Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 56

Thread: Made in China

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Made in China

    With global shifts in trade and manufacturing, this thread is dedicated to Chinese factory issues. We'll begin with this:
    My Brother Is Being Held Hostage At The Factory He Founded In China
    Julia La Roche Jun. 25, 2013, 11:41 AM 10,906 76


    Photo courtesy of John Starnes
    Chip Starnes and his wife Cecily
    American executive Charles "Chip" Starnes, the co-founder of Coral Springs, Florida-headquartered Speciality Medical Devices, has been held hostage by Chinese workers at a Beijing factory since last Friday over worker demands for severance packages.

    We spoke with his younger brother John Starnes over the phone earlier today.

    "It's been tough. It's kind of like a movie. I get word Friday that my brother is being held hostage in a facility in China," he said, adding, "It's been surreal, to say the least. It's been very scary."

    John has maintained contact with his brother via telephone and email, but the internet has been cut off since Friday.

    He described his brother Chip's conditions up until the story broke in the news media as bad. At one point Chip went 24 hours without food and water, and was deprived of sleep. Chip also has a severe infection in his eyes, which started while he was in China.

    However, the media attention has already helped improve things a bit.

    "Once the news story broke, the conditions have gotten much better. My understanding is they finally got him some medical help regarding his eyes...They've given him a cot in the last day or two — He's not sleeping on the floor," he said, adding that his brother now gets three meals a day.


    Photo courtesy of John Starnes
    Chinese workers sleeping, taking shifts watching Chip

    When the lock-in began, John said that the factory employees were standing in Chip's office watching him sleep. Once Chip managed to get them out, the employees started banging on the windows making it difficult for him to sleep, John explained.

    Things have eased up in the last 24 to 36 hours. He said his brother now has some mobility around the factory and isn't just confined to his office.

    So far, it's been impossible for him to leave, though.

    Chip sent his brother some video footage from his cell phone demonstrating this. The video, which is posted below, shows him trying to leave the facility and being blocked from the exit by a bunch of factory workers.

    John told us that it's his understanding that all of the entrances to the facility are blocked. He said that it's also his understanding that the Chinese authorities are outside of the facility maintaining order and the workers are inside the facility blockading him.

    What's more is the factory workers are sleeping in shifts to make sure Chip doesn't leave, John explained. Chip also sent a photo showing this (See above).

    The Specialty Medical Devices facility in China has been up and running for a decade. John estimated that his brother Chip has been visiting the facility once a quarter during the last ten years.

    He doesn't have any family in China. None of his relatives were traveling with him at the time.

    Chip's wife and three children are back in Florida. John said that it has been a very challenging time for the family.

    "The stress level is high. The concerns are high. The emotions are high. We are very concerned for his safety and for his well being."

    The family has been in touch with officials in the U.S. to help Chip.

    When John first got word of the situation he reached out to Tony Baltimore, who does constituent outreach relations for Congressman Mike Rogers.

    "They've been a tremendous help."
    There's a cell phone vid (no pun intended) if you follow the link above.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    For closure

    Chip is free.

    U.S. exec Chip Starnes freed from China factory

    The boss of a US medical supply company in China went free on Thursday after agreeing to to a deal with the employees who had held him hostage. Chip Starnes says he'll pay generous severance packages, even though the employees will keep working.

    Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY 9:43 a.m. EDT June 27, 2013

    BEIJING — U.S. businessman Chip Starnes walked to freedom Thursday after paying off the workers who held him hostage for six days in the factory he founded close to the Chinese capital. And now he plans to re-hire some of the very people who held him.

    The dispute, sparked by worker worries about lay-offs and unpaid salaries, highlights the widespread lack of trust between employees and their employers in China, as well as the often desperate measures Chinese workers adopt to protect labor rights that are enshrined in Chinese law but regularly abused in the real world.

    Its resolution offers further proof that, in China, taking the law into one's own hands may achieve the best results.

    Starnes, 42, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, a Coral Springs, Fla.-based company, had come to the plant last Friday to finalize severance payments for 30 workers who were being laid off as Starnes moved the firm's plastic-injection-molding division to Mumbai, India, where production costs are lower.

    The remaining 100 employees, fearful the entire factory would be closed, also demanded similar severance packages, and complained about unpaid wages, a claim Starnes has denied. To force his hand, they barricaded Starnes inside the plant.

    A deal was reached by early Thursday morning, when 97 workers received two months' salary and compensation that together totaled almost $300,000, reported the Beijing News, a local tabloid. Starnes told the Associated Press he was forced to give in to the workers' demands, and described his experience over the past six days as "humiliating, embarrassing."

    But he plans get back to business, and rehire some of his captors. "We're going to take Thursday off to let the dust settle, and we're going to be rehiring a lot of the previous workers on new contracts as of Friday," he said.

    "Everything has been properly resolved," said Chu Lixiang, a local trade union official, her voice hoarse after several days and nights of negotiations. "I just want to tell foreign investors that Huairou has a very good investment environment and fully-fledged laws, they don't have to be scared," said Chu, director of the government-controlled workers union in the Huairou district of Beijing, where the factory is located.

    Yet some U.S. businessmen might think twice about investing in China, where several Chinese managers have been killed or injured by angry workers in recent years. The kind of stand-off Starnes endured is not rare, as sometimes workers lack more effective methods to show their rights are being violated, Lin Yanling, a labor relations expert at the China Institute of Industrial Relations, told the Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper.

    "The local workers' union should play a very important role in solving workers' claims or difficulties by better communicating with employers," said Lin. "But in many cases, they only get involved when an incident has happened and pay too much attention to keeping stability."

    Chinese workers, who are well aware of their legal rights to compensation, as well as often higher "market rate" for compensation, share "a well-founded suspicion of the boss' intentions," said Geoffrey Crothall, communications director for China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based labor rights group. During the 2008 financial crisis, there were hundreds of cases of fleeing bosses, he said. "The situation is not so bad now but workers are still suspicious whenever there are signs that the factory is closing down or moving away."

    While China's court system can sometimes be effective, it is over-stretched and employers can use endless appeals to delay proceedings, said Crothall. "The main problem is clearly the lack of a proper trade union and a mechanism through which that union can negotiate with management whenever issues like lay-offs and relocation come up."

    Unless ordinary workers get involved by standing for election in the factory union, and forcing management to talk to them, "strikes and protests will continue to be the order of the day," he said.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Zhengzhou is near Shaolin

    I want to see that celebrity acrobatic snake-training talent team.
    The Demanding Off-Hour Escapes of China’s High-Tech Workers
    By DAN LEVIN
    Published: July 16, 2013

    Thousands of young Chinese come to the city of Zhengzhou to work in electronics factories. To escape the monotony of the assembly line, many take up roller skating as a hobby, like at the outdoor roller rink. More Photos »

    Liang Yulong, 19, who tests iPhone motherboards at the Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, arrived at the club with a single goal in mind: to obliterate his dreary daytime reality on the spring-loaded dance floor. “Dancing lets me vent my anger and stress,” he said, cigarette in hand. “When I’m here, I forget everything else.”

    Here on the gritty outskirts of Zhengzhou, the capital of central Henan Province, the nocturnal menagerie reveals a little-explored aspect of the global supply chain, the off-hour escapes that give the masses of workers the motivation to return to the assembly line.

    The hands that make the world’s electronics belong almost entirely to young people with dreams of their own, and a lifetime of contented industrial drudgery is not among them. Their precious time off is a rare chance to enjoy the present as they strive for a better future.

    “Everyone gets psyched for the weekend,” said Bai Sihai, 24, as he navigated open potholes on the way back to his dorm after work one afternoon. His plan? A video-game binge session at an Internet cafe followed by a long-distance phone call to his girlfriend.

    The captains of industry are beginning to see the merits of off-hours leisure. In recent years, a wave of riots and suicides at China’s huge factories have drawn attention to working conditions. In April and May, two workers and a prospective employee jumped to their deaths from dormitories that cater to workers at the Zhengzhou plant, which is owned by Foxconn, the Taiwan-based manufacturing giant that produces electronics for Apple, Microsoft and other companies. Foxconn maintains that the suicides were unconnected to work at the factory. Also in May, a worker committed suicide at a Samsung plant in the southern province of Guangdong, where labor rights organizations had documented a string of violations like forced overtime and under-age workers.

