Of all the book is written from the point of view #of low skill product importers in the USA That s a #low skill product importers in the USA That s a point of view but doesn t represent everyone who manufacture in China Besides the book is written in 2010 and most of the experiences recounted are from the early 2000s Between now and then China improved substantially For example a reader of the book would have a hard time reconciling the fact that one of the highest uality and best selling smartphones in the world today the Apple iPhone is being manufactured in China The manufacturing companies mentioned in the book are usually opportunistic and try to manipulate the uality of products and cut
corners in order to maximize their profits There is in fact a tendency to chalk up in order to maximize their profits There is in fact a tendency to chalk up in China as irredeemably prone to the phenomena of cutting corners nows to the phenomena of cutting corners nows Chabuduo in Chinese However these perspectives ignore the gains in productivity the Chinese economy have seen the improved infrastructure of the country in recent years and the increased skills of the Chinese labor among other things The book is also vulnerable to selection bias Namely if you have many experiences in China and set out to write a book about poor manufacturing you are bound to select from your experiences examples that confirm what you set out to write about in the first place The book doesn t systematically analyze what percentage of whatever made in China is poorly made This for me highlights the importance of case by case analysis when it comes to working with China especially in light of the fact that many high uality products are being manufactured in China today All being said the book is an enjoyable read and sometimes very funny While I don t recommend it as a guide to do business in China I do recommend it as a lighthearted read of someone s intriguing experiences with the cunning of Chinese manufacturers Author Paul Midler a non Chinese US native learned Chinese as an undergrad and eventually got an MBA Not wanting a stereotypical US finance job he became a middleman in southeast China s economic heartland a middleman between US importers and Chinese manufacturersFirst many American companies dealing with China are just that importers Their companies never made a thing in America They re start up or near start up entrepreneurs aglow at the idea of selling cheap made in China stuff like health and beauty aids and how dumb is it to ship 90 percent water shampoo across the ocean as house or generic brands to sell at places like Dollar GeneralAnd Chinese plants dealing with such importers seem to cheat in the manufacturing process every way they can besides the obvious exposed ones such as lead in paint and melamine in dog food They simply refuse to pay for internal uality inspectors then try to obstruct US ones people like the middleman author They deliberately underbid in an intensely competitive market then cut corners in any way they canThen when they really get busted Like the lead on Barbies last year Did the Chinese manufacturer apologize to MattelNO Remember what happened Eventually Mattel apologized to the Chinese manufacturer for bringing its integrity its Asian face into doubtAnd that s another theme of the book Asian face gets mingled and mangled with a developing Chinese aggressiveness and you get and shenanigans like thisMeanwhile the importers like the other person in a dysfunctional relationship afraid that if they stand tough a competitor will get a better deal often uail show inopportune emotion or otherwise lose face If it happened to Mattel contrary to a couple of reviewers here it s happening a lot in China don t doubt itMeanwhile it appears from this book and many other things the Chinese Potemkin economy is a 3 legged stool Beijing local governors and the manufacturers themselves The manufacturers are often playing off Beijing and local governors probably through a mix of threats ickbacks etcSo American importers have a mix of ongoing infatuation with China fear of leaving if a competitor stays fear of provoking a manufacturer if a competitor doesn t and It s hugely dysfunctional This is an interesting read many tactics employed by Chinese manufacturers in this book shampoo healthcare products are similar in daily life in Viet Nam This is some This book is just superb It is so much better informative and useful than any dozen succeed in business books one could buyMidler has worked in China for years nows Mandarin and sees how companies rush to produce goods in China due to its lower costs China welcomes US and other importers with red carpet treatment and business friendly protocols but once production in China is established factory owners start engaging in uality fade For example a factory owner may use thinner plastic or unilaterally change a formulation or as we have seen opt to use lead paint It becomes clear that Chinese uality issues about which we have read are not the exception but the ruleI applaud Midler s willingness to write this book and Wiley Sons to publish it As important a subject as Chinese manufacturing is there is virtually no other source that is so honest and detailedRecommended for all who like business books or who are contemplating doing business in China. By placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit This is a lively and impassioned personal account a collection of true stories told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us al. Manufacturing and import