The Changing Stereotype of “Made in China”

“Made in China” has, for quite a while, carried a stigma. Consumers have associated China manufacturing with low product quality and poor employee working conditions. Stories in the news describing some China factory working conditions further reinforced these negative stereotypes.

As a consequence some U.S. companies sought out alternative manufacturing sources and, in some cases, chose to pay a higher price to avoid the negative “Made in China” association. That stereotype is rapidly changing.  China has come a long way.  There have been sweeping improvements in wages, employment laws, and working conditions.  The overall portrait of China manufacturing is improving from the stereotypical poor quality, subpar products made in dark, dirty environments into more positive and higher quality merchandise manufactured in worker-safe, positive environments.

Women’s Fashions

One of the factors turning the stereotype around is China’s growing expertise in various manufacturing areas. One is women’s fashions. Garment industry workers are becoming known not only for their sewing skills but also for their eye for style. Various areas of China specialize in specific garment categories such as lingerie, sweaters, or dresses. Workers in those production facilities have developed a degree of proficiency to the point that luxury brands such as Armani and Prada have turned to China for competitive, high-quality manufacturing.


The auto-manufacturing industry has also come to depend on the quality of Chinese labor. Many cars assembled in the U.S. are using parts that are made in China. Volvo is now, in fact, a Chinese-owned company.  Ford sold it to the Chinese manufacturing company Geely Automobile in 2010. Despite changing hands the company is still following the same guidelines for safety and quality. The Volvo S60, manufactured at a plant in Chengdu, was the first Chinese-made car exported to the U.S.


China is increasingly becoming known for producing high-quality electronics. In 2015, electronics accounted for the largest percentage of Chinese goods exported to the U.S. China has had success in particular with the Lenovo brand which produces the ThinkPad and the IdeaPad.  Many major brands rely on parts that are made in China. It is interesting to note that the majority of laptops are produced by a handful of original design manufacturers (ODM) in Taiwan all of which use manufacturing facilities in China.

High Quality, Hand-Made Products

With its rich cultural history China is home to many artisans who produce quality hand-crafted goods such as fabrics, embroidery, and jewelry. Rather than only selling to tourists some cottage industries are finding ways to export goods to the West. Consumers who purchase hand-made goods from Chinese artisans expect and receive excellent quality and value.

Custom Made Products

Most USA-based companies need products and components manufactured and tested to their own, unique specifications.  Manufacturing these items domestically can be a challenge.  Understandably, the manufacturing of products to exacting specifications and also performing required testing based upon internationally recognized standards in a country half-way around the globe presents its own set of unique challenges.

China has come a long way to be sure.  There are world-class factories manufacturing some of the finest products in their respective categories.  Some of the largest companies in the world utilize these factories.  The quantities these factories require are huge.  The staff it takes to monitor and manage the production and related duties is immense.

For companies that do not have “boots on the ground” in China the materials used still must be verified, the manufacturing processes still must be monitored, and the resulting products still need to be tested either to custom-designed standards or by internationally recognized testing facilities using standardized testing criteria, or both.

The Role of ITI Manufacturing in Managing the Manufacturing Process

An American company based near Houston, Texas, ITI Manufacturing manages the complete manufacturing process for products and components that are “Made in China”.  ITI has been managing Asian manufacturing for over 40 years.  With deep roots and experience in the China manufacturing industry, ITI Manufacturing continuously evaluates manufacturers in all 14 of the major industrial zones.  Using only factories that have proven to be reliable ITI guarantees quality in all steps of the production process from initial product evaluation, through the manufacturing process, to post-production, testing, inspection, packaging, and shipping.

ITI conducts regular inspections of manufacturing facilities to verify quality standards both during production and pre-shipment. ITI’s bilingual and culturally knowledgeable staff solves issues face to face.  Most issues are avoided due to the knowledge and experience of ITI’s China staff.  ITI’s business is to manage their customer’s off shore manufacturing so the customer can focus on managing their business.

Contact ITI Manufacturing and discuss your unique situation.  Learn what ITI Manufacturing is capable of doing to help you and your business succeed.

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