    The industry has responded with carrots and sticks to save both the lives of their workers and their own corporate reputations. Under pressure, Foxconn has raised wages and cut overtime hours. At the Shanghai plant run by Quanta, which makes hardware for companies including Apple, Toshiba and Asus, workers can pay for yoga and taekwondo classes.

    After the latest suicides at the Zhengzhou plant, the company instituted “silent mode,” which banned all talk about nonwork tasks on the factory floor. Although Foxconn later announced it had rescinded the policy after a public outcry, workers say it remains in effect.

    In the high-tech Olympus of Silicon Valley, employees in ergonomically luxuriant offices can get subsidized massages and haircuts, scale rock-climbing walls, play foosball, meditate and do Pilates — all in the name of promoting creative innovation.

    The work environment is considerably more bare-bones here. Unlike Apple’s modernistic new campus in Cupertino, Calif., which will be surrounded by apricot trees, the Zhengzhou factory has all the charm of a penal colony. Employees, who must wear matching uniforms, say supervisors routinely curse and yell. In the residential compounds, rows of brick dormitories house up to eight workers in rooms filled with metal bunk beds, a combination shower-toilet, and not much else.

    Perhaps that is why the world beyond the factory gates resembles a gigantic street fair. As dusk fell one night recently in Zhengzhou, Mandarin pop music blared from hair salons and couples strolled past stalls selling pirated DVDs, sliced watermelon and roses covered in silver glitter. A flatbed truck piled high with oversize stuffed animals drew a mob of young women like sharks to blood. “I want the green teddy bear,” cooed a teenage girl to her boyfriend, who dutifully handed over 10 renminbi, or $1.60.

    Down the block, a construction site played host to a parade of distractions, including a tattoo parlor set up in the back of a van, those arcade games with the metal claw that featured a pack of cigarettes as the big prize and a beer garden of sorts, where hordes of young factory workers chugged watery beer and chain-smoked over plates of sliced pig knuckles.

    At some point, a troupe of dolled-up singers was supposed to take the nearby stage, though Luo Haojie, 20, and his friends were finding ample amusement in their shot glasses. In May, Mr. Luo quit his factory job making iPhone 5 parts, which earned him about $295 a month, including overtime. “Our supervisors are vicious,” and the cafeteria food is terrible, he said, to a round of applause from his drinking buddies.

    Eventually he will need to find another job, but for now he is content to bask in the joys of youth, which means meeting girls and getting drunk with his former co-workers. “I’m here for my bros,” he said. “Without them I’d be miserable.”

    Summer is the low season in China’s factory towns, so many workers get a day off on weekends, sometimes even two. There are numerous colorful characters on hand to keep them entertained. One evening, a band of itinerant performers dressed like Buddhist monks had set up shop across from a KFC-inspired eatery confusingly named Donut. Garbed in silken yellow robes, the “celebrity acrobatic snake-training talent team” worked the crowd of bored onlookers by whipping balloons and hawking blessed ornaments for rearview-mirrors. A monk with an earring blew fireballs.

    “The circus that came around a few months ago was better,” said Li Yu, 19. “They had real lions and tigers.”

    Those looking for more athletic diversions can usually be found at the local roller rink.

    In the glow of swirling rainbow lights one Saturday, Zhou Pengzheng, 20, another iPhone 5 motherboard tester, narrowly avoided several neophytes as he spun to a halt on a pair of $160 in-line skates, which cost him roughly a third of his monthly salary. “It feels like I’m flying,” he said, before zooming once more into the throng of careening youths on tiny wheels.

    In-line and roller skating has developed something of a cult following among the Foxconn strivers. A half dozen teams with names like Rainbow, F-2 and Shadow gather for weekly group skating sessions across the city.

    Fang Xuema, 17, learned to skate not long after coming to work at Foxconn last spring and soon joined team Shadow, which has around 100 members. The rink has since become her second home. A high school dropout, she quit the factory in May, because her age prohibited her from working lucrative overtime hours. “I used to come to the rink twice a week, but now I’m here every night,” said Ms. Fang, in a black miniskirt and matching nail polish.

