in his bullying trade dealings with Canada, I think trading with China is even worse than trading with the US, because it encourages the monstrously destructive and essentially unmanaged Chinese economy to continue with its devastating excesses.
Here are my 10 reasons not to trade with China:
Misogynist Slaughter of Girls: The people of China are continuing their horrific program of aborting, abandoning and murdering girl babies, because of their ‘cultural preference’ for male children. The imbalance created by this despicable and government-sanctioned practice, which has resulted in the ‘disappearance’ of at least 50 million baby girls, is that over 110 million Chinese males will be unable to find mates. This is already producing an upsurge in violence and abductions, and as it continues it will get much worse.
Water Atrocities: The environmental and social devastation of monster hydro projects like the Three Gorges Dam are well documented, but that’s just one of the ways water-starved China is going to any lengths to quench the thirst of its billion plus people and rapacious and negligently-managed industry. Over 700 million Chinese are already drinking tainted water, and new catastrophes like last week’s dreadful Harbin carcinogenic toxin spill are a regular occurrence, hushed up by the government unless, as with this latest spill, the poisons threaten to kill and poison neighbouring countries. The Northern Chinese ‘breadbasket’ is being turned to desert at a horrifying rate by sheer overuse and mismanagement, and WorldWatch reports that the Chinese water table is now dropping at a rate of eight feet per year. Three quarters of the water running through China’s cities is polluted to the point it is undrinkable and cannot support aquatic life. The country is essentially turning all its water into sewers and all its land into desert.
Human Rights Abuses: China has the worst human rights record of any country in the history of the planet, with 80 million starved or killed during the Maoist scourge of the last century, and this abominable record continues unabated. One of the reasons we can buy Chinese crap so cheaply is the use of prisoner slave labour to manufacture it. Detention and torture of any group opposed or even thought to be opposed to the corrupt government is systematic and uncontrolled. Workplace conditions in many factories are deplorable, and massive government corruption allows it to continue unabated.
Global Warming: Chinese pollution is essentially unregulated. The principal form of energy is coal, a major contributor to global warming, and China now rivals the US as the world’s greatest contributor to global warming. China has not signed the Kyoto Accord. Seven of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in China. Acid rain is devastating large areas of the country. The toxins released by Chinese energy and manufacturing industries float across the Pacific and cause untold death and disease all around the world.
Indifference to and Negligent Management of Epidemic Disease: The number of Chinese with HIV could be as high as 15 million by the end of the decade, but the government continues to ignore the problem, shrugging it off as a problem of drug abusers. Its denial of dangerous and controllable diseases like SARS and Poultry Flu is legendary, and that negligence threatens to expose the world to a pandemic.
Mining Abominations: Working conditions in China’s mines are among the worst in the world, and the death toll is huge. Another 135 died just yesterday in a coal mine explosion.
The Loss of Western Livelihoods: Offshoring of manufacturing jobs to China, exploiting that country’s cheap labour and artificially suppressed foreign exchange rate has destroyed many Western communities. Wal-Mart alone is responsible for 13% of the US imports of Chinese crap.
Shoddy, Often Dangerous Products: Anyone who has bought Christmas decorations, or inexpensive appliances, toys, clothing or any of a host of other manufactured products in recent years knows that almost all such products are now made in China, and that their quality is abysmal. In many stores you simply have no choice — you cannot buy products made elsewhere, as shoddy Chinese merchandise has so undercut the price of domestic manufacturers that they have been driven out of business or forced to offshore to compete. Most of this crap ends up in landfills within a year or two. And Consumer Reports investigations reveal that a disproportionate amount of this crap is also hazardous — dangerous or poisonous.
Poor Fishing and Forestry Practices: Unregulated and corrupt logging and furniture manufacturing has devastated China’s forests, resulting in massive soil erosion and devastating annual flooding, and chronic sand and dust storms. And China is by far the largest contributor to the overfishing that has reached crisis proportions in most of the world’s oceans.
Impoverishing Our Own Economies: In addition to the loss of our own families’ and communities’ livelihoods, many countries like Canada are complicit in this race to the bottom by willingly shipping our raw materials to China, and then buying back the products manufactured from these resources from them. This is just insane, a horrific waste of our natural resources and a squandered opportunity to create local jobs and save the fuel required to transport the raw materials out and the shoddy manufactured goods back in.
Continuing trade with such a country is simply unconscionable, and our elected leaders should be held to account for it. For our part, we need to stop buying anything from China, and insist retailers stop stocking Chinese crap and instead provide us with products from socially and environmentally responsible countries and companies — and especially, local suppliers.
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