is a topic that doesn t sound exciting When it s told through the lens of a culturally sensitive deadpan narrator it became a really engaging story The book is a bit different than I was thinking The book was telling diaries of the businessman and his experiences with importing and trading in China It was fun and informative regarding the work there but enough Nothing nothing to be considered or said about the social cultural and psychological perspectives of Chinese as the writer wasn t concern about these matters entirely I was expecting something drier with statistics In fact this is a narrative of the author s experience as a business Consultant Working With Importers From working with importers from US and manufacturers in China It was a pleasant surprise fast paced and worth readingThe ethics or lack of ethics to be truthful and self serving andor delusional behavior of both parties in these relationships are on display here although there are some detours into Chinese culture as well The author believes he is making a point about trade that we should have thought when we began working with China so blindly but we ve got to continue now there s no going back and if you re not manufacturing in China you ought to be but often contradicts that point with incredible stories about manufacturers having importers over a barrel uality problems that are ignored by all parties and governments and the overwhelming sense that there is to the moving factories overseas debate than just protecting American jobs Having rarely worked for private companies I found myself astonished at the complete denial of any moral or political responsibility on the part of all the businesspeople involved the author included although he may be assuaging his conscience by writing this book At times it took my breath away that the author was able to explain away his scruples by remarking that he wasn t in the business of irking his customers by telling them what they refused to hear This is not to be too critical of Midler but it is fascinating to read what he thinks the lesson of his story is when your lesson from it is so different The author of the book is an American who has lived in China for a long time and as he speaks the language is an ideal agent or go between for American companies and Chinese manufacturers He relates one example of Chinese cost cutting that I believe illuminates the whole business ethos of China A company that has a number of cheap brands of shampoo and similar toiletries that are sold by the big box stores in the States gave a contract with a Chinese company to make themOne day one of the retailers told the company CEO that the bottles had collapsed the plastic bottles were too thin to withstand the pressure of the liuids within and stacking etc What had happened was that with ever shipment the Chinese company had shaved off a small amount of the plastic going into each bottle Such a small amount that it wasn t noticed until one day the bottles were just too weakIt is obvious that the Chinese were making profits by cost cutting but they said that it was the only way they
stick to contract price If the American wanted better company bottles they would have to pay That s a different business model entirely than I learned at London uniThe purpose of religion is to supply multi generational groups with an explanation of where they have come from and where they are going It also supplies a moral code of conduct Religio comes from the Latin to bind together and its purpose through the ages has been to help groups to stay tight In part by distinguishing the in group from the separate out group The author is saying that history replaces religion in China certainly since the Communist era But the book makes it clear that the reigning god and they are uite monotheistic in this is Profit The commandments are as follows1 Profit is to be worshipped above all other gods2 It is unethical to tell the truth to foreigners if that would lose a contract3 Pricing is according to what the customer will pay and that depends on what ma This book is great if you ve lived in China just long enough to start to understand it and in turn hate it Yes it s about Chinese manufacturing but any lao wai will have common experiences even if they don t work in manufacturing or business or work at all It s got the culture of China not the nuances but things Chinese people do that add to the culture gap This book had such a light tone about it too It s not telling you what to do or think its just telling you what happened For once when reading a book about China it felt like it was written by somebody who s actually lived in china Paul Midler gives insight while still retaining the humanity and mundane normalcy in which these events take place When reading I just finished Poorly Made in China and wanted to highlight some of my ey takeaways in the book The book recently made The Economist s Book of the year list Book review The Economist Paul Midler has lived in China for over 15 years and worked as an outsourcing consultant for small to mid sized companies on a range of products He wrote the book because he was shocked at what he saw The book was written as a respon. An insider reveals what can and does go wrong when companies shift production to China In this entertaining behind the scenes account Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China Now updated and expanded Poorly Made in China reveals industry secr. ,could stick to
