Incorrect, by the 1960's Japanese products were already world-class. In the 60's, Japanese Hi-Fi's were some of the first to incorporate MOSFET transistors, they often produced higher quality and more compact PCBs as well. By the early 1970's, the game was in large part over for when it came to consumer electronics. Just look at the Sony Trinitron t.v. from circa 1973 - leap frogged ahead of U.S. manufacturers.
You maybe have to go back at least a decade earlier to the 1950's, but even then the Japanese were producing transistor radios. In the 50's they would even house the transistor radios inside old food tins.
Tai said multinational companies retain a model that requires 100 engineers to develop a new system every six months. “We are seeing Chinese system guys pump out a new product every three months with just five to 10 people.” Tai said, “That’s very disruptive.”
Wow, Chinese engineers work twice as fast with ten to twenty times fewer people! That's amazing! Some would even say it's unbelievable.
@chipmonk, it is clear to me that you have a particular (prejudiced) view of China and you are trying your hardest to bend over historical facts to fit your own prejudice. Below are just few samples:
"...left to themselves China would not have been able to manage this phenomenal growth on their own."
This is a laughable statement! Left to themselves, Western Europeans would not have never known the Renaissance. Do you know where did the forefathers of European Renaissance study? Who influenced the thoughts of Thomas Aquinas, Leonardo Da Vinci, Fibonacci etc.? Where and how did the industrial revolution get its fuel, natural raw materials, and dare I say even human resources??
Each civilisation learns from its predecessor, this is the natural cycle of human history. The Chinese are in the process of learning. Sooner or later they will move into the leading creative role. You might think it's a zero-sum game, it ought not to be. If we all work together to improve human condition on a global level, we might get there, but if we keep setting each part of this world against the other, we will end up destroying ourselves. We nearly did it on a couple of occasions in the last century, and we escaped it narrowly during the cold war, but we won't be lucky forever!
"....Now China is playing the same game against the US by siding with Russia in the UN. "
What an oversimplificated view of the world! As far as I know, China has not invaded any country, and its position in the UN has always been in support of international law, not the law of the jungle and double-standards.
Anyway, I am uncomfortable with your vilification of China, and the above shows you that the same could be easily done to the US/West. There are two sides to any argument....
Yes, but you know what else changed in Japan over those 20 years? The wages skyrocketed right along with the quality. The same will happen in China, because they are both the result of an educated and more skilled workforce. In 20 years from now, Chinese workers will be complaining about Chinese companies moving manufacturing jobs to Africa or wherever the next cheap labor happens to be.
People, people, people, don't you realize that our salvation lies in becoming a service sector based economy. Oh, yea, and if you really want to stay in engineering here in the US then become a manager of engineering teams that are offshore.
non-technical vultures who feed off US technology ( those worthless English majors / Engr. drop-outs turned into MBAs who try to cadge a living by smuggling & dealing dope e,g. outsourcing, tech sell out ) seem to be the most persistent cheer leaders for China
( Part II cont'd from above )
Immediately after the Communist takeover of China in 1949, the Soviet Union was China's chief benefactor and for 10 years the USSR had opened its door ( much like the US now ) to Chinese students, scientists and transferred both defense and civilian technologies & industries to China. Then China got too big for its britches and started demanding even Nuclear weapons which the Russians to their credit refused to part with. This led to their split in 1963 and eventually the US ( Nixon, 1971 ) was able to tempt China with goodies to betray their erstwhile benefactor the Soviet Union. Being cornered on two fronts by the US as well as China was one of the reasons behind the demise of the USSR.
Now China is playing the same game against the US by siding with Russia in the UN. China is simply too big, armed with Nukes and pumped up with its own contrived ideas of greatness and grudge against the West ( Opium, concessions, .. ) to be pliable like post WW II Japan.
The US automotive industry was sacrificed so Japan could raise its standard of living. China has 9x the population of Japan and 1/3 the std of living. How many more US industries will have to be sacrificed so the 1.2 billion Chinese can raise its std. of living to that of the US benefit from 'free - market' proponents & China lovers here ?
Its a zero sum game that only the handful of 'free-market' profiteers and their brain-washed zombies would favor.
Since my original post from yesterday seems to have triggered so much response, I feel that I need to clarify some of the basics about China and how to deal with it instead of blindly drinking the kool - aid prescribed by the 'free-marketers' over here.
Ever since Deng launched his 4 Modernization plan in 1979, China has worked very hard and its economy has grown at 10 % per year and is now 10x of what is was just after the Tian An Men massacre in 1989. But the Chinese used to work very hard during the Mao era too when it stagnated. The difference is the catalyst of the West, modern education, business and industry that China got for almost free in exchange of providing cheap regimented labor to the outsourcers and their masters in Wall St.. It is almost certain that left to themselves China would not have been able to manage this phenomenal growth on their own. History shows that left on their own they are unable to innovate - be it during Ming in the 16 th century or Mao in the 20 th.
China's stagnation for nearly 2 decades since the Sino - Soviet split of 1963 was not entirely due to the Cultural Revolution. Cutting off contact with the Soviet Union plunged China into scientific stagnation. I myself have encountered in the US ( in the early 1980s ) Chinese Visiting Scholars from Beijing who were still parroting antiquated Russian semiconductor physics from the 1950s ! They had not yet woken up to MOS.
Wow, this topic has attracted so many comments, and some are even more analytic than the article itself. I agree in some degree that some Chinese companies are doing better and better. However, if the gross margin is low while net margin being similar to foreign companies, does it mean the company indeed is taking away the gain of the workers? It is not a very healthy situation if all workers (including R&D) are just underpaid for long time. BTW, it is a good sight to see more and more Chinese high-tech company are moving up the supply chain and gain more and more. I hope one day they won't need to squeeze the expense but still make good profit margin.
The US economy will recover in no time at all if the top 10 Law and Biz schools are shut down and the Faculty sent to re-education camp( for life !) for advocating outsourcing to China etc.
Start with the major offenders, Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale and U Penn.