Made in China, a very familiar trademark we all know that brings thoughts of cheap toys, easily breakable, but do we all hate it? Are standards really that bad in China? As we move further into the digital age electronics have seen a huge decrease in price. Granted this drop in price is affected by new technologies coming out but outsourcing the construction of these electrical goods cuts the price of manufacture. For this investigation research into electronic products was undertaken. China has a lot of labour to offer the world and the electronic market place is making the most out of dedicated workers to supply the western world with inexpensive luxuries.
Electronics populate a person’s home, they are what wake us up in the morning, allow us to catch up on world news and aids humanity in academic progress. In the factory city EUPA in china thousands of electrical household goods are made per day from iron’s to grills, all components are also made on site which is testament to china’s ability to manufacture on a grand scale.
With progress and education the electronic marketplace also aims at relaxation and gaming devices. The question then is how many people know where their electronics are made, and if they care at all about the ‘made in china’ tag.
Narrowing down electronic produce I decided to look into the gaming industry, as a computer gamer myself it had never occurred to me the benefits china’s manufacturing power has bought to the industry which in turn benefits me. To begin I decided to look at the three big companies in the gaming industry, these being Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft; turns out that all three of these companies manufacture their consoles in china. Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 are completely manufactured in china but Sony only 60% of their consoles are made there (the other 40% made in Japan).
Asking other gamers about their views towards this information it seemed like there was not much worry about the circumstances the consoles are made under but more of a celebrated side where the companies are able to create more of the products therefore creating cheaper consoles and expanding a fan base. “As long as I have a warranty where it is created doesn’t bother me” this quote sums up the attitude most of the gamers that I interviewed on the subject. It seems that nowadays the Chinese manufacturing process is more reliable than it once was, so preconceptions about the quality are generally all wrong. Another preconception about items being ‘made in china’ is that the company is making a lot more money from the business, but a little research into the gaming industry shows this is not always true. Example being the Xbox 360, a little research into how much this console cost on release was $399 but the cost to actually create the unit was $470. The same can be seen for the PlayStation 3, the companies are not even scraping a profit even though they have china build the produce for them.
When talking to the gamers about this information it was clear they thanked the gaming companies for outsourcing, I was surprised as this was the opposite of what was to be expected but getting cheap luxuries, and for gamers this being a hobby item. “Who knows what the price would be without china” This quote made me think, it’s not only the price of labour, but it is also the amount of workers, so without china not only would the components and creation cost more but less would be made forcing the companies to up the price more due to supply and demand, even with china creating the Wii we saw 2 years of people struggling to buy 1 new unit off of the shelves, Could this industry even survive without china?
Another popular topic when it comes to electronics and china is Foxconn, being in the news lately about how Apple outsource there, but it is not only Apple that use Foxconn, Intel use them, Nintendo use them, Acer, Dell and a lot of other computing companies, parts are made here, the Sony PSP is created in the same factory complex as the iPhone.
The concept of Foxconn did not faze the people I was interviewing, they saw it no different as people who were dedicated to their job enough to live nearby. “At least someone somewhere is getting out of poverty and working for their money”. Personally I think the public opinion, or at least that of the gaming community does not think less of china because it manufactures everything, more so that people are able to get a job and the country were able to get out of poverty.
A lot of misconceptions about china exist in the world, ‘bad quality’ ‘falls apart’ ‘not worth it’ ‘cheap’. After interviews it seems these old conceptions are fading out, people are seeing how china are growing into a super power and accept to get to that stage money will need to flow into the country as it once did with our own country.