Bill Conant" />
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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Get technical: From cheap knock-offs to high demand

Want a $299 iClone? Go to China. Want a Ferrari knock-off for under $30,000? Go to China.

Chinese manufacturers have gone from cheap textiles and poor-quality radios to copying major electronics. And in some cases the knock-offs are better than the originals.

The iPhone doesn’t include an option for user-installed applications, doesn’t allow you to change your ring tone beyond the pre-existing selections and doesn’t use 3G networks for data. The Meizu M8 does. It’s the same size and shape as the iPhone, has a touch screen, imitates all but the most Mac-inspired aspects of the interface, and is half the price of the iPhone. It does, however, run on Windows Mobile 5, which means you can install your own applications, and that "real Web" stuff (you know, not a "slimmed-down" version Apple complains about in its commercial) still works as advertised.

China’s reputation has far passed being a place known only for bad merchandise pirated by sweatshop laborers, and has in fact begun to rank among the countries that will soon produce their own name-brand items. This is how Japan’s electronics industry originated, as well as South Korea’s. Samsung and LG both started out making other countries’ products, then began reverse-engineering those items. Soon Samsung began producing those silly little things everybody talks on. You know, those "cell phone" things. They make most of those now.

When foreign companies send their ideas, plans and designs to China, who can blame the Chinese for the work they do to revamp and remake the items their own way?

Chinese factory owners actually run two shifts of workers on occasion. They take their engineering and research teams aside, remake an item, and send it to their factories at night to be mass-produced for the Chinese market. More jobs are created for Chinese workers, the market is filled and all parties make more money.

Well, all parties but the companies whose products were knocked off. They weren’t going to sell those high-ticket items in China though anyway, right?

How long until the "Made in China" sticker is a mark of high-quality products? When will China farm out its labor to us? They are swiftly becoming a more and more major market power (what with buying up our debt and whatnot) and with economic power there comes political power.

China knows it has the world on a string, and they are slowly winding that string up.

The Great Leap Forward came 50 years after Mao Zedong anticipated, and it was slow in happening, but it’s now fully upon us.

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