China’s Tainted Goods

The recent sale of unsafe and low quality goods produced in China has raised an uproar in the United States and other countries that import products from the Asian giant. In these countries, Chinese produced goods are often thought of as cheap, low quality, and even unsafe knockoffs of things that are more expensive to produce domestically. In the increasingly globalized marketplace, the trade of food, cosmetic and medicinal products has made this issue of quality and safety control all the more important. This impression China as the land of cheap plastic toys and tainted toothpaste needs to be rethought, however. The entrance of low quality, Chinese produced products into the American marketplace is more a reflection of the business practices of importers than it is on China’s ability to produce quality goods.

Here in Kunming, in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan, a majority of the factory produced goods, sold in places from the hi-tech supermarket to the roadside stalls, are both high quality and uniquely Chinese. The sneakers sold at the sports store are not feeble imitations of Nike basketball shoes, but are proudly touted as the fruit of the labor of Chinese innovation.

Also, in terms of quality dependent products such as food and cosmetics, the experience of the average Chinese person and that of the American using a Chinese produced toothpaste might be radically different. The government does not tolerate the sale of tainted products in China, and people selling them will be “severely dealt with,” according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, a Chinese government agency.

The sale of tainted products in America is result of simple supply and demand. While low quality goods may not be given space on the shelves here in China, the same Chinese manufacturers often have no qualms about selling them to foreigners wanting to turn a profit by paying the least amount in the quickest amount of time.

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