    At 11 p.m., the street performers had vanished and the love hotels were getting busy. After a long day of making iPhones, Wang Puyan, 20, and his girlfriend were heading toward their rented apartment off-campus, since factory dormitories are separated by gender.

    A romantic adventure was not in the cards, however. “We see each other every day at work,” he said. “Why would we go on a date?”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    a KFC-inspired eatery confusingly named Donut

    Awesome!

    I would hate to live in one of those work dorms.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Canada!
    Posts
    23,099
    All boats rise with the tide. Eventually it will even out and there won't be any particular country or people to exploit.

    Once China and India understand the concepts of trade unions and fair pay, benefits, etc etc it'll be like trying to start an entrepreneurial business in Europe at a large scale which is for the most part highly pointless and unprofitable without being a huge conglomerate to begin with.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    ttt 4 2015!

    I forgot about this thread and it was hard to search for - kept searching 'kidnapping' but I should of searched 'hostage'. Searching 'apple' delivered.

    'Mass suicide' protest at Apple manufacturer Foxconn factory
    Around 150 Chinese workers at Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions.


    150 Chinese workers at Foxconn, threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions Photo: Club.china.com

    By Malcolm Moore, in Shanghai 12:04PM GMT 11 Jan 2012

    The workers were eventually coaxed down after two days on top of their three-floor plant in Wuhan by Foxconn managers and local Chinese Communist party officials.

    Foxconn, which manufactures gadgets for the likes of Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP, among many others, has had a grim history of suicides at its factories. A suicide cluster in 2010 saw 18 workers throw themselves from the tops of the company's buildings, with 14 deaths.

    In the aftermath of the suicides, Foxconn installed safety nets in some of its factories and hired counsellors to help its workers.

    The latest protest began on January 2 after managers decided to move around 600 workers to a new production line, making computer cases for Acer, a Taiwanese computer company.

    "We were put to work without any training, and paid piecemeal," said one of the protesting workers, who asked not to be named. "The assembly line ran very fast and after just one morning we all had blisters and the skin on our hand was black. The factory was also really choked with dust and no one could bear it," he said.

    Several reports from inside Foxconn factories have suggested that while the company is more advanced than many of its competitors, it is run in a "military" fashion that many workers cannot cope with. At Foxconn's flagship plant in Longhua, five per cent of its workers, or 24,000 people, quit every month.

    "Because we could not cope, we went on strike," said the worker. "It was not about the money but because we felt we had no options. At first, the managers said anyone who wanted to quit could have one month's pay as compensation, but then they withdrew that offer. So we went to the roof and threatened a mass suicide".

    The worker said that Foxconn initially refused to negotiate, but that the workers were treated reasonably by the local police and fire service.

    A spokesman for Foxconn confirmed the protest, and said that the incident was "successfully and peacefully resolved after discussions between the workers, local Foxconn officials and representatives from the local government".

    He added that 45 Foxconn employees had chosen to resign and the remainder had returned to work. "The welfare of our employees is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring that all employees are treated fairly," he said.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    4,861
    When I lived in Taiwan, there were two big, friendly Jamaican guys who became acquainted wth my second Mantis teacher, me, and some of the other students. They had come to Taiwan with the promise of good work and lots of money.

    As we got to know them better, it turned out they were being held against their will in a small factory, living in slave conditions. They were being mistreated, and by early evenings they were literally locked in the factory, unable to go anywhere. They were terrified of the bosses, a man and his wife who ran the factory. This ****ed us all off, especially my teacher, and he eventually went back with them and confronted the couple. As I remember it, after much back and forth between my teacher and the couple, the two were eventually given back their passports and allowed to leave. I don't think they received all the remaining pay they were owed, but they didn't care, because they were finally free to leave. Before they returned home, they came by to see us one last time, and it was so cool to see them really happy for the first time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    That's a crazy story, Jimbo

    I've heard some horror stories about Teaching Abroad jobs, but nothing as bad as that.

    Meanwhile, here's another MiC tale that has been getting a lot of news lately. There's a little hoverboard kiosk at the mall nearby and they have some sample boxes with a big warning sign saying 'don't buy these hoverboards' to imply that the other ones they are offering are safe, but the kiosk was completely unattended. Talk about an Xmas gift bust. A lot of retailers lost big time on this one.

