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All products from China are low quality… Discuss!

We have all seen the memes there are hundreds of them online, shared on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok: 

Is the Quality of Products Made in China Really That Bad? - Insight Quality  Services

It is true, however, that there is a reputation for a reason. Some goods produced in Chinese factories are of a lower standard than what we expect. Why is that? 

1. Poor quality of raw materials. 

Many issues can fall with the suppliers. Suppliers may not be willing to pay for good quality raw materials. A company may request a higher spec and they may have samples delivered that are of a higher quality, but when it comes to manufacturing… the manufacturers may cut costs and use a lesser quality material. 

2. Unclear quality requirements.  

Some suppliers may not be clear on their quality requirements, or not fully understand what is required and then make lower quality products. 

3. Difference between standards. 

Standards of products differ from country to country and some manufacturers are not quality conscious. They simply create the product without a thought to the overall worth. 

4. A lack of skills. 

Some manufacturers are approached and accept a job but don’t have the skills needed to manufacture the quality expected. Or they may lack the machinery or equipment to reach the standards that are required. 

5. There is often a time pressure to deliver higher quality. 

The reason why so many businesses turn to Chinese manufacturing is because of the quick turn around time. Manufacturers may substitute quality materials over a fasting manufacturing time.  

6. The profit margins are too slim. 

We all know that these manufacturing plants are running to tight deadlines and each product may be making less than 1 cent per item. The manufacturers are caught up in profit which means the focus is on quantity rather than the quality. 

7. Not all manufacturers care about quality or what it means to the owner’s business.  

That means a poor item can be made and delivered, the company will change the manufacturer but the damage to their reputation has already been done.  

Those are just a few reasons why we can see a difference in the quality of some Chinese goods. Many of us have also experienced purchasing low-quality products that last only a few days of uses before they break. We check the back and sure enough “Made in China” is stamped and we think well, Chinese rubbish again… Except is it? 

We all have these preconceived ideas around products and goods made in China and the quality of the items. How do those ideas measure up against the facts? Let us take a look. 

“According to data published by the United Nations Statistics Division, China accounted for 28 per cent of global manufacturing output in 2018. That puts the country more than 10 percentage points ahead of the United States, which used to have the world’s largest manufacturing sector until China overtook it in 2010.”


Let us think about that for a minute. That means that at least one in every four products that are manufactured is made in China. Now, do we find that all of those products have an issue? No, it is actually rare that we do find an issue with a Chinese made product if we think about the volume of goods China produces.  

Not all Chinese goods are low quality or poorly built, or at all dangerous. In fact, many items produced in the country are built to a company’s exact and very specific specifications. That is where the real blame can often lie. An item that is designed poorly with low-quality materials and to an extremely low budget in the first place may contain numerous defects. This isn’t the fault of the manufacturer rather the business itself. 

Many of the clothes that you are wearing now are actually made in China. We don’t just mean the socks you picked up in the dollar store which you may expect are made in China. Actual high street brands that are known for high-quality clothing such as: 

  • Nike, Inc 
  • Adidas 
  • Arrow Shirts 
  • L.L. Bean 
  • Levi Strauss & Co. 
  • New Balance 
  • Hollister 
  • Calvin Klein 
  • Forever 21 
  • Abercrombie & Fitch 

All of these brand’s manufacture at least one range or item of their stock in China. Have you found them to be of the low quality of having manufacturing issues? No, because they are designed to a high standard with high-quality materials and produced by innovative Chinese manufacturing methods.  

As a consumer, we want as much for our money as we can get. Sometimes this leads to unrealistic expectations. Are the one-dollar earbuds going to be of the same quality as Apple two hundred- and fifty-dollar buds? Doubtful. So, we need to think about that when we make purchases and set our expectations accordingly.  

As a business, you need to do the same. You need to ensure that you are very transparent and open to the target audience. If you are selling a high-end purse that costs over 1000$ for a customer to buy… If your manufacturer can make it for just a few bucks, the chances are there is a disparity in your requirements and what they are intending to deliver.  

Clear communication is often the key that can make all of the difference. That and understanding how the manufacturing industry works in China and how you can work with the best teams. This is why it is so important you work with a team you can trust so why not Contact Us and let us help you with all your sourcing needs. Our staff are here and ready to help you with any question or queries about the 3PL service and what we can do for your business. 


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