From “Made in China” to “Designed in China”

As purchasing consultants specializing in imports from China, it is part of our job to raise awareness among clients and the general public about the quality of Chinese products. Despite living in a world where finding information is easy and affordable for the majority of the population, many people continue to believe in false and outdated clichés about the inferior quality of Asian products.

As we explained in one of our recent articles, the association of “China” and “low cost” is no longer valid, and today it can be affirmed without a doubt that manufacturing in China is synonymous with quality.

Like so many other countries in the world and throughout history, China has evolved. Through its own effort and perseverance, it became known as the “world’s factory”. Despite having earned the respect and admiration of importing countries, the Asian Giant wanted to go further, and the next step was to be a benchmark in terms of ingenuity, ideas and, consequently, design.

This trend started a few years ago. In fact, a milestone in this evolution took place around 2011 in the curious sector of pins (badges). For the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Chinese company Honav designed and manufactured the official pins for the event. Honav did this job incredibly well, however, no one was surprised that the pins for the Beijing Olympics were produced in the same country.

But this great result reaped its reward. Following the success in Beijing, Honav became the official pin designer for the London 2012 Olympic Games some years later. It was the first company to be chosen twice in a row as the official designer of the Olympic pins, something according to Honav’s deputy general manager, Wu Hui, happened thanks to being able to “demonstrate our innovative capacity”. In 2016 it also became the official supplier of pins for the Rio Olympic Games.

Chinese innovation, although still awaiting expansion in many sectors, is unstoppable, and leading sectors such as fashion confirm this. In fact, for many articles, the Factory of The World is now considered a country that creates fashion trends; a statement supported by data such as that last year;2019, a third of the designers at New York Fashion Week were Chinese .

It is curious to see how a country that has been manufacturing for others for so many years has engaged in this qualitative change. Some analysis shows that the fact of having manufactured private label products for years is precisely what has made it possible to gain consumer trust. The telecommunications sector is a perfect example of this. We currently find a large number of gadgets on sale that are 100% Chinese. This trend started a few years ago with the ZTE brand, which gradually introduced low-cost smartphones to the market after years of selling using a private label to most markets outside of China.

Undoubtedly the road ahead for China is long and it is only the beginning. However, that will not stop the Asian giant, a country in full expansion that thanks to its production has managed to invoice $ 78,852 per second. Now it remains to be seen how far this growth can realistically go when, in the not too distant future, the world accepts China’s new role as a creator of ideas.