Chinese factory worker amazed by the “shit” Americans buy from China

Breaking news and a must-read!

Now let’s see how long it takes for People’s Daily to pick it up word for word as a serious news story.

Via Dr. ESWN.

The Discussion: 21 Comments

I read that two days ago, hilarious. Especially when I know people own some of the products mentioned in the article.

June 16, 2005 @ 4:21 pm | Comment

– Chen, 23, who has worked as an injection-mold operator at the factory since it opened in 1996, said he frequently asks himself these questions during his workweek, which exceeds 60 hours and earns him the equivalent of $21.

Ha Ha! Thanks for posting that, I don’t usually bother reading the Onion any more but I’ll starting dropping by again now.

June 16, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Sad but true!


June 16, 2005 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

The odd thing about that satirical article is that it mentions a real labour rights NGO in Hong Kong…

June 16, 2005 @ 10:19 pm | Comment

Speaking of shit products … I briefly went out with a Chinese fashion designer, whose company had all their clothing products made in China. I was AMAZED at her stories of total incompetence on the part of the Chinese factories. She had huge trouble getting them to follow a simple set of plans, and makea garment which buttoned up evenly, and had arms the same length. Once they finally managed to produce a prototype, they could them mass produce them with no difficulties … but she just couldn’t trust the factories without getting them to send her a physical specifimen for inspection, before she could give the go-ahead for production. Really, quite stunning. I asked her several times how these businesses could continue to operate like that, but she just seemed to think it was normal.

June 17, 2005 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Gullible Simon M. (of simonworld), was calling it a true story this morning.

June 17, 2005 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Whatever Simon M is, he is NOT gullible.

I was struck by this story because it was so TRUE. most Onion stories are satire (sometimes outrageous) mocking truth, but this one really read like the TRUTH. this one belongs to the STRANGER THAN FICTION category.

June 17, 2005 @ 4:50 am | Comment

I saw it in Daily Linklets on simonworld this morning too. I’d be very very surprised if Simon thought it true.

June 17, 2005 @ 5:09 am | Comment

Mr. Filthy, as somebody who works for a company that produces and mails off advertisements, flyers and letters, I can assure you it isn’t that easy to setup a production run. Murphy’s Law is usually the norm and disasters are always around the corner. Designing a letter setup from a client’s vague instructions is no picnic. We have a good staff, experienced and hard working but even they make mistakes. Before the factory start a production run, live samples are printed and have to be signed off by the coordinators and another member of the staff.

June 17, 2005 @ 5:36 am | Comment

I can imagine one of the whores on CCTV-9 actually reciting this headline with a straight face.

June 17, 2005 @ 5:38 am | Comment

The odd thing about that satirical article is that it mentions a real labour rights NGO in Hong Kong…

The Onion does seem to get details like that right most of the time. They actually, like, you know, research their stories.

And (assuming that the Queen’s English is still preferred in Hong Kong) they used the correct spelling of ‘labour’ in China Labour Bulletin.

June 17, 2005 @ 8:01 am | Comment

I’m still not exactly sure what a “salad shooter” is. It does sound really American, though. Maybe like Salad Six-shooter.

June 17, 2005 @ 8:33 am | Comment

wkl … I appreciate those difficulties … but if you were producing an item of clothing, you’d at least assume that the client wanted pieces that could be successfully done up and worn by normal humans?

June 17, 2005 @ 8:58 am | Comment

Regarding what Filthy said on pre prodcution runs and problems with quality in Mainland China manufacturing, yes there is a certian amount of scrap that is generated in manufacuturing and Mr. Murphy seems to lurk everywhere. I took an electronics class a few years ago and we had a guest speaker, an engineer, they guy who invented Furby. He was telling us what a nightmare it was when they were going into production in China when the Furby was ready to launch. All kinds of errors, screw ups. He basically had to manage the whole thing to get it right. Of course the rest is history and Furby will forever be a pop cultural icon.

Years back I worked in the printed circuit board industry. My company was a vendor to many of the PCB shops in Guangdong. I remember seeing shitloads of scrap boards from production runs. I was astonished. Keeping a very low scrap to good ratio is crucial to successful factories in the US. In China because labor is still so cheap they can afford to have lower good product yield runs because they (the factories) are still making money. Maybe things are getting better there in the last 10 years.

June 17, 2005 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

as to quality assurance, it is a matter of where the buck stops. if an american buyer accepts something from a chinese factory, it is his/her responsiblity ultimately. so he/she shouldn’t take anyone’s word for it!!!

perhaps the factory may think that they can re-do it, but i wouldn’t be keeping my job if i let it pass through.

June 17, 2005 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

– I can imagine one of the whores on CCTV-9 actually reciting this headline with a straight face.

So is Chris Gelken on the game?!? I think we should be warned!!

June 17, 2005 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

I am amazed by the generalization and disrespectful tone of your article and its subsequent posts. The answer is “We are all people. Not just ‘Americans’ or stupid Chinese.” Any one who is familiar with US-China trade understands:
1. Reaction injection molding: raw material $0.2.
2. Trans ocean freight: $0.1
3. Marketing cost at info-mercial: $1.15
4. Shipping: $3.15
5. Profit for the middle woman: $15.00
6. Paid by the gullible consumer: $19.60 plus $7.50 shipping and handling. Two for one if you send before midnight, and another $7.50 S&H

Profit to the petrol chemical company $0.05. Loss to the Chinese manufacturer: $0.005 for electricity, subsidized by the hated Communist Government.

June 17, 2005 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Um, Kam, my dear friend, the article is a joke. It is satire. A parody.

Kam seems to have a unique perspective on things, as his email to me earlier today might indicate:

As to the truth about Tienanmen Square, what is the truth any more? Remember World Trade Center? If you do not shop, the terrorist have won. If you do not support our troops, the terrorist have won. From my personal experience of our Government’s dark hand, I can tell you we Americans are no better than them. We are just more about to cover it up. Remember the $350
hammer and the $650 toilet seat? Why do we have to set up secret prisons worldwide? If you ask, the terrorists have won.

Yes back to TAM Square. I have pretty good authority that the [tank] man on his mid-day shopping ran into the tank. He was mentally deranged and started playing games with the behomoth. The “lesson” one can learn with certainty is that the tank did not run him over,
and the Government’s attempts to locate him failed. Contrast that with the “Freedom fighters” who made it to the United States, via CIA.

Why do I feel like I’m on a China Daily forum?

June 17, 2005 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

Richard, don’t you understand what Kam means about the tank man? The tank man was really an armadillo.
You must know how armadillos ALWAYS make special efforts to stand in front of oncoming vehicles.
So, it’s time to start calling him “the ARMADILLO of TAM square.”

June 18, 2005 @ 3:23 am | Comment

Of course. Armadillo Man! Why didn’t I think of that?

June 18, 2005 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

I think the article is true. I was in NingBo last year. I have met people like Chen, and his cousin.

June 30, 2005 @ 11:48 am | Comment

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