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Reliability of Chinese suppliers: Part 2 of “Made in China”

02 Sep 2013

Made in ChinaOver the past decade we have seen a surge in the number of importers around the world who source their products from China.

A key factor of China’s success has been Europe’s reliance on Chinese suppliers who use factories in Hebei, famous for its cheap labour, and historical production areas along the coastal region.

The increase in production has brought on various problems for Chinese manufacturers. “A recurring issue”, says Cotecna’s Regional Consumer Goods Manager, Corinne Ceccoli, “is that goods are not meeting the latest standards for chemical substances and components that are constantly changing”. A third party inspection company can advise importers which standards of conformity are required, depending on the product type and the country of destination.

Fréderick Rock, head of Asia LNE (Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais) warns that the most serious problem is that “there is a big market of false reports that sell for 10 Yuans”. Suppliers are sending these to importers as proof of testing. Furthermore, it’s hard for clients to ensure that all products meet the correct standards due to the sheer volume of standards and product stock. To top it off, Customs officers lack the manpower to open all containers upon the arrival of shipments. Therefore, untested products are making their way into European homes.

Fréderick continues, “15-20% of the products are non-compliant from the first test”. However, most are then made compliant before final shipment. Many Chinese suppliers sincerely want to provide the best service and product possible but fall short due to a lack of knowledge of international standards and the fact that there is little pressure on quality adherence.

Chinese authorities are also stepping in to make ‘Made in China’ a trademark of quality. AQSIQ, the central government in charge of quality control in China, is strengthening their workforce daily. The mission of these inspectors is to track manufacturers and subcontractors who are consistently creating cheap, fast and poorly produced goods that cut back on quality and shame the image of ‘Made in China’.

The above issues, that importers typically face when sourcing from China, can easily be remedied with the inspection and testing of manufactured products. Cotecna ensures that all international standards, and quality standards requested by clients, are met by their Chinese suppliers.

View the full Connexions magazine.