Archive for August 4th, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reasons Enough to aim at High-Value Production…

Chinese car, Syrian characteristics

Chinese car, Syrian characteristics

 … but not that fast.

In December last year, the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) inagurated the first home-grown commercial aircraft in December last year. However, recent information that Changhe 昌河 would exit car making business and focus solely on its aerospace side was denied by Li Yao (李耀), Changhe’s board chairman.

Suzuki (Changhe’s joint venture partner in China) and buyers in places such as Syria where competitive prices count most will like the news – although “some Chinese cars sometimes play the clown”, even in places as inappropriate as exhibition stands.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Every fifth German company leaving China?

The VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure / Association of German Engineers) estimates that every fifth German company that operates a production site in China is closing down there – that would be about 320 sites operations. One reason: labor isn’t that cheap there after all, or not any more. Too many companies had moved “starry-eyed”, says a VDI speaker. Bangla Desh, India, and Kazakhstan were considered alternative locations now.

Der Spiegel also quotes a consultant who advises many companies to consider production in Germany again – when it came to production of high-value products, as with high value, customers would expect high quality.

After the China hype, here comes the hangover. While the Germans are counting the gains and losses from China business, John Pomfret of the Washington Post takes a look at the big picture: “No country is aging faster than the People’s Republic, which is on track to become the first nation in the world to get old before it gets rich. Because of the Communist Party’s notorious one-child-per-family policy, the average number of children born to a Chinese woman has dropped from 5.8 in the 1970s to 1.8 today – below the rate of 2.1 that would keep population stable. (…)”

It would be unfair to call Mr Pomfret a smart ass. After all, it seems he has been critical of the Middle Kingdom hype for many years. But while I enjoy an apple, a cnn, a spiegel or a bbc a day, I’d also be happy if they would be a little bit less sensational in their reporting. China is facing enormous challenges? Whoah! That’s news, huh?

As an old quote is saying: “No news is as good or bad as first reported.” Only five years ago, they referred to Germany as the sick man of Europe. Does anyone remember that? Some of those who reported that way then, and start spotting the vultures above China now, should take a look back on their older articles.

%d bloggers like this: