Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby Eric on Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:09 am

If we think USA future is in manufacturing, we are staring at a dim future as it highly mobile towards lower operating costs and in this thread towards China. USA has the best universities in the world, most of the fortune 500 companies and global brands, largest financial system and an innovative and entrepreneural spirit & culture. Innovation is USA biggest asset. Over the decades, USA has given the world countless innovative products and created jobs. However, the spirit of innovation seem lost with just too much government intervention and regulation on business. R &D in USA has dropped to 2.5% of GDP and not ranked in the world top 5 while China spend more % of GDP. Cheap products from China will be transitional as they moved up the quality chain just like Japan or Korea. Just not too long ago, we viewed products from these countries as cheap and inferior. If China is to be successful economically and politically, they have to move up the value chain and produced compliance products. They can't have the image of corporate China that produce cheap, inferior & non complaince products which will be an economic disaster.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby geoffo on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:58 pm

Folks , dont forget all the Indians and Eastern Eurpoeans , China is having a golden run but soon pressure will come internally and externally from its outlying provinces and Muslim issues will impact on the performance and the flood of shoddy Chinese products is a hot topic everwhere.

Still , Thailand should try to encourage Thai made and be proactive and not be a dump for Chinese products.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby needchange on Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:34 am

Well, I plugged in an extension cord and it blew the fuse in my apartment. Have you noticed how low-quality some things in Thailand are? Check out the extension cords, faucets, tools, and other hardware and electical items for a home. It's utter rubbish. Why does this stuff exist in this country? It's been the same crappy quality for the last 15 years. It is absolutely true that a faucet made 100 years ago in the west is much better quality than what is available here in Thailand today. The faucets are my grandmother's 120 years old house still work today. If you buy a faucet here in Thailand most will break within a couple years. They even rust! What a joke this is.

And Thailand's electrical extension cords are worthless. If you plug something into them the plug often comes out. They are oversized compared to the models found in other countries. Thailand still hasn't chosen one type of pu as well. Some are round and some are flat so when you plug things in you have to screw around with the plugs. Why is this crap allowed to be sold here? The Thai government should regulate quality in this area.

Thailand can do better. It can make quality products. The government needs to set some standards and crack down on the junk coming in from abroad. The junk sold in these hardware stores is the same for decades. It's all coming form the same supply line which probably is from someone who is buy cheap products from China. But even the new superstores are selling this crap.

I recently heard that some low-quality pirated products from China made their way to the US. They looked exactly like higher quality products and had the labels and packaging which decieved everyone. In the end they were discovered when they were used. The didn't perform like the brandname ones. Stopping these kind of products is difficult now that pirating has advanced so much.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby needchange on Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:46 am

A few more notes I want to bring up in all this about low quality products is about why change might not happen so quickly. First, there are those making money from pushing cheap junk from China so they don't want change. Second, the businesses here don't have a lot of foreign competition due to laws so they have more freedom to control change. Lastly, the wealthiest people who have the loudest voice for change don't speak out. This is because these people don't actually have to buy from the local shops. The wealthy people in Thailand I know don't think twice about buying something super expensive for the quality. These products are super expensive because they aren't allowed into the country in any large quantities. In addition, many of these products are smuggled in when wealthy people or others travel abroad. So my point is that Thailand's wealthy don't have to shop in mainsteam shops. They may own the shops or businesses supplying the crap products but they don't actually use them themselves. So there is a divide between what the average person has to face and what the wealthy big business people face.

There's a lot of money to be made in Thailand for any Thai who wants to improve quality here. Quality is one this that is lacking across the spectrum in terms of products and services. In order to know this you really have to visit the developed world to see how different quality could be in terms of products.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby drake on Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:12 pm

needchange wrote:Well, I plugged in an extension cord and it blew the fuse in my apartment. Have you noticed how low-quality some things in Thailand are? Check out the extension cords, faucets, tools, and other hardware and electical items for a home. It's utter rubbish. Why does this stuff exist in this country? It's been the same crappy quality for the last 15 years. It is absolutely true that a faucet made 100 years ago in the west is much better quality than what is available here in Thailand today. The faucets are my grandmother's 120 years old house still work today. If you buy a faucet here in Thailand most will break within a couple years. They even rust! What a joke this is.

Well, this particular issue is, unfortunately, global.
Most people aren't inclined to pay for the good stuff, even if they can afford it, and the manufacturer can't keep making the good stuff unless they charges 2 arms and 3 legs which yet reduces the number of customers. It's a vicious cycle.
At the end, you can't get the good stuff even if you are willing to pay.

The faucets in the US DIY stores today are chrome plated plastic or cast plastic with thin metal facade - and they want $150 for those. You want chrome plated brass ? That will be $350+ thank you very much.

My buddy purchased a new BMW a few years back and found out the hard way that the door handles were chrome plated plastic which broke off in his hand after 3 months.
Ack.

And Thailand's electrical extension cords are worthless. If you plug something into them the plug often comes out. They are oversized compared to the models found in other countries. Thailand still hasn't chosen one type of pu as well. Some are round and some are flat so when you plug things in you have to screw around with the plugs. Why is this crap allowed to be sold here? The Thai government should regulate quality in this area.

The Chinese powerstrips or receptacles around here seems to be European dims so if you have a US plug it's going to be a tight fit and sometime requires a little tinkering with tin snips. Had same issue in China.

Now, the contacts inside these receptacles are no doubt made of crapmetal that fatigues after sitting around doing nothing for a few minutes (just like union workers) then loses it's ability to maintain tension/grip on the prongs.
This isn't a problem that is unique to Thailand.
They've got the same crap-a-tension-cord in the stores practically everywhere now.
I've had to put up with them in China,Taiwan,Cambodia,Laos,Burma,Europe,UK,& US. Believe me, it's a global plague.

Oddly, the wall outlets in my house in the US had the same silly problem (won't retain plugs) when I moved in a few years back and those sockets were 20 yrs old US brand mfg. in Mexico not the 'cheap Chinese junk'.


Thailand can do better. It can make quality products. The government needs to set some standards and crack down on the junk coming in from abroad. The junk sold in these hardware stores is the same for decades. It's all coming form the same supply line which probably is from someone who is buy cheap products from China. But even the new superstores are selling this crap.

I recently heard that some low-quality pirated products from China made their way to the US. They looked exactly like higher quality products and had the labels and packaging which decieved everyone. In the end they were discovered when they were used. The didn't perform like the brandname ones. Stopping these kind of products is difficult now that pirating has advanced so much.


Yup, you are right on both but this is also an issue of affordability VS bling and/or outright fraud.

On one hand there are superstores which specializes in low cost Chinese tools in the US. and while the tools aren't Craftsman or Snap-On they will get you by for the cost of just a few beers.

On the other hand there are fake brand-name goods from China that are sold in low end stores in the US at heavy discount.
The disti. knows they are fake, the buyer knows or suspects but they don't care because they are cheap.
These counterfeits are destroyed whenever the Customs guys get a hold of the shipment.

And then there's an issue with tainted industrial goods I'm sure you've heard of like the lot of Propylene Glycol that was known to contain Ethylene Glycol but tagged as Pharmaceutical grade Propylene Glycol and sold through the Chinese Govt. clearing house then ended up in cough syrup in Panama in 2006 ?
Or the tainted honey which was sold to Thai packaging houses at a discount but without disclosure and then rejected (for the second time) by the EU inspectors.
Or the plastic laced seaweed.....

A few more notes I want to bring up in all this about low quality products is about why change might not happen so quickly. First, there are those making money from pushing cheap junk from China so they don't want change. Second, the businesses here don't have a lot of foreign competition due to laws so they have more freedom to control change. Lastly, the wealthiest people who have the loudest voice for change don't speak out. This is because these people don't actually have to buy from the local shops. The wealthy people in Thailand I know don't think twice about buying something super expensive for the quality. These products are super expensive because they aren't allowed into the country in any large quantities. In addition, many of these products are smuggled in when wealthy people or others travel abroad. So my point is that Thailand's wealthy don't have to shop in mainsteam shops. They may own the shops or businesses supplying the crap products but they don't actually use them themselves. So there is a divide between what the average person has to face and what the wealthy big business people face.

There's a lot of money to be made in Thailand for any Thai who wants to improve quality here. Quality is one this that is lacking across the spectrum in terms of products and services. In order to know this you really have to visit the developed world to see how different quality could be in terms of products.


Believe it or not, the 'rich merchants' you are down on are stuck with the same extension cord you're using. :lol:
The fairly expensive POS power strip I bought at Central was just as much a POS as the cheap ones I got at Seri Ctr.
OTOH, the 'cheap Chinese' strips that I use in the US came from Walmart for about the same price I paid for the ones from Seri and they works great.

Again, it's what the market will allow.
The price/quality/need equation must make sense for all in a transaction.
Purchasing power is a big thing. Walmart can dictate a nice product spec and still get a sweet price break because of the volume they are buying , the guy at Seri can't go to the same vendor and get the same deal.

I'd recently picked up a Fluke clamp-on AC current meter, made in USA industrial grade instrument and certified accurate, for a modest price of $365 before tax.
A similar meter from China is on sale this week for $14, the plastic housing is junk and the certificate is non-traceable.
I'm not going near it.

There's a $160 Mitutoyo digital caliper on my bench, it had served me well for almost 20 years.
I can't tell the difference in term of accuracy between it and a Chinese version that only costs $15.

Whatever it is, isn't it enough if it works adequately and it is affordable ?
I mean, how good does it have to be to make ppl happy and how much would anyone be willing to spend on it anyway ?


