One of the biggest electronics supply chain challenges today is the counterfeiting and copying of Western components for sale into the huge China market. There has been a lot of talk and some effort to clamp down on it, but in the eyes of one major semiconductor CEO, it's a waste of time.
Industry associations and the US government "can lobby all they like, but China doesn't care," Steve Sanghi, Microchip Technology's CEO, told me during the recent Design West event. "They know basically the US government officials will cave, because they've got a bigger agenda and need China's support in Korea or the UN. There are larger political issues. It's politics, and industry suffers."
The counterfeiting is not just copying. There are lots of cases of relabeling parts. A case I ran into is remarking parts from lower power to higher power. You could not see this on a transistor tester. We found it by milling off the plastic and looking at the reduced die size.
Similar issues are relabeling industrial temperature range to extended temperature range.
Money talks in China. They are many hundreds of millions of hard workers there. It seems they would rather build and compete than play the monopoly game. This tends to spread the wealth, rather than concentrate it in the top 1% as in the U.S. by government policy. Don't worry, their 1% is doing very well thank you.
I believe that sharing information is an Asian practice dating back many millenia. When you look at the ideas that Europe barrowed from China over the last 400 years, I am not sure that we in the west have much to criticize, based upon our past behavior.
Just a thought.
Someone on here mentioned recently that this is a cultural difference between our countries, caused by the Chinese Communist culture. That makes sense to me.
Perhaps, as China evolves into a design industry as well as manufacturing, that culture will change. Or perhaps another way to put it might be, either they change their attitudes of disregard for IP rights, or they'll not evolve as they otherwise would. People won't struggle to develop new product ideas if they're consistently ripped off, eh?
I agree. Look at the audio recording business and video piracy. No matter what was said or threats made, the Chinese ignored it all and did what they wanted.
My advice is to keep tight control of your new technology and then make it available to the Chinese under a licensing agreement. That way you might get a little return from China for your efforts.
Just my opinion.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.