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Poorly made July 20, 2009

Filed under: Generally,U.A.E. — visnar @ 10:22

Why are so many Chinese products poorly made?

Want to know how that lead got into your kid’s toys?
Why brand-name goods come in containers that fall apart?
How radioactive cookery ended up on store shelves?

A new book out by Paul Midler: Poorly Made In China, promises the inside scoop on why products made in China are as shoddy (and often as dangerous) as seemingly possible.


As a former consultant to American importers, Midler has worked on the frontlines of Chinese manufacturing. The National Review describes one of the strategies he covers in the book:

From the point of view of a Chinese manufacturer, the world is divided into “first” and “second” markets. In the first market – North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and some lesser outposts of legal order – new product designs originate, and the designs are protected by patent, trademark, and copyright laws.


Chinese manufacturers want business relationships with customers in these places — so much so that they’ll even sometimes sell to them below cost. But then they’ll turn around and

…sell knock-offs of their designs to Latin America and the Middle East, where intellectual-property protection is not so valued. This arbitrage game explains the curious fact that Chinese-made products are often more expensive in the developing world than in the U.S.A. That’s where the profits are made.


Read the review in the Economist. Scary, fascinating, enthralling…