    Epidemic of exploding 'Made in China' hoverboards prompts Amazon to pull them from shelves



    In response to the increasing number of headline grabbing reports of hoverboards made in China unexpectedly exploding and catching fire, Amazon has made the decision to begin pulling the self-balancing scooters from its online shelves.
    Many of the hoverboards sold on Amazon have already been removed, including all five models once reviewed by BestReviews.com. That site now warns consumers that “for the time being, we are not recommending any hoverboards until they are proven to be safe”, the Guardian reports.
    Another seller, Swagway, stated that the online retailer Amazon has started questioning makers about their safety standards and requiring sellers to provide documents proving that their products “are compliant with applicable safety standards," with particular focus on the battery and chargers for the units.
    Although levitating hoverboards just like Marty McFly's iconic gadget in Back to the Future II are unfortunately not a thing just yet, the fashionable two wheeled scooters have exploded in popularity (pun intended), spurred on by celebrity interest in them, including from the likes of Justin Bieber.
    Most are manufactured cheaply in bulk in China before being purchased in bulk by resellers who apply their own cosmetic retouching and branding. In the month of October alone, 400,000 boards shipped from the cheap tech manufacturing hub of Shenzhen.
    Disputes over the product’s intellectual property status has contributed to a free-for-all to make an easy profit and allowed irresponsible manufacturers to exploit high demand and attempt to flood the market with cheap and sometimes dangerous products.



    China as we all know quickly jumps on consumer trends but often without much quality control, and in turn this has raised serious questions about the regulation of the devices and the existence of proper safety standards.
    “All the hoverboards in the US are sold by importers, who barely even know the factories they are buying it from,” Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, a hardware analyst based in Singapore, told Quartz. “In a hyper-competitive market that’s driven by a fad, taking six months to do a comprehensive testing program for safety means you’re missing out on a lot of business."
    Despite stricter regulations and also some official inspections the situation is also worrying in the UK. Of 17,000 hoverboards inspected by the UK’s National Trading Standards since October, 15,000, or 88%, were deemed “unsafe,” because of “issues with the plug, cabling, charger, battery, or the cut-off switch within the board, which often fails,” the standards agency said.
    While it would be easy to point the finger at Chinese manufacturers for all the problems, industry experts are quick to point out that importers share at least as much of the blame.
    “Chinese manufacturers operate according to a ‘make to order approach,'” Fredrik Gronkvist, a consultant who helps foreign vendors source products from China, told Quartz. “If you fail to communicate the regulations to which a product must be compliant, it will not be.”
    The unregulated, fad and profit driven state of the industry means for now at least, it really is all down to consumers to weigh up the potential dangers of buying a cheap "Made in China" hoverboard.



    By Daniel Paul
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Shanghaiist in News on Dec 16, 2015 2:30 PM
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Slightly OT

    This is in reference to the opening post of this thread and Jimbo's reply.

    JAN 11, 2016 @ 09:17 AM 2,326 VIEWS
    How To Avoid Being Held Hostage In China

    Dan Harris
    CONTRIBUTOR
    I write about the legal side of doing business in Asia.
    FOLLOW ON FORBES
    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

    It is not uncommon for one of the China lawyers at my law firm to get contacted regarding a Westerner blocked from leaving China. The people contacting us are usually the spouse or sibling or employee of the person being held in China, though sometimes we get calls from the “hostage” himself (I say “him” because nearly every time it has been a male). I have a friend who works for the Shanghai office of a large international risk advisory company and he says that office alone typically deals with a half dozen such situations a month.

    What does it mean to be held hostage in China, and why is this so common? More importantly, what can you do to ensure this never happens to you?

    Almost all of my firm’s hostage cases have involved someone whose company allegedly owes money to a Chinese company and the Chinese company is holding the businessperson hostage in an effort to get paid. About half the time, the Western company admits to owing the money, but claims not to have enough to pay it all off at once. The other half of the time, the Western company denies owing the Chinese company anything at all or anything near the amount claimed to be owed. The dispute often stems from the Chinese company having provided the Western company with bad product for which the Western company is not willing to pay full price.

