Here are some interesting or useful articles that I found recently.
Economists predict an increase of Chinese wages by a bit over 10% this year. When adding the appreciating currency and the stricter pollution controls, other low-cost Asian countries become more attractive on paper.
In another grim article about the Chinese manufacturing sector, David Wolf reminds us of the underlying demographic trends (for the first time in decades we now have more workers serving people than making things in China).
He also points to the extreme interest Chinese manufacturers have for automation systems. As I wrote before, Chinese factories tend to get excited by full automation, when semi-automation would make more sense…
So, in the face of higher labor costs, how can manufacturers save costs? Sometimes the low-hanging fruit is improving the factory’s energy & material conservation. And it provides a marketing advantage as well.
The Economist just issued a special report on tech startups. In this article they describe how an increasing number of “hardware startups” (designing a new product, getting financing on Kickstarter/Indigogo, finding an OEM manufacturer…) are locating themselves in Shenzhen.
They are taking advantage of the local factory base as well as the know-how in the manufacturing of electronics, plastics, metal, etc.
This timely article surprised me. Forget about red packets. Convenience trumps tradition, it seems.
If that’s really a trend, let’s hope China and the West find a way to align Chinese New Year with Christmas holidays 😉
Anybody can now search these databases of the Chinese Supreme Court. Search the Chinese name of a company (in China, not in Hong Kong) and see if you find it there. You will know if they were sentenced and if they failed to pay the damages.
Dan Harris lays out a plan for those unfortunate brand owners who see their intellectual property infringed in China.
Peter Keller gives a few “shortcuts” to evaluate a supplier’s reliability, for those small buyers who are on a budget and want to reduce risks to an acceptable level.
And finally a reminder about the upcoming conference organized by the European Chamber of Commerce: