Here are some good articles that I found over the past few months.
“The ambition is to turn China into a “strong” manufacturing nation within a decade, with the priority on digitalisation and modernisation of 10 sectors, including aerospace, railways, new-energy vehicles and new materials.” But are they really focusing on the right things in their development strategy?
Beijing wishes to see leading robot manufacturers appear in China. However, “of the 56,000 industrial robots sold in [China] during 2014, only 16,000 came from local suppliers”, all high-end automation systems are foreign, and Chinese equipment has a poor reputation when it comes to reliability.
Based on a fictional new product launch, the author gives us a great breakdown of the typical costs involved in a “hardware startup”. It also illustrates that, in consumer electronics, volume is key to reaching profitability.
An investor reminds hardware startup entrepreneurs of a few realities regarding China manufacturing: many factories are not interested in spending months of development for a new and untested company; MOQs are often too high; it is best to audit the factory carefully and then to have a representative close by.
Most Chinese people prefer to use QQ or Wechat (instant messaging platforms) rather than email. They are just not very good at using email in a professional manner. To avoid long back-and-forth discussions, or worse misunderstandings, I highly recommend this free e-book from Jacob Yount.
Jacob Yount lists 6 signs that are clearly unprofessional in North America or in Western Europe, yet that are common among good and bad Chinese suppliers alike. (By the way, I wrote before on this same topic here.)
Fredrik Gronkvist wrote a good overview of the whole purchasing process with a Chinese supplier, for small oversea buyers.
Contrary to what most businesspeople think, a carefully drafted contract can be enforced in China against a Chinese company. Steve Dickinson explains how to increase your chances of getting a fair trial.