    The person held hostage in China usually has had his or her passport taken by the Chinese company to whom the debt is allegedly owed. The hostage is usually then kept under fairly loose security in a mid- to lower-tier Chinese hotel, usually in the second- or third-tier city in which the Chinese company is located. After a week or so, the hostage usually comes to realize he or she is not going to be physically mistreated, but by the third or fourth month, they become pretty desperate to get out.


    How to avoid being trapped in China.

    The thing is that much of what I have above described as a hostage situation is legal under Chinese law. China’s Supreme People’s Court has stated that foreigners who work for a foreign company involved in a China commercial case may be blocked from leaving China, so long as the following conditions are met:

    (1) There is pending court case against a foreign company;

    (2) the restricted person is a party to the case, the legal representative of a party to the case, or a responsible person with a party to the case;

    (3) there exists the possibility that the party with whom the person is affiliated would evade the litigation or the performance of a statutory obligation (i.e., the court award of damages against it); and

    (4) if the restricted person were to leave China, the court might have difficulty conducting the trial or enforcing the judgment if levied against the party with whom the person is affiliated.

    Who constitutes a “responsible person” is left to the discretion of the Chinese courts and generally is anyone with a high enough or important enough position in the debtor company to have some impact on the case or on the company’s decision on whether to pay or not.

    The above is the law, but in our experience, the Chinese judges can and do permit someone to be held in China if the judge believes doing so will speed up resolution or settlement of the pending case. And since most Western companies will settle cases quickly when one of their employees is being prevented from leaving a particular Chinese city, China’s courts are willing to hold just about any American or European or Australian or other Westerner in China whose company might owe a debt to a Chinese company.

    But most hostage situations take place completely outside China’s court system. Our China lawyers have handled a number of matters where foreigners were held because of a debt and there was no court order. These people were being held by private parties, usually with local government and/or local police acquiescence. In these situations, the Chinese parties claiming to be owed money took the law into their own hands. In these non-legal situations, my firm’s work usually involves our helping the hostage to escape and/or negotiating for his or her release.

    There is an easy way to avoid being held hostage in China: Do not go there if a Chinese company claims that your company owes it money and if you are already in China when that happens, leave as quickly and as surreptitiously as you possibly can. In the majority of the hostage cases my firm has handled, the Westerner held hostage went to China to “explain” why their company owed less than the amount claimed by the Chinese company or to try to work out a payment plan. Do not ever do this. If you or your company are being sued in China or if a Chinese company or individual is threatening to sue you or your company in China or if someone in China is merely claiming that you or your company owe money, you should not go to China until that issue is resolved.

    It is that simple.

    Dan Harris is a founding member of Harris Moure, an international law firm with lawyers in Seattle, Portland, Beijing, and Qingdao. He is also a co-editor of the China Law Blog.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #10
    The only people who should be holding your passport are the local police if you are applying for residency. Companies often use this to tell people, "oh, we need your passport to take it to the local bureau." However, in most cases, you actually need to be there when it goes to the bureau, so you're best saying, "Okay, let's go."

    Some foreign teachers at private cram schools end up in this situation. Never let anyone manage your passport for you.

    On another topic, the second time I saw the Shaolin monks performing was at a dance club in Zhumadian, which is near zhengzhou. Surreal to see the little kids doing head kong routines while girls in little more than lingerie were dancing languidly on poles. At 1 AM. (not a strip club, but, like many things in China, a combination of patrons dancing in what could best be termed the Platonic Peanuts Dance while languid pole dancing occurred in the background).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Interesting study

    I cut&pasted the hyperlink to the original study for future reference.


    "National image is not just a perception out of nowhere. It's cultivated by media, depending on how media cover the story related to the country," says Gang (Kevin) Han. (Credit: Michael Mandiberg/Flickr)

    HOW ‘MADE IN CHINA’ GOT A BAD REPUTATION
    IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY Original Study
    Posted by Angie Hunt-Iowa State on March 7, 2016

    You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.
    For many Americans, the “Made in China” label has become synonymous with low-cost and low-quality.

