- China Business Blog - http://www.chinabusinessservices.com -

Made In China (With Risk)

The “Made In China” tag has been seeing a transformation of late, and has been increasingly associated with added-value, quality products (see here [1] and here [2]). However, a spate of news stories ranging from child labour [3]making licensed Olympic products (not to mention slave conditions [4] in local brick kilns) to tainted export products, have served as a reminder that there is more to production than cost, and that the label’s associations are still not all positive.

A recent post noted corruption in the pharmaceuticals sector [5], and related problems with unsafe drugs, as well as poisonous pet food exports. Since then headlines have been added for products as wide ranging as counterfeit Colgate toothpaste [6](containing the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol) and toy trains [7](too much lead paint in Thomas the Tank Engine products – the best friend of many a two-year-old boy).

While China is taking steps to punish errant officials and raise safety standards [8], companies sourcing from China can take steps of their own to manage risk. Due diligence [9], testing, inspections [10] – and regular reviews – should be part of any sourcing plan. As should ongoing monitoring of piracy that could damage brands (or loyal consumers).