Faith Zhu
Majored in business English in college
5 year experiences in foreign trade
Familiar with quality control for household appliances, consumer electronics, home products and hard goods
Strong knowledge in supplier evaluation and verification

Jan 22, 2013

Chinese suppliers: are they really that bad?

Fake luxury handbags, replica mobile phones, custom-detained shoes and jeans, and everything that’s cheap and roughly manufactured in inferior quality: mainly thanks to some negative press and the low prices, when speaking of “Made in China’’, these negative images may always pop up first.


Not surprisingly, quite many westerners or even buyers who source from China have similar preconceived ideas about suppliers in China. Like anything labeled “Made in China”, images

of the Chinese suppliers is not any better:  crafty but without integrity, cutting corners instead of playing by the rules, a shockingly weak sense of social responsibility, and always trying to get an advantage using cunning tricks.


Is it true that most Chinese suppliers are generally bad and untrustworthy? Actually if you look at the full picture and take a more profound perspective, you may find the answer is an impartial NO, especially when considering the large scale of Chinese exports and the huge amount of Chinese suppliers and factories.


Entering the 21st century, the world witnessed tremendous change of the Chinese society. There are countless different theories and ideas about the booming new trends and changes in the past decade. One of the most prevailing opinions is that the country is getting extremely material-centered.  Such critics may be very popular only among the idealists, but the truth underneath is that Mercantilism and Pragmatism dominate today’s Chinese society. Today the youth take successful businessman such as Robin Li (CEO of the country’s biggest search engine Baidu.), Wangshi (Board Chairman of the real Estate tycoon Vanke) and Jack Ma (founder of the top B2B platform Alibaba) as symbolic figures.

 


Historically speaking, Chinese businessmen now have high social status, and earn much more recognition and respect than ever. Compared with the past decade, nowadays many Chinese suppliers have already completed the process of primitive accumulation, and have begun to develop their own brand and image. A considerable part of them are committed to work hard to enhance and elevate the image of "Made in China".


Despite the negativity associated with the label "Made in China", Chinese suppliers are professional businessmen. In the very nature, they are just the same as their peers from any other part of the world, and work in pursuit of business success. They are hard-working no less than anyone, practical and earnest; in this regard they are identical to any serious-minded buyers and importer who come to source from China. 


Most Chinese settle to their chosen profession, as an old Chinese saying goes, “Do What You Do Well”. For the long term business development, Chinese businessmen are more than willing to have good relationship with partners in their industry. Relationship, to a Chinese businessman, is known to be a deep-rooted philosophy with far-reaching interpretations. They are smart enough to focus on mutual benefits in the long run and maintain a healthy business relationship with their clients. Such Chinese suppliers could easily make reliable long time partners themselves. They are rational insightful businessmen who care for sound reputation.


In the past decade, China's exports continued to grow despite a global economic downturn. According to A HSBC report released this November, the China's export is expected to reach an annual increase of 12% in the next three years. Along with the rapid development of communications, especially the blooming internet IMs, the Chinese suppliers too are facing fierce competition. When you search “tablet” on B2B website Alibaba, one single click indicates that there are more than 6500 Chinese mainland suppliers available on line at the same time. When sourcing new Chinese suppliers, there are two questions that an experienced buyJack maer will never skip: when the supplier came into business and what is their current business scale, then he or she will manage to pay the potential supplier’s office a visit if possible. Apparently, a supplier who could survive the fierce competition and earn a sound development in any industry has to be outstanding and reliable, thus a high potential good partner. 

 

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