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Chinese manufacturers’ products are no longer ‘cheap and low-quality.’ Competition in the domestic market is severe. Companies cannot survive unless they develop products that really resonate with customers.

12 Comments

Atsushi Osanai, a Waseda University professor familiar with the electronics industry. Chinese and South Korean electronic appliance and TV makers, which have price competitiveness, have outmaneuvered their Japanese rivals with low margins and a high-turnover business model.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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But Japanese electronics companies moved much of their manufacturing to China and other SE Asian countries decades ago. They have had the same competitive advantages.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Outside Japan, you hardly ever see Japanese appliances and TVs these days. I was surprised to see a Toshiba air con and a TV in a hotel in rural Vietnam once, but was told the hotel and surrounding land were owned by the army/government, and so procurement likely came through Japanese development assistance.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Go to any major appliance store back in North America and all you will find is LG, Samsung, and whatever other Chinese brands there are. You will not find a Toshiba, Panasonic, Hitachi anything. Whereas if you visit Yamada Denki or BIc Camera, you are pressed to find any other countries brands. This system cannot continue for Japan as there are fewer and fewer customers every year!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another Wasada University quote today? Now I’m really starting to question the Human Resources department there.

My folks back in the States HAD an LG TV. It died recently. It only lasted 8 years, meanwhile my Toshiba still works great after 14 years. The LG technology made every show look like it was filmed in Masterpiece Theater style. Funny that no company in the world can make a toaster that even comes close to the quality of the ones made 60 years ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Chinese manufacturers’ products are no longer ‘cheap and low-quality.’

Yes, they are still cheap compared to Japanese products, and are good quality. Regarding the quality one, just about the highest profile mass-market electronic product, the Iphone, has been made in China for years. It is sold at a high premium due to its quality.

In the past fifteen years, we've had a Japanese washing machine, a German IH cooking hob, and a Chinese fridge freezer all break. The washing machine is a Toshiba, the fault was a wire that pulls the drain valve snapping, and I fixed it myself with a zip tie on advice I found in a blog. We had ordered a new washing machine for 200,000 yen, but were able to cancel and the zip tie is still holding three-four years later. The IH is an AEG, the fault was a power circuit, and the repair was 65000 yen. We also had an element go on our AEG oven, but I replaced it myself with a part from overseas. The fridge is a Haier and the fault was a drawer roller snapping, more of an annoyance than a terminal problem. The door also sags when holding several big drinks bottles. It still works electrically and electronically though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chinese goods not made under strict design and oversight by a non-Chinese company are garbage. Korean products are decent. Japanese electronics are already passed by.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This was obvious fifteen years ago. China appears to be benefitting from the pandemic in the same way that Korea did from the global financial crisis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most Japanese brands' lower end of their product lines is made in China

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chinese manufacturers’ products are no longer ‘cheap and low-quality.’

The Waseda professor’s quote is behind the times and on just the electronics industry. China is constantly changing. Its main sell is industry and infrastructure. Its future is AI and technology.

Forget about consumer products, China’s value is in the industrial supplies and not the Walmart or Amazon goods, the so called cheap products. They win on scale of production, quantity and price. A whole rotisserie chicken sells for ¥2500 in Tokyo but ¥699 at Costcos around Tokyo and $4.99 in most US States because of the scale of production. Costco sells millions of chicken per year. If rotisserie chickens were production supplies, China could sell that at around a dollar a unit. China’s scale of production and prices are indispensable for manufacturers around the world. China is literally the alpha and omega of manufacturing.

In 2006 - China was 84% Assembly and 16% Manufacture - this meant that China received various components from Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China would merely assemble these components at super efficient rates.

In 2021 - China is 9% Assembly and 91% Manufacture - this means China literally has every component made in house for 91% of their Products and only 9% of their Manufactured Products like the Iphone or Smartphones are still assembled in China

Vietnam comes second with 34% of their Products being manufactured and 66% being Assembled

Mexico comes third with a 27% Manufactured and 73% Assembled products

Bangladesh comes fourth with a 20.5% Manufactured and 79.5% Assembled Products

India comes fifth with 13% Manufactured and 87% Assembled Products

China is not just a global factory. China is the global supply hub. China is a beginning to end chain of manufacture for a huge number of products that are needed in the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

quercum

China is not just a global factory. China is the global supply hub. China is a beginning to end chain of manufacture for a huge number of products that are needed in the world.

Yes, and the CCP is using the power that comes with that to the hilt. It is high time for the free world to de-couple from CCP China. Remember we had good economies before China appeared on the scene.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But western private equity and companies handed it to China on a silver platter to make more money. China didn’t take it from anyone. Let’s place responsibility correctly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Come to the US and tour Best Buy and Costco.

The most expensive TV sets are Korean ones.

Sony is 10% cheaper than Korean brands.

Chinese are at half the price of Koreans.

The rest of Japanese brands, Panasonic, Pioneer, Hitachi, and Toshiba, have simply disappeared.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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