Applied Materials never established any manufacturing in Switzerland. They bought an established Swiss design and manufacturing company and now are taking the advanced designs and manufacturing technology and run with it to Asia for the purpose of higher profits only. These dear US companies have been handing now for too long the entire industrial might over to China and all of it for short term profits only. What else? Where is Applied heading in the future is the ultimate question? Perhaps Mongolia?
Yea, agree with you - nevertheless, looking at the trend to date, looks like organizations are also moving R&D into ASEAN region, very likely due to the intensives provided by AFTA or respective nation's government in that region - just to share.
Short term profits is definitely what's at stake here, and your mention of Foxconn is right on target.
Even now, hasn't Foxconn started to make some concessions recently, with respect to the workers, following pressure from Apple?
Eventually, the workers themselves will be pushing back, against such practices as living in dormitories, or 60+ hour work weeks, just as they did in the West.
That's when the tide of manufacturing (and design?) jobs toward China will abate. This is the natural order of things.
Parenthetically, we still have India and the African continent with lots and lots of low-cost labor. This takes time.
I very much doubt that anyone in the US would adopt a Chinese lifestyle BECAUSE the US government tells them to. Although it is true that people are moving closer in to cities, rather than go further and further out as they used to in the 1950s and beyond. The trend is definitely shifting back.
As to how long the Chinese people will allow their government to dictate their lives, that will be fascinating to watch. I'm reminded of Rumania, end of 1989. Hopefully, it will be a peaceful and gradual change.
So far the chinese govt is quite conscious and blocks this trend. ie. no suburban expansion, high rise apt instead of independent house.
In general all chinese need is a 2 bedroom flat and $5000 to fill it up with cheap electronics (as US) and furnitures.
cheap utility cost, transportation cost, close ties with ur neighbor, low carbon footprint....
that's the spirit of chinese power.
Chinese themselves will leave this "efficient" lifestyle behind as they make more money and accumulate more wealth. Just like Japan did in 1980s,.. just as USA did in 1900's,.. Just as England did in 1800's, just like France did in 1700's,... Just like Spain did in 1600's... The Dutch.. The Italians... The Greeks... The Egyptians... And now its China's turn to rise to the top of the heap. And after they've eaten their fill, they'll decline just like each one of their predecessors did and for exactly the same reasons. This phenomena is known as: "Economic Succession" and is naturally occurring in our civilization. Chinese are very smart and already know this. They have this saying: "Wealth only lasts for three generations." And they are right. Just look at our USA Post WW2 third generation. US$16Trillion in debt. Yes, USA parents are giving our kids a real good head start in life, yea? Greed comes in many forms, doesn't it?
As soon as our business-unfriendly governments get out of their way and stay out of their way. Business is 100% about profits, the world is a small place now, and the profits belong to the owners, not the government or other social interests. Owners can't make profit in Country "A", fine... move to country "B." Its that simple.