As in the past years China became the biggest manufacturer of almost everything, the “Made in China” has been more and more recognized worldwide, often being considered the symbol of poor quality & low price. When eventually more and more Western manufacturers chose to outsource their production in China, things got more complicated.
As a matter of fact we all know that China has the name of “factory of the world ”, which means most of the manufacturers are there. So as we know that there are some sub-standards products from China, while there are also some really good quality stuff: that’s why premium brands chose to outsource their production there.
China has chosen a very peculiar direction for its business – which is applying another company’s brand to its own manufactured products – OEM branding.
The result is that many quality European or American companies owe their “Italian” or “European” or “American” quality to Chinese manufacturing. Chinese manufacturers that focused on export, thanks to the idea of focusing entirely on the manufacturing and doing it for foreign customers, could avoid the big issue of doing marketing in other markets, which can be hard and expensive for them. It is a win-win situation because both companies (the Chinese manufacturer and the foreign seller/designer) can profit and focus on their own side of the work.
One puts the name, the other the sheer product. But this could not work forever.
Lately, with the growth of the middle class in China, more and more Chinese chose to buy foreign-branded products which are actually manufactured in China, and some Chinese manufacturers who work for foreign brands decided to also make their own brand inside China. Their quality is top notch, so the only difference with a foreign brand would be the design and the logo. Many of the original designs are pretty neat and truly deserve to be purchased.
Some of them had success, some did not. It is true that some chinese are biased against chinese products just like many foreigners are, in higher technology, for example in the automotive, or in more design-related fields, such as the apparel business.
Thus, China did not grow only through manufacturing “cheap” stuff: thanks to a policy of constantly reinvesting in reducing the production costs while keeping a good quality, especially for export (any famous brand wouldn’t accept low quality for its product, or the brand would be ruined). The government cooperated by investing its revenue by providing proper infrastructures, which could help the shipping business (and with it, online sales) expand both inside and outside the country.
This continuous improvement-driven approach managed to get China where it is now.
So, are all products Made in China low quality? Certainly not. But are they all high quality? Neither this is true. But many factories can provide both low and high quality products just according to the budget and requirements of the buyer, since, anyway, they are just making OEM.
In the internal market, though, low quality products will be wrecked by social media and online reviews – even more than in the West.