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Manufacturing

This tag is associated with 23 posts

Is China still the global manufacturing hub?


Activity in China’s manufacturing industry has been shrinking at a quick pace in the last four years, missing also the market expectations in the last news reported on January. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered a weak level of 49.4 in January, compared with the previous month’s 49.7 and below the 50-point mark that … Continue reading

A massive Chinese industry is flashing warning signs that the world cannot ignore


China’s steel industry, the world’s biggest, is in crisis. The disaster is the result of a combination of factors, including a slowing Chinese economy, falling commodity prices, and an industry loaded with debt. Earlier this month, state-owned enterprise (SOE) Sinosteel defaulted on a debt-interest payment of $315 million on bond notes maturing in 2017. It’s … Continue reading

Chinese companies face culture shock in countries that aren’t like China


Faced with slower growth at home and rising labour costs, Chinese entrepreneurs are seeking foreign markets as never before. But as they rush abroad, they are grappling for the first time with unruly trade unions, independent courts and meddlesome journalists. And for many, navigating the unfamiliar waters of multiparty politics and confronting the power of … Continue reading

“Made in China” really doesn’t mean what it used to


Among shoppers in the West, the notion persists that “Made in China” indicates—to put it bluntly—junk. Many still prize labels boasting a product was made in, say, Italy—even if a growing number of Italian products come from factories that are Chinese-owned and staffed. But the quality of Chinese-made clothes is rising fast. China’s garment industry … Continue reading

Asia’s dominance in manufacturing will endure – that will make development harder for others


By making things and selling them to foreigners, China has transformed itself—and the world economy with it. In 1990 it produced less than 3% of global manufacturing output by value; its share now is nearly a quarter. China produces about 80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes. … Continue reading

Why China won’t eliminate foreign technology by 2020


Late last week, an interesting piece ran in Bloomberg about China’s plans to eliminate foreign technology from government agencies and key industries by 2020, mostly for security reasons. China has already begun pushing in this direction – Windows 8 is banned from government computers, Qualcomm got slammed with a massive anti-trust fine, and Apple products … Continue reading

‘Made in China’ tops the EU’s most unsafe list


Every parent assumes the plush doll they bought for their child at the mall is safe, but if it has a “Made in China” label, you should think twice. A European Watchdog agency issued 2,435 notifications of unsafe products in 2014, which range from children’s toys, clothing, and even appliances. Sixty-four percent of the unsafe products were … Continue reading

Chinese nickel company in the black after registering record profits as a result of Indonesian bans


China’s second largest nickel company Xinjiang Xinxin Mining Industry revealed that it’s cash generative once again following a 300 percent rise in revenue for the 2014 fiscal period. According to a report on the South China Morning Post, the income boost was due to towering nickel prices last year, lower production costs, a new copper … Continue reading

Microsoft closing two China factories and relocating to Vietnam; another 9,000 jobs lost


Microsoft will close two Chinese factories that it acquired when it bought Nokia’s handset business in April 2014, cutting 9,000 jobs.. The report by MarketWatch said the two factories were in Beijing and Dongguan, and that some equipment and production would be shifted to Vietnam. The two factories were picked up by Microsoft when it … Continue reading

Can China break the vicious circle of economic slowdown and foreign capital exodus?


Is China’s economic slowdown causing the foreign capital exodus or vice versa? It is like the old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Let’s look at both scenarios. Economic slowdown has caused capital exodus. Taiwan media Want China Times says in its report “Foreign manufacturer exodus from China”, “With the Chinese economy … Continue reading

China’s wage inflation forcing foreign firms to look at Southeast Asia


The economic turbulence in China has another hidden layer to it – losing jobs to Southeast Asia as multinational companies relocate their manufacturing units to those countries as a way to enhance cost efficiency. “I definitely think Southeast Asia is a threat to China’s job market,” said Christine Wright, Asia managing director of recruitment agency … Continue reading

China factories kept open to give illusion of prosperity


In the shadow of a group of giant smokestacks and deserted foundries, a peeling sign welcomes visitors to the Wenxi Steel Industrial Park. But in the nearby village, the working-age men and many of the women have gone, leaving only the elderly and the very young. “If you cut down the big tree, all the … Continue reading

How China is ripping off iconic designs and flogging them for a fraction of the price


British brands such as Jaguar Range Rover and Mulberry are copied. Cheaper versions of the luxury products are sold en masse in China. Complex patent laws make it near impossible for companies to take action. At first glance, it looks like a Range Rover. At second glance, it still looks like a Range Rover. Even … Continue reading

China’s new 3-D printed houses


Additive manufacturing (aka. 3-D printing) has triggered a revolution in fabrication, with applications ranging from consumer goods to artificial bones and organs. However, it is in the field of construction that the technology is making what may prove to be some of its greatest contributions. In addition to being much more safe and cost-effective than … Continue reading

Is China on final approach to an economic crisis?


January’s PMI data for China’s manufacturing sector, as released by Markit Economics and HSBC, showed a marked decline in production activity. More disturbing, however, is their analysis on the individual sectors of the manufacturing economy.  According to the report, firms cut their staffing levels at the quickest pace since March 2009, and, more importantly, “average … Continue reading

Final China HSBC PMI dips to six-month low in January as new orders weaken


Business conditions for China’s manufacturers worsened in January as output and new order growth weakened, a private survey showed on Thursday, pointing to a weak start for the economy in 2014. The Markit/HSBC final manufacturing PMI for January dipped to 49.5 from December’s 50.5, the first deterioration in six months. The figure was in line … Continue reading

China’s commodity subsidising problems are only getting worse


Bloomberg recently reported that China, in order to aid its own cotton farmers by supporting cotton prices, has been buying up excess production into government stockpiles. The world’s biggest producer and user of cotton will have 12.7 million metric tons in inventory by July 31, 2014, 62% of the global total and enough to make … Continue reading

Risks to China recovery seen as factory output underwhelms


China’s factory output growth was surprisingly feeble in April and fixed-asset investment slowed, rekindling concerns that a nascent recovery is stalling and adding to pressure on policymakers to take action to stimulate the economy. However, China’s already-easy monetary policy and rising home prices complicate the options available to Beijing’s new leadership, leading some analysts to … Continue reading

China January PMIs signal mild recovery in place


China’s giant manufacturing sector extended its mild recovery in January with weak foreign demand still crimping growth, a pair of surveys showed, underscoring that the country’s rebound from its worst downturn in 13 years remains modest. Two separate versions of the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released on Friday showed factory output in the world’s second-largest … Continue reading

As China’s wages climb, Mexico stands to win new manufacturing business


Not long ago, Mexican factories couldn’t compete with the “China price,” the ridiculously low cost of production in the Asian nation. But sometime this year, with rock-bottom wages soaring in China, the average cost of factory labour in the two nations will be roughly the same. This is a boon to Mexico, and its industrial … Continue reading

Suzhou Silk Factory (Chris H Lynn)


A video of production at the Suzhou Silk Factory

VW overhauls management to expand in China


Volkswagen elevated China‘s status within its sprawling empire and reasserted control over its wayward trucks brands with an extensive overhaul of senior management on Saturday as it bids for global market dominance. The company created a management board position dedicated solely to China – it’s single largest market – which will be filled by Jochem … Continue reading

China factory surveys signal wider economic weakness


China‘s economy betrayed signs of a broadening slowdown as surveys of its vast factory sector showed momentum eased in May, signalling a deeper-than-forecast deterioration in demand at home and abroad and the likelihood of more policy easing. The official purchasing managers’ index – covering China’s biggest, mainly state-backed firms – fell more than expected to … Continue reading

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