Se to the string of 2007 Chinese uality scandals yes it even it s own Wikipedia page and 2008 and then there uality scandals yes it even it s own Wikipedia page and 2008 and then there Chinese Drywall It took him a year and a half to finish so it sort of had a uiet launch until The Economist picked up on it The book is not an overview of the 2007 uality scandals He references them only briefly Some interesting notes the infamous Mattel lead paint toys case involved a Chinese factory owner who had worked for Fisher Price for 15 years and had an estimated net worth of 900 million USD It was a symptom of what Midler refers to as uality FadeHere s an article he wrote in 2007 that also served as the seed for the book about uality fade Dealing With China s uality Fade Forbescom Some of the other takeaways The reason China does so well initially attracting business is 1 very very low crime rate at least for Westerners 2 low initial price point although subject to rises over time 3 zero regulation want to discharge wastes from a galvanizing operation directly into the sewer No problem 4 ease of access a business traveler can get a cheap ticket over there then stay in very inexpensive hotels and come back to the US for less than he budgeted comparable trips to Mexico or Dominican Republic are extremely costly due to security constraints Chinese factories deliver low prices because they ll sell at cost to US markets then sell Alien Commanders Bride (Draconians, knockoffs of the same products to Latin America Mid East etc for doubletriple the price they re selling it to the US generally borrowing the intellectual propertydesignetc in the process Chinese factories are described as almost mid evil level of technology The average factory is a series of long tables with lines of stools generally without backs made from scrap wood with massive amounts of human labor substituting for what machines would do in the West I ve been to a few US factories and it s amazing the level of technology you ll see so long as it lowers the marginal cost and there s enough volume you ll see lines of the most expensive computer controlled CNC machines The only machinery in Chinese factories is generally worn out obsolete euipment from the West China is not THE lowest cost producer Vietnam generally beats them out on labor costs There s a bias out there that Made in America is too expensive while Made in China guarantees you re getting a good deal at least on price Say you want to buy bolts A Chinese factory uotes you 68 centsea You think you re getting a good deal If you go to a US factory and they uote you 68 cents and Made in America people think they can get it cheaper elsewhere A US manufacturer thanks to automation mechanization and superior methods might actually be the less expensive manufacturer while a Chinese manufacturer may only meet that price point while sacrificing something namely uality A lot of the business people in China especially among the lower to mid size companies are incredibly naive Those are the best stories in the book A Chinese factory was making private label beauty products for an un named CVSWalgreensetc and the CVS buyerept complaining they were getting screwed out of pH The pH was on the lower end tolerance range 6 in a 6 75 range Meanwhile the factory was doing all sorts of other substitutions behind their back that they weren t even checking Upon being challenged the CVS buyer didn t even The alphas abused mate know what pH was much less have the idea to test for bacterial contamination of the lots of body wash shampoo etc that were coming into their store by the shipload Because they didn tnow how to make anything they had no idea how a manufacturer could screw them over The Chinese product had a not tested on animals label primarily because there was no testing done whatsoeverOne of the things I enjoyed about the book is it
s a business book but there s very little business in it it s mostly about relationships and Chinese culturea business book but there s very little business in it it s mostly about relationships and Chinese culture s also this reviewer s take Some of the cultural nuances were remarkably like America in a way Also worth a look Paul Midler s Blog Especially the older entries Also of note Dumping China for America CNN Money On a personal note one of the reasons I ve become interested in this book is I ve gotten into valve procurement in a big way The valve business is very very competitive and a valve you bought 10 15 years ago that used to made in the USA with a good reputation for uality is now either assembled in the USA with Chinese made parts or wholly made in China due to commercial pressure I was at a meeting when we went through valves and name after name was made in China partly or completely I asked is there anyone who isn t the older engineer looks over at me and says yeah Company Z Their valves are made in India Me UmNow we try do as much as possible to test the valves and to screen out the worst offenders but the whole process has left me with some uneasy feelings The valve salesman won t be around when the project starts up I will and the operators will work next to these valves for years to comeNote that Paul Midler ends his book with a GUARANTEE of further Chinese uality scandalshttpnoladishublogspotcom201202 While I enjoyed the book I thought it gave a limited glance on the reality of Chinese companies especially manufacturers First. Ets including the dangerous practice of uality fade the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of uality inputs US importers don't stand a chance Midler explains against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose.