How often do we hear the words spoken ‘’made in China goods are rubbish in quality’’? Such comments would generally appear to be true considering the flood of poorly made products exiting this East Asian nation. China is a nation that has over the last 20 years earned the reputation as the ‘world’s factory’. It goes without saying that many of our goods at home today are made in China, however does the reputation China made goods has earned really do it justice?
I am a Sales executive at Tiny Tapir in Bangasar Village and it is not uncommon for customers to ask me almost on a daily basis where each and every product we sell is made. I do feel that the stigma of China made goods has spoiled it for many good quality China made products.
An example of this are Zoobies. Zoobies are a wonderful 3 in 1 plush toy, pillow and blanket item for children that is made under strict guidelines from their US brand owner, however the product is made in China. The Zoobies product could easily pass for an item made in the US or any developed nation.
As a Sales Executive many products pass my hands, also evaluating products to sell at the outlet is part of my job and truthfully speaking many products are made in China but their quality vary greatly. There are those products made in China that look like they are made in China, stuff that you’ll find at a Pasar Malam and there are those usually but not always Western Branded China goods made under strict supervision and requirements such as Zoobies.
Let us not forget where our IPhones, IPads or Macs are made, Apple is an American brand but the product as a whole is assembled in China with many parts sourced from China as well, however the only that sets Apple apart from let’s say Xiaomi is that the brand Western. Yes of course we all know that the experience of an IPhone is far superior but it is still a China made product.
Now let us not place western brands on a pedestal but there are some brands coming out of other parts of the world that have quality just as equivalent as western brands. Manufacturers throughout the world know very well that Asian and Western customers alike prefer buying Western brands hence some Asia brand owners/manufacturers have gone as far as setting up an office in a Western country to provide an image of brand credibility. It is sad that Asian brands have to go to this extent to prove their quality and avoid negative perception, in time we hope this attitude with erode and give way to a pride of ASEAN made goods. Only through time of consistent quality reinforcing itself into the psyche of people will perceptions change. Similar to the process of perceptions revamping that Korean car manufacturers are struggling with but in decades to come if quality and innovation is maintained Korean car manufacturers will be just as good as Japanese car manufacturers. Well at least we can hope.
We at Tiny Tapir try to support small manufacturers. We believe that going local and ASEAN is the way forward, reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on foreign made goods. We aim to bring under our wing more and more ASEAN made goods and brands in the near future.
In conclusion let us try to be more discerning when making decisions on China made goods and let us not blindly blanket all China goods under one general negative comment, for as we know there are different types of quality coming out of China. Secondly let’s try to support and give a helping hand to small manufacturers and ASEAN goods to break into the market. Together we can make a difference as consumers.