Recently in the news I was reading an article about
a rule that was passed in the United States concerning American Flags.
The rule, pushed by senator Mike Thompson from California
condemned the use of non-American-made flags to be used by the military
The Factory of the World - That is the name that many people have given to China.
This day of age it is really rare to have a product
that is not fully or at least has parts that were not produced in China.
The original incentive for pushing so many factories to China was mainly due to
companies outsourcing production to a country where human labor wascheap.
The iconic iPhone from Apple is one of the big giants that moved its production to China.
It is kind of ironic that it is a symbol of the soft power of the United States
but it is produced in China.
Present day China no longer has the lowest wages in the world.
However, it has now evolved into a country
that is well versed in shipping items in every corner of the world.
Although the wages have risen in China, the tight location of factories
and a deregulated economy still makes it a favorable ground for many other giants.
With a culture of producing so many items to be shipped to other countries,
it was just a matter of time till China as a whole
would learn how to perfectly replicate items that are popular abroad.
The most famous case out of all of these “copies” is probably Facebook’s Chinese equivalent of ﾈﾋﾈﾋ.
With the slow integration of VPNs (Virtual Private Network) in China,
people traveling abroad a lot more and the foreign influence of people living in China,
people have started to long for the “actual” thing.
Instead of going to the fake Paris in Sky City located in Zhejiang,
people have started to fly to the real Paris to see the real Eifel Tower.
From producing for others to copying to now innovating.
Innovation, this was now the next step that China has taken.
The best example of that may be “Weibo” which is for lack of better words
an “innovation” of twitter but that was adapted to the Chinese market.
This “adapting” to the market is the China that I have been observing in the last few years.
Instead of copying the Hummer, that China bought the Hummer and made it better.
Filtering the best from abroad,
that China has managed to create cities overnight
that are becoming more efficient and better planed than the previous one.
In old cities like Beijing & Shanghai, a gentrification process started
where old buildings are being eradicated to give place to new ones.
If one leaves a location behind and returns after five years or so,
the odds are that the landscape will have totally changed.
To others this is a China that is heading towards modernization
but from my point of view, this is likewise a China that is slowly losing its own image.
Many things are made in China to be sold abroad but not in China.
Many things are made in China based on the needs of people abroad
but not the needs of the people living in China.
What is made in China for China by Chinese people
I feel is not looked at very highly inside China in the first place.
In the quest to become the world’s factory
has China lost along the way a portion of its identity?
Starting this year, I personally think that the next step for China as a society
is to start creating an image that China itself is proud of.
It is finally time for people to realize that
“Made for China” can sound a lot better than “Made in China”.
It is finally time for China to realize that
what has accomplished has been built on the backs of its citizens.
It is finally time for China to value what essentially makes China China.