Being Chinese and Buying Made In China in the USA: Part 1 of 2

Worldwatch Institute reported, “Chinese purchases of high-end items—including designer handbags, perfumes, and watches—will grow by 25 percent annually over the next four years, and that by 2015 China will be the world’s largest luxury brand consumer, with a 29 percent global share.”

In addition, CNN Money says that America is the new destination for rich Chinese shoppers. Why? “Renee Hartmann, of China Luxury Advisors, said luxury merchandise in the U.S. tends to be around 35% cheaper than in China.”

There is another reason why many Chinese tourists buy “Made in China” in other countries.

While my Chinese father-in-law and his wife were visiting in the U.S. I learned why Chinese buy here — quality.

If you read the China Law Blog, you may know that in China there are several levels of quality that do not exist in the U.S.  When buying anything in China, there is always a risk you might end up buying a fake or the real thing but of a lower quality. In fact, there is no way to tell what level of quality you are buying when in China.

That doesn’t mean “Made in China” is always of a poor quality. The language of the contract between the foreign buyer such as Apple and the Chinese manufacturer is important. If the contract between a U.S. corporation and a Chinese manufacturer specifics the quality, that’s what’s usually delivered to be shipped to the U.S. If the product is of a poor quality, then blame it on the contract the CEO of a U.S. corporation signed.

And most of the products Apple sells globally are assembled in China and many are manufactured there too (Apple has manufacturing facilities spread around the world but assembles most of its expensive electronic items such as the iPad in China).

Continued in Part 2 on October 21, 2015.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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10 Responses to Being Chinese and Buying Made In China in the USA: Part 1 of 2

  1. Toonng Chang says:

    In my childhood day, 60s and 70s, canned foods and bicycles were one of the biggest exports to Southeast Asian countries, and they were of higher quality than those sold in China.

    • Did China even have canned food in the 60s and 70s after Mao had all the metal that could be found—pots and pans, etc—melted?

      • Toonng Chang says:

        Chairman Mao’s domestic policy was, and his Cultural Revolution continued but, exports to cater overseas Chinese continued during that period.

      • I remember that under Mao, even during the famine, food was being sold and exported to other countries until the central government discovered how bad it really was and then they stopped the exports and started buying wheat from Canada, Australia and France, who bought the wheat from the U.S. that didn’t know what France was doing, I think.

        It has been documented that the U.S. refused to sell wheat to China during the famine because the U.S. government wanted the Chinese people to suffer so much that they would rise up and throw out the communists and let the nationalists back in. But it didn’t work. Most of the people had no trust for the Nationalists under Chang Kai-Shek and it is obvious that they rather starve and die than have him back in power on the mainland.

        All that did was allow million more to die of starvation as China scrambled to buy wheat and get it into China and then into mouths. That doesn’t happen overnight.

      • Toonng Chang says:

        Most factories came to a halt after USSR had recalled their experts from China, particularly the heavy industrial plants located in Northeast China. With the exception of food processing, sports goods, and bicycles manufacturing mostly in Shanghai and Guangzhou where demand from overseas Chinese traders remained strong even after Cultural Revolution. When China ran out of sugar, Malaysia’s ‘Sugar King’, Robert Kuok came to the rescue and helped China securing more than 300K metric tons of sugar from Brazil one year in the late 70s.

      • I read about the USSR recalling their experts from China, but I’m not sure that sugar was good for China. I think sugar might be even more dangerous to health than tobacco.

        “The Pompeiians have healthy teeth, only in the rarest cases marred by decay: this is thanks to a mainly vegetarian diet and to an almost total lack of sugar in the diet, explained dental surgeon Elisa Vanacore.”] Yes, their diet was likely high in fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in refined sugar. But that doesn’t make it vegetarian, and vegetarian diets aren’t linked to low frequencies of dental cavities.

        a large epidemiological study suggest sugar may also have a direct, independent link to diabetes. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-San Francisco examined data on sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past decade. After accounting for obesity and a large array of other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.

        And diabetes is bad news.

        The effects of diabetes on the body.

  2. Debbie says:

    So true Lloyd. My ex-husband used to say that there were 3 kinds of nikes. ( he was shoe obsessed). one made in china, for locals, two, made in china but for export, with some kind of fault that meant it coulndt be exported and more expensive that the first kind, and three the kind that was for export and was exported. he could not believe the quality of nike shoes the first time we went to australia.

    • I think I read somewhere that there are about 12 levels of quality in China, and the contract with the manufacturer in China has to be spelled out in detail to make sure the foreign or Chinese retailer is paying for the quality they want. And then the U.S. retailer must have someone they can depend on in China on the factory floor keeping an eye on things in addition to the threat spelled out in the contract that if the manufacturer cuts corners to make more money and the quality of the product suffers, the foreign or domestic retailer can void the contract and look for another factory to produce their product. Imagine what it would mean for the factories in China—That I understand are owned by the Japanese—that assembles Apple’s products if they started to cut corners on quality and got caught by Apple.

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