Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jun 2012 09:24 UTC
Google "Buried somewhat quietly in the noise of Google's spate of announcements today was an interesting fact: the Nexus Q, Google's new media streamer and first self-built consumer hardware, is being manufactured in the United States." Just getting their toes wet, for sure, but it's interesting it's Google making the first attempt to bring back production to the west. I won't comment on whether or not production should move back in the first place, but in all honesty, I expected Apple to be the one to make the first move here.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 28th Jun 2012 09:37 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

One has to understand that things are not manufactured in China now just because it’s cheap — that may have been the case in the ’80s and ’90s — it’s because you cannot build stuff anywhere else, there isn’t the technology.

China has built an industry of building stuff. They have the machines, they have the processes, they have the 2-million employee factories. We need to get out of our head that China is some backwater cheap place where stuff is thrown together; there is the investment of technology out there (by necessity) that outstrips the ’West.

China is the _only_ place you can manufacture certain things. Google, even Apple would absolutely struggle to build their premier product in America. Neither the talent nor the resources exists there.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Kroc
by kurkosdr on Thu 28th Jun 2012 09:51 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

The question is: Why all the good factories are in China and not in Europe or the US? It's not like Europe or the US cannot have factories.

Answer: If you make sure wages are miserably low, if you make sure no environmental regulations exist, and also make sure the system of government is a dictatorship so people cannot even complain, let alone change the situation, "good" (hi-tech) factories will come, because it's more cost-efficient for the guy that funds the construction of the factory. How can a country that respects their people and the environment (or at least respects their people and the environment more than China), can compete with this?

And you can just tell people "don't buy from China". If all the megacorps make their stuff in China, you can't.

If you live in a democracy and vote for a party that happily makes business with dictatorships, aka parties that do not have a clear "we will outlaw products made or partially made in dictatorships if we become government" written in their schedule, or worse don't vote at all, then you deserve to become unemployed.

Edited 2012-06-28 09:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by WorknMan on Thu 28th Jun 2012 23:00 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If you make sure wages are miserably low, if you make sure no environmental regulations exist, and also make sure the system of government is a dictatorship so people cannot even complain, let alone change the situation


Well, they probably COULD if they really wanted to, but even if they did, the Corps would just find another shithole somewhere else to set up shop in, where people are willing to work for pennies.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Lennie on Thu 28th Jun 2012 09:56 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

China had a price growth of 12% per year the last fwe year, that is the reason why China isn't as cheap anymore. Also the oil prices make transport more expensive. So that is why you see some more manufacturing being done again in the US and Europe.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Gone fishing on Thu 28th Jun 2012 11:01 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Kroc has a good point, that pertains to the loss of manufacturing in general. Firstly it was we can't compete with Japan, Korea in Ship building, steel manufacture because of cheap labour etc. This heavy industry was derided as old industry, then it was cars, motorcycles and electrical goods. It became obvious that these economies where no longer low wage but high Tech, high wage economies. Then the focus moved to Taiwan and China and we couldn't compete with these economies for the manufacturing of computer chips, and motherboards etc. because of cheap labour etc that didn't matter because the West was now post industrial. We were going to sell services and IP.

When are we in the west going to get a grip? Countries that can build cars, aircraft, spaceships, phones and computers do not need to buy insurance, banking and spurious financial products from the British or will tolerate paying Microsoft, Apple etc for an equally spurious IP Tax indefinitely. These countries are now producing hundreds of thousands of graduate engineers, scientists, computer scientists each year while we in Britain have increasing indisciplined children who go to university to study media and become hopelessly in debt. If we are not careful it will be the now developing economies that have the skills and reasonable wages and we in the west will be poor, and unskilled.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Comment by Kroc
by jefro on Thu 28th Jun 2012 14:40 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
jefro Member since:
2007-04-13

China still pays some of the lowest wages. They have no OSHA or EPA to watch out for workers or the environment. They still use prison labor and their policies on child labor is still one of the worst. They are not a free country and paying them at all enforced the slavery imposed on the people. They manipulate the currency and dump products. The quality of Chinese products still lacks any modern manufacturing facility.

I agree the US isn't the perfect model but it is light years ahead of that backward place.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Gone fishing on Thu 28th Jun 2012 15:52 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

China still pays some of the lowest wages. They have no OSHA or EPA to watch out for workers or the environment. They still use prison labor and their policies on child labor is still one of the worst. They are not a free country and paying them at all enforced the slavery imposed on the people. They manipulate the currency and dump products. The quality of Chinese products still lacks any modern manufacturing facility.



You make some fair points, apart from the last sentence, China now has some modern factories many owned by European and US companies. How will China develop, looking into the future is a dangerous thing - maybe we will see the return of the Red Guard but I doubt it.

More likely the Chinese middle classes will grow and with increased industrialization Chinese workers will become more affluent. Chinese politics may become more open and technocratic as a way of managing the country in a more efficient manner. I'm sure that China will become more assertive in the world, its presence in Africa now is not unlike, the "unofficial empire" and I think it is likely that in parts of Africa it will gets its fingers burned like the old imperial powers.

Don't expect China (or India) to stay squalid and backward that is unlikely. If we de-industrialise as China Industrialists, well that looks like stupidity to me.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by KLU9 on Thu 28th Jun 2012 20:44 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

As part of my job, I speak to people in Chinese manufacturing everyday. Strangely enough, none of them are prisoners or children.

YMMV.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Soulbender on Fri 29th Jun 2012 04:45 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The quality of Chinese products still lacks any modern manufacturing facility.


Many chinese manufacturing facilities are of a higher standard than those in the west.

I agree the US isn't the perfect model but it is light years ahead of that backward place.


Funny how the chinese model seem to attract so many freedom-loving, patriotic and worker-friendly American companies.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by zima on Thu 5th Jul 2012 19:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

They are not a free country and paying them at all enforced the slavery imposed on the people. They manipulate the currency and dump products. [...]
I agree the US isn't the perfect model but it is light years ahead of that backward place.

Right, because US wouldn't exploit the US dollar for its benefit, never!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar_warfare
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_Diplomacy
(oh well, we'll how it all ends up... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_the_Empire:_The_Breakdown_of_the... )

BTW, the mess in China, for most of XX century, was largely brought - a bit earlier - by what they call "the century of humiliation" ...in which the US also had a major part - and what the Chinese very much remember.

The US which exports and promotes such slavery (another example: http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-haiti-minimum-wage-the-nat... ), which dumps its "products" around the world (what do you think forcing IP laws on other countries is? Or diplomatic efforts to push through fattening drugs, US kind of medicine-injected farming, and overall industrial approach to agriculture ...despite how poorly it works out, with US having one of the poorer population health indicators in the developed world)

Edited 2012-07-05 19:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2