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China Competitiveness

China’s move up the industrial value chain

By Vicky Yu

china's move up the industrial value chain

China has held its status as a frontrunner in manufacturing the world’s goods for decades.


10 industries China favors

by Dan Harris


China’s ten favorite industries

You probably think it a bit strange for me to be writing at all optimistically about China’s economy today and I get that. But as someone who has lived through a whole host of downturns, I sort of look at “these things” as us not having any choice. I also think it important that we all keep China’s economic downturn in perspective and as an example of that, take Japan.


Manufacturing in India vs. China

by John Niggl

Have you ever considered relocating your China manufacturing operations to another country? When buyers talk about sourcing from China, one of the most commonly mentioned challenges is the rising cost of labor. Double-digit increases in China’s minimum wages year-after-year have driven some manufacturers to look for lower-cost alternatives.


Three steps to staying profitable as China labor rates increase

by David Levy 

Step 1:  Stop bean-counting worker productivity

Step 2:  Start improving throughput & reducing waste end-to-end cross the entire process

Step 3:  Go to Step 1, above

Unlike the US and Japan, bean-counting worker productivity is the default in many China-based facilities. It means that management measures productivity at the individual operator level, and thinking (wrongly) that taking care of individual worker productivity will ensure good aggregate productivity and make the factory profitable. To paraphrase the aphorism– “take care of the milliseconds, and the hours and days will take care of themselves”. This leads Chinese facilities to implement piece-work, individual quotas and other productivity and quality killing labor management policies.


China's golden age for foreign companies is over

by Dan Harris

Let the hate mail begin. 

Whenever we write on how things are getting bad for foreign companies doing business in China and on how foreign companies should think long and hard before doing business in China, we get hate mail or hate comments (which we typically delete). Many of these come from China consultants who   sometimes blatantly accuse us of damaging their business. I have already received two angry emails for what I am about to write about in this post. Those two emails came in response to what I said in the article this post will be discussing.


Do Chinese factories really migrate to inland provinces?

by Renaud Anjoran

One of the very clear trends over the past 15 years in China has been the migration of exporting factories from the Pearl River Delta to the whole coast, and then (to a much lesser extent) to land-locked areas.


China business cross-talk: Two views on doing business in today’s China

by Andrew Hupert

Mario Cavolo and Andrew Hupert take two different views on China’s emerging business environment.

China’s economic and regulatory policies are a work in progress that are constantly evolving.  Lately the pendulum seems to be swinging against the interests of multinationals, but the reality defies easy answers or rash generalizations. presents for your consideration two different views on recent developments and future directions of Chinese economic policy:


When buying in China becomes both cheaper and more expensive

by Asia Quality Focus team

Prosperous China is in the news again with a sustained high inflation rate, rising incomes and stronger regulations. Surprisingly, as a consequence, producer prices are decreasing while consumer prices are rising. Three major factors make buying in China becomes both cheaper and more expensive.


New China; new Vietnam

by Dan Harris

Got an email the other day from a loyal reader who is convinced that we all need to start looking at China differently. I found his email interesting and felt it worth sharing for both that reason and also because I am dying to read the comments it engenders. Here it is:


Global trade evolution and China

by Etienne Charlier 

I just read a report by Standard Chartered Bank about the evolution of World trade: “Global trade unbundled”. It gives views on how global trade will evolve after the great financial crisis. But it also provides interesting data and views on China trade itself.


An Update on the "China Plus One" Sourcing Strategy for SMEs

by Renaud Anjoran

Most importers are worried of “putting all their eggs in one basket” (i.e. buying solely from China), and try to have sources in other countries too. That’s the “China plus one” strategy.


7 red flags in China manufacturing

by Jacob Yount

Here are some red flags to look out for in your China Manufacturing projects.

In the quoting, sampling phases or during the mass production process, if you see these flags, be on point and change your course as necessary.


Levels of China sourcing [Infographic]

by Etienne Charlier

The reality of sourcing in China is changing fast. The time when it was enough to find a reliable Chinese supplier to secure a strong advantage over competitors is over. Today, Chinese labor cost increases and the continuous move of Chinese suppliers toward increased added value, make it important for buyers to evaluate their sourcing strategy from time to time.

One of the existing useful frameworks is the “Level of China Sourcing”. The infographic below summarizes four levels of sourcing, based on its scope, commitment of the organization to it and the return that can be expected.


Where to locate in China? Or why Weifang isn’t Suzhou

I am constantly telling our clients that just because something happens one way in Shanghai does not mean it is going to happen the same way in Datong.  It is more than cliche to say that China is a big and diverse country.  Shanghai has some of the most sophisticated infrastructure in the world, while some people still live in caves in rural Henan.


Doing business in China. Not that bad.

by Dan Harris

Back in April last year, I spoke at an Economist Magazine Business Without Borders event on China. I mostly spoke about intellectual property protections in China, but my introduction dealt with China’s legal system as a whole.  Video of my introduction (but not the whole talk, near as I can tell) is online and was referred to me today. I watched it and liked what I saw and I had it transcribed, per the below.


Continuous product cost reduction: Another China advantage

by Etienne Charlier

Everybody knows that China manufacturing benefits from lower labor costs , even though it is currently eroding. But another cost advantage is less understood: Continuous product cost reduction by redesign.


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