    But the stereotypes often associated with those three simple words didn’t always exist, says Gang (Kevin) Han, an associate professor in Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

    “People really enjoyed products from China. They viewed products, such as tea, furniture, or dishware, as unique. It was a quality product and there was a cultural value,” Han says. “But when China became a world factory and produced so many items for so many brands, people changed their views.”

    This shift reflects a combination of consumer experience and influence of media coverage related to Chinese-made products.

    In a series of studies on framing effects, published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (2012), Newspaper Research Journal (2014), and International Journal of Strategic Communication (2015), Han and coauthor Xiuli Wang of Peking University examined how news stories about Chinese goods directly affect public opinion of a product, but also indirectly shape perceptions of the country where it’s made.

    Han says how the story is framed dictates whether consumers have a positive or negative impression of the “Made in China” label, and more often than not it’s negative.

    Han can point to several examples on product safety—toxic pill capsules, food contamination, and toys containing lead paint—as well as concerns about human rights in China and US-China trade disputes. Over time these stories impact how we look at an issue or topic.

    “If you read a lot of negative articles that leads to negative concerns and perceptions,” Han says. “Media may provide a certain type of experience for people who don’t have personal or direct experience with a country, so they get the message mainly from the media. They then accumulate this message with their experience of products and the two together form the image of the country.”

    HOW NEWS STORIES ARE FRAMED
    To test the relationship between news coverage and public opinion, researchers asked 120 college students to read a story about products made in China. The story, originally published in The New York Times, was rewritten in two versions: one focused on the risks, the other on the benefits.

    After reading the story, students were asked what they thought about buying and using products made in China and their thoughts on the country, as a whole.

    Han says they saw a significant influence on opinions related to how the story was framed. As expected, those reading the story focused on risks formed more negative views and those reading about the benefits had more positive views. The same could be said for any number of issues, Han says.

    “This is true if you look at how the media writes about the elections, social movements, or international conflicts,” Han says. “We see a lot of framed messages in these stories and receive the message subconsciously.”

    Han says it’s important for governments or corporations to understand how consumers get impressions of their country or products through news media, if they want to change those opinions.

    He and Wang suggest a strategic advertising or public relations campaign, but add that the solution may be much more complex. The Chinese government has tried different tactics, including advertising in Times Square, to change public opinion in the US, but such efforts may not be as effective as expected, Han says.

    “The reason could be that we get the message from China through our daily experience—product use or media coverage,” Han says. “National image is not just a perception out of nowhere. It’s cultivated by media, depending on how media cover the story related to the country.”

    Source: Iowa State University
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Just 4% less than in the U.S.

    Made in China Not as Cheap as You Think
    Just 4% less than in the U.S.
    Enda Curran Benchmark
    March 16, 2016 — 3:00 PM PDT

    Here's something to think about the next time you hear a U.S. presidential candidate criticize China for unfair trade: labor costs adjusted for productivity in China are only 4 percent cheaper than in the U.S.
    Even with the dollar's rally since 2014, U.S. manufacturing is benefiting from the world's strongest rate of productivity, a flexible labor market, cheap energy and from having a big domestic market.
    That's according to new research by Oxford Economics, which found that the U.S. manufacturing sector remains a world beater.



    "Although U.S. manufacturing is currently facing meaningful headwinds from a stronger dollar and the collapse in investment in the shale energy sector, it remains the most competitive worldwide," analysts Gregory Daco and Jeremy Leonard wrote in a note.
    The figures are striking. Manufacturing output per employee in the U.S. rose around 40 percent from 2003 to 2016 compared with 25 percent growth in Germany and 30 percent growth in the UK. While productivity has doubled in India and China, the U.S. remains 80 percent to 90 percent more productive.
    It's that robust productivity that has helped the U.S. keep down the unit cost of labor--or wages in relation to worker output.
    "Since wage growth in China has largely outpaced productivity growth, and the renminbi has strengthened, China’s unit labor costs are now only 4 percent lower than in the U.S.," the analysts wrote.



