REVIEW: Poorly Made in China


9th Best Book about China - Poorly Made in Chi...

9th Best Book about China – Poorly Made in China by Paul Midler (Photo credit: China Books)

I found the book name very catchy and I didn’t blink an eye before buying it, downloading it and start listening!

The purpose of the book, is to dispel myths about china and importing from China. It discusses why  China is not a real threat for the western manufacturing leadership of the world. Below stated as main reasons:

  • Inconsistency and low quality
  • counterfeiting
  • Integrity, transparency and other cultural issues
  • Short vision and looking for short-term victories
  • No design creativity, only mimicking

Having worked with outsourcing company in India – which I believe is very close to China in terms of manufacturing/outsourcing boom – I have to agree with the author.

I had witnessed most of the techniques he highlighted  before and after dragging the customer’s legs, and how they shift from “yes” to everything to a blood-sucking machine without mercy.

However, I believe the Author has overlooked some important aspects. Yes China is currently producing a lot of low quality products and  mimicking others’ designs. However, from my perspective, there are important aspects that we should consider:

  1. This I believe, is limited to the import manufacturing and not all.  I don’t believe there is corner-cutting in strategic industries like military and aerospace.
  2. Yes the are starting from the bottom of the ladder, which I believe can be a very good technique, that China would have invade the world without.  They had to start with price as an entry point. Even if it is on the cost of quality. We all make jokes about the Chinese products quality, nevertheless we buy them. Why? they are cheaper!
  3. After you’re on the first step, you can go up the ladder. Take Korean industries For example. 20 years back, Korean Cars were a mimic! no creativity.  What about now?
  4. With iterations, trials, mimicking they are definitely capturing value in terms of knowledge and experience. This will help them to take  their industries to the next level.

In terms of content, the Author style is really cool. I liked his sarcastic since. I also enjoyed subjects like “Inflating population Numbers” and how “culture is not moving in the same pace as technology”.

However maybe the author should have provided examples and stories from other industries and manufactures. Most of and examples are about the chemicals company.

I don’t really recommend this book, but if your free for few hours,  it’s worth trying!

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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Poorly Made in China

  1. From the ground up? What about all the hacking the People’s Republic’s Army does targeting US companies to steal technology and know how? Cyber Espionage!

    • Joe, this is definitely unethical. I was definitely not referring to this, but to legitimate experience and knowledge they capture as working with western companies.

      Thanks for your comment

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