Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game
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It was a world gone wrong, one in which manufacturers thought little of manipulating product quality levels in order to save the smallest amounts, where savvy foreign business leaders were made to feel in control while they were taken for a ride by their partners, where entire manufacturing facilities sometimes vanished right into thin air... Welcome to Poorly Made in China!
At the height of the boom export manufacturing, Paul Midler returned to East Asia, a recently graduated Wharton MBA. In the right place at the right time, he was sought out by a number of foreign companies who wanted help in navigating the new economy. The adventures came fast, as did the business and cultural lessons.
Poorly Made in China is a dramatic romp through China's export manufacturing sector, one that reveals what really goes on behind the scenes. The story follows the author from one project to the next, taking the reader through a diverse set of industries and revealing a number of challenges. An engaging business narrative told with doses of humor and insight, this true story pulls back the curtain on the rising Chinese economy, providing a closer look at the rough-and-tumble environment in which so many of our consumer products are being made. For those trying to make sense of why so many quality failures could come out of China at once, this book is an especially interesting read.
Poorly Made in China is the tale of a modern-day gold rush and its consequences, the chronicling of a rising economic power and its path along a steep growth curve. Entertaining and eye-opening, the book highlights the extent to which culture affects business dealings, and the ultimate suggestion is that we may have more to be concerned about than product failures alone.
Disadvantaged Neighborhoods,” Bernie said, “and I told them that I was specially authorized to give credit. You see, no one was giving credit in those days, especially not in the neighborhoods where I was going with these watches. All they had to do was make the first payment, I told them. They could mail me the other three payments.” “The watches sold for $180, and each payment was $45. But I didn’t have more than $20 in the whole deal, between the watch, the box, and the parchment.” Bernie took
not involve the police, and they resolved their own dispute rather peaceably. Arriving at a settlement had involved taking into account allocations of responsibility, bearing in mind relative income levels and taking a guess at the amount of property damage that had been caused. I told Tina that it had been fascinating to watch and that I had been genuinely impressed with how neither of them felt the need to involve any third party. Chinese perhaps had no choice but to work out disputes for
near the central business district. The restaurant, which she chose, was one of the city’s more popular ones, and along a wall were many plaques of distinction, including one that marked it as a bai nian lao dian—a “one-hundred-year restaurant”—though it was not literally that old. Sitting in an established restaurant of this sort, I had to remind myself that no matter how long the restaurant claimed to go back, it was almost certainly closed during the first phase of the Cultural Revolution, in
ingredients on the back label of our shampoo. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States concerned itself with product labeling to such an extent that Johnson Carter issued a corrected label as soon as the problem was discovered. The factory produced the new labels, but when new bottles came off the production line, we got a surprise. “We wanted to finish up the old labels first,” Sister said. Sister knew that we were concerned about FDA compliance. Even though she understood the
excuse when China was growing so quickly? China was hardly as poor as it was 30 years ago, or even 10 years earlier. That was doubly true of the southern region that housed so many export manufacturers. China was experiencing the greatest economic expansion in world history, and much of this was led by the export manufacturing sector, which itself was growing much faster than the overall Chinese economy. If there was a relationship between wealth and ethics, it was more than likely a negative