Don’t fix it if it’s cheap?

The BBC reports that managers from Chinese toy firms and state officials have been given lessons in product safety and quality supervision after recent recalls of Chinese-made toys which have damaged the country’s manufacturing reputation.

Interestingly though, I spotted an article in the New York Times that points out that China’s export boom continues unabated despite all the recent media coverage. Mattel, the company at the centre of the majority of the withdrawals, were also forced into an embarrassing climbdown following their initial criticism of China and even went so far to apologise to the nation as they are so indebted to manufacturing in China.

The old saying used to go ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, should it know read ‘It it’s damn cheap don’t fix it’?

With so many Western economies moving their manufacturing operations east it looks like my previous commentary on the tradeoff between price and quality might hold little weight. Don’t think that cheap manufacturing simply applies to goods like toys and furniture, the phrase being ‘sent to Mordor’ is now part of the Apple vocabulary. As Double Tongued points out “Hardware techies at Apple are regularly sent from California for intense two-week shifts to the city-sized FoxConn factory in Shenzhen, China where iPods are made and tested. Internally at Apple this is known as ‘being sent to Mordor.’”

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Piaras Kelly
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