Speaking of visiting the developed world.
I'm sure you've heard of the latest kiddies fad in the US?
$50 cupcakes.....!

:cheers:
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby muttley on Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:04 pm

Boys, boys, boys! Enough with the xenophobia! It is US greed that has led to the demise of US manufacturing.

The USA obsession with money is the same as every other country. If your politicians, business leaders and top management were not totally obsessed with making obscene amounts of cash, then there would have been no room for products made in China. Corporations like Walmart have been built upon the betrayal of US workers - all for the sake of killing off the competition and scooping up every dollar for the wealthy.

The USA is a proud capitalist country. There is no room for democracy in capitalism! It is all about the strong prevailing at any cost. It is a bit late to start \\ //// about it now that the horse has bolted!

Your current economic and social troubles are not the fault of China. They are 100% USA made!
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby bew on Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:24 pm

This is the best discussion forum I've ever read. I agree mostly with Khun Drake about his analysis of Thai industry. Focusing on Art/Craft/Agricultural Cottage doesn't help Thailand much. Thai leaders have no strategic idea to co-ordinate economy, education and other thing together. Every Thai leaders has no vision how Thailand should be in the future, but has an idealistic vision how Thailand should be forever. That's why Art/Craft/Agricultural Cottage always come to their mind. They always adhere to Western Progressive ideology. Lee Kuan Yiew is right about economic development policy that a country should bring workforce from upcountry to the cities for industrialisation as the West did a hundred years ago. It's easy to manage development budget when most people live in the city. However,Thailand have done the opposite, so the money scatterly hands out to upcountry and the use of budget is ineffective. You can't bring all people out of poverty egalitarianly.

To develop high-tech industry, you need creative manpower from innovative education system, but forget it in Thailand where the most stupid and narrow-minded people run the Ministry of Education. I've taught Strategic Managment in Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. My assignments require students to set up a firm and draw up a strategic plan. Most Taiwanese and Singaporean students always come up with the ideas of hi-tech business, innovative services and so on. Most Thai students, unfortunately, come up with a plan to run restaurant, coffee shop, and of course Art/Craft/Agricultural Cottage. They really have no idea about how to run semi-conductor business. Blaiming cheap Chinese products doesn't help Thai to save jobs.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby Eric on Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:16 pm

Bew, if you want to create jobs, you may want to re-consider the electronic industry. The electronic industry and the rest of the manufacturing industry only employ 14% of the total Thailand workforce. In contrast, the agriculture and the service sector employs 49% and 37% respectively. Could this be the influence towards the Thailand government strategies and policies? I am also trying to come to terms on the notion that the electronic industry is not on the government radar sight when we have the exports of integrated circuits & parts were the notable standout together with automobiles in the basket of growing export items for 2010. Thailand got to plan their developement in accordance to their strength and resources and not by following other success story. :cheers:
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby needchange on Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:56 pm

This forum is taking all sorts of swings in all directions but that's no problem because it's all connected. Back to the point about the state of product quality worldwide. It just seems to me that the idea of capitalism somehow doing for the rich today and latter supplying the same for the poor is no existant. As I said my grandparents house and the things they lived with were more durable and lasting than what is available today. The system seems to support new products and innovation but does not maintain the quality of products over time. Is this a general note about capitalism?

A lot of the quality that we get in some areas in the west is related to government enforced standards such as in food product safety, in electrical safety standards, etc. We know that whenever a series of tragic events occur related to a product in developed countries government organizations take action. The recent Toyota problem is an example of this. Developed countries societies have developed to a point that manufactures who are serious about doing business there usually take action immediately when issues arise. It's pre-emptive. So most problems are caught before the criticism these days. Were the problem to be ignored the public criticism would arise and that would be followed by action from some government body.

In Thailand, to me at least it seems a rarity that people including the government act on issues of quality.
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Re: Choosing cheap Chinese Products over Thai jobs

Postby drake on Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:20 am

Eric wrote:Bew, if you want to create jobs, you may want to re-consider the electronic industry. The electronic industry and the rest of the manufacturing industry only employ 14% of the total Thailand workforce. In contrast, the agriculture and the service sector employs 49% and 37% respectively. Could this be the influence towards the Thailand government strategies and policies? I am also trying to come to terms on the notion that the electronic industry is not on the government radar sight when we have the exports of integrated circuits & parts were the notable standout together with automobiles in the basket of growing export items for 2010. Thailand got to plan their developement in accordance to their strength and resources and not by following other success story. :cheers:


I'm sorry, Eric.
Thailand has NO integrated circuits to export.
LOS has NO facility to manufacture the little silicon chip that goes inside the package and NECTEC isn't promoting that facet of the industry. There is only one major 'IC assembly house' that I know of, they takes the silicon chip from overseas and put them inside IC package then ships them back out. They are on Soi LaSalle.
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