AgentInternational

Does China build quickly and cheaply for a reason?

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Having spent a fair amount of time in China over the past 18 years, and having witnessed its spectacular rise, I've always been puzzled that this remarkable nation still cares so little about the quality of the things it makes. Today, more than 30 years after the Opening in 1978, China has yet to address this shortcoming: Everything from dime store trinkets to high-rise buildings continue to show an astonishing indifference to detail. As a Westerner steeped in the Protestant work ethic, I've written thousands of words and done much hand-wringing about Chinese quality over the years, wondering when China would follow in Japan's footsteps -- when it would finally pull off a miraculous reversal in its attitude toward quality, as Japan did in the decades after World War II. It hasn't happened, and from what I can see, it probably won't. All of which has gotten me to wondering if it's my own Western concept of quality that's become obsolete. Perhaps making things last has become...