    Two caveats: Productivity growth throughout the U.S. economy as a whole has been meager in recent years, partly dragged down by the burgeoning, albeit inefficient, health-care sector. And the U.S. continues to run a trade deficit with China.
    There are other risks ahead. If the U.S. dollar starts to rally again, that would spell danger for exporters.
    "Another 20 percent appreciation of the dollar," the analysts wrote, "would certainly dent U.S. competitiveness, and once again make China an attractive production hub, as well as giving Japanese manufacturers a significant advantage."
    Criticism of China is a hot topic in U.S. politics right now. Republican presidential candidates led by Donald Trump have blamed China for the decline of the American middle class through manipulating its currency and one-sided trade policies.
    Premier Li Keqiang brushed off the criticism on Wednesday when he said relations with the U.S. will endure no matter who wins the election.
    Reports such as this one from Oxford Economics may bolster Li's case the next time China faces criticism from U.S. politicians.
    I was wondering if the tables would turn on this eventually.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    High end sex toys

    China to create top adult brands
    By Zhu Shenshen | April 15, 2016, Friday

    CHINA will tap its industrial design and integration with smart technologies such as virtual reality to produce its own world-class brands of adult products in one or two years, Shanghai Daily learned at the China Adult-Care Expo, which opened yesterday.

    More than 95 percent of global adult products are made in China and at least 70 percent of them are designed in the country. But high-end brands come from the United States, Europe and Japan though they are made or designed in China.

    “Chinese firms have advanced industry design and high-tech development abilities, as well as relatively low talent cost,” said Lin Degang, chairman of Chunshuitang, who is also a veteran in the adult product industry.

    Changzhou-based Chunshuitang, which sells intelligent adult products online, plans to expand into overseas markets including the US and Europe this year. The firm is expected to sell products valued at 30 million yuan (US$4.6 million) this year, according to Lin.

    Chunshuitang plans to list on the over-the-counter board around July.

    During the show which is held till Sunday, firms displayed latest design and technologies in the industry, covering wireless connection, automatic vibration and VR.

    UKN, a startup founded in 2015, will offer VR products “within several months” to improve user experience. Baofeng.com, China’s biggest VR glass vendor, also displayed their products in the booth of partners in the show.
    "intelligent adult products"
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    42,961

    Trending towards Africa

    I've been watching this trend but this is the first article that has been so explicit. I was noticing this peripherally from our Shaolin-s-African-Disciples thread.

    There's a vid if you follow the link.

    In The Future, ‘Made In China’ Could Become ‘Made In Africa’
    Thanks to Beijing's economic transition, Africa has a chance to pick up some of the industrial production now leaving China.
    09/06/2016 8:44 AM AEST | Updated 16 hours ago

    Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden

    There's a pretty good chance that some of the clothes you're wearing, the shoes on your feet and even the device you're using to read this were made in China. Even as its economy slows, China remains the world's factory, churning out billions of dollars every year of goods. The government, though, wants to change this, which could be a huge opportunity for countries like Ethiopia -- and the continent of Africa as a whole.

    As China transitions its economy from manufacturing to services, some 85 million jobs will be up for grabs as a lot of that industrial production looks for a new home. Ethiopia, for its part, is aggressively positioning itself as a destination for some of that Chinese manufacturing.

    Ethiopia, and Africa in general, may be a tough sale for manufacturers who are always looking to keep costs as low as possible. Compared to regions like Southeast Asia, where most of the outbound Chinese manufacturing is going, Ethiopia's infrastructure is less developed, its workforce is less educated and its supply chain networks are not as a robust.

    But none of Ethiopia's challenges seems to discourage Helen Hai. Helen is the exuberant CEO of the Made in Africa Initiative and former vice president of the Chinese shoe-making giant Huajian. She helped set up the company's first factory near Addis Ababa where today some 4,000 workers produce 7,500 pairs of shoes for famous brands like Guess, Nine West and many others.

    Helen believes the success of Huajian in Ethiopia is just the beginning. She points to the country's ability to attract Chinese auto manufacturers and other heavy industry as evidence that not just Ethiopia but Africa in general is well-positioned to pick up some of that industrial production that is now leaving China.

    Helen joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss the future of industrial production in Africa and why she thinks "Made in China" could one day become "Made in Africa."

    Join the discussion. Do you think Africa is ready to transform itself from largely commodity and agricultural-based economies to manufacturing industrial goods? What about the lack of infrastructure, corruption and poor governance? Let us know what you think:

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChinaAfricaProject
    Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •