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Quality of products made in China

AQF_Quality of products made in China

How often do we hear: “this is made in China, it is cheap and quality is bad”? Over the years the bad reputation of the quality of products made in China has become worse. Large scale scandals, nationally and all over the world, reinforced it. However, this reputation is partially right nowadays

Good, cheap and fast

As a matter of fact the above picture illustrates very well why the made in China products quality can be so bad. Fast, cheap and good are three incompatible conditions. One always has to be sacrificed:

  • Good quality products at a low cost are usually associated with a slow production speed: with less workers and more time to pay attention to the production process, the manufacturer can better control the quality.
  • Good quality products with fast delivery always involve higher costs: the manufacturer needs more workers to be able to assure product quality and shorten the production lead-time.
  • A fast service on a cheap product is usually synonymous of quality problems. Otherwise the buyer is being lucky.

Current reality of the quality of products made in China

This article: “Chinese smartphones could be helping to ease the ‘Made in China’ stigma“, shows the current problematic faced by the Chinese manufacturers: they are seen as suppliers of low quality products. However this image is wrong: all kinds of product qualities can be sourced in China:

  • The smartphone industry is producing in China, especially famous brands.
  • Luxury brands also manufacture their well-known products in China.
  • High quality consumer goods are very often manufactured in China too.

Chinese manufacturers have had to go through a long process to be able to produce high quality products. They needed to acquire the know-how, to train qualified workers, and to develop good infrastructures.

Buyers can purchase high quality products made in China. However all depends the conditions requested. Regardless, many other factors can affect the quality of the products made in China even at a fair price and reasonable delays. The buyer should regularly audit the factories and inspect the quality of the products during production and prior to the shipment.

And you: what are your expectations regarding the quality of products “made in China?



AQF Quality team

We ensure service quality and reliability by improving the performance of our processes. We follow up and train inspectors and supervisors to enhance their skills and meet the latest regulations and standards. In the Quality Control Blog we write about the industry changes and provide solutions for a better Quality Control management in Asia. For more information.

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7 responses to “Quality of products made in China”

  1. Jon Robinson says:

    If you’re sourcing fitness equipment, please read on. recently purchased 8 indoor bikes for my new gym from Han Kang Fitness of Shanghai, China. I have known the owner for 9 years, during which time I had purchased 20 bikes for my previous gym in Shanghai. All these original 20 bikes were good.  That is:

    a) they were the product I ordered and
    b) they operated well.

    I recently moved back to UK and ordered 8 more of the same bikes. The shipping took approx 2 months door-to-door. When the shipment arrived, they were a completely different product. It appeared that the owner Frank Zhao was unable to supply me the actual bikes (for whatever reason) and so had ordered 8 2nd hand bikes, that were:

    a) the wrong product
    b) 2nd hand
    c) very low quality including several manufacturing defects
    d) all of them broke in several places after only 100 minutes of use which made them completely unusable.

    The shipment in total cost me £7000. A refund has been refused. I strongly urge anyone considering doing business with Frank Zhao and/or Han Kang Fitness to think twice

    Jon Robinson.

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Jon: Even when running regular business with China suppliers, it is important to perform quality control via a third party inspection company preferably to get the most neutral opinion. For few hundred of dollars you make sure the goods shipped are the ones expected at destination. I invite you to share your full story with our friends from Supplier blacklist:

    • Jon Robinson says:

      Hi Claire. I’ve known the guy for nearly 10 years and had bought numerous pieces of equipment from him. Seemingly we were friends. Because he knew I was leaving the country he pulled a stunt on me to make a few $. Not quite sure I could’ve been more thorough. Cheers, Jon.

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Jon: there could be plenty of reasons why this shipment has been wrongly delivered. The only current solution that exist for long term and short term suppliers is to regularly perform inspections. The supplier should always feel that you are keeping an eye open. Also, long term relationship usually results with different payment terms, it is quite surprising you had to pay in advance considering the number of years you have been working together. No matter it is an old or new supplier, paying at delivery and inspecting goods, at least before its shipment, are two tools that will always protect your interests. About the Black list suppliers website, I invite you to contact them directly to ask for some help.

    • Jon Robinson says:

      hi Claire would very much like to report this on the website you mentioned but it has login issues it would appear – not able to login, chers, Jon

  2. Hello !!

    I am interested in knowing the quality of products, which I suppose to buy from China. Would you let me know how ??
    Is there any any institusion where I can find out before I buy the products?
    Best regards,
    Andreas Lazarou


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