• History of manufacturing: China

By Daniel Lee | 19th November 2015

With more than 5000 years of recorded history, China is home to a fascinating cauldron of culture, legends, myths and mysteries. Throughout most of its 5000-year existence, China had been the largest, most populous and technologically advanced nation on Earth. It was not until the 18th century during the Industrial Revolution boom when the West started to overtake the Chinese in terms of manufacturing prowess and productivity. While you may think that Chinese manufacturing only boomed (or caught up with the West) in the last 3 decades or so, as a matter of fact, the concept of manufacturing in China dates back to 1800 BC. Around 2300 years ago, when the West or the Middle East have not figured out how to melt even an ounce of iron, the Chinese have already figured out how to cast multi-ton iron objects using highly sophisticated metal-making techniques

 
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Source: East West Dialogue (2015)

As you can see, ancient Chinese were highly technologically advanced, and were very forward-thinking, centuries ahead of anyone during that time. The four great inventions of China is a testament to their innovative thinking; papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass.

 
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Source: University of Maryland (2015)

It was not until the mid-1700s that metallurgy (the art of iron-making) was advanced enough in Europe to match the Chinese. Owing largely to the formation of the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1949 after the end of the Chinese civil war, the Chinese economy, along with their manufacturing output plummeted for a period lasting for about 40 years. It was not until the 1970s when China started to gain momentum in the manufacturing sphere again, becoming the premier outsourcing destination for low-cost and fast manufacturing for companies throughout the globe.

 
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Source: China Business Cast (2015)

In the beginning, a plethora of issues arose along with the boom in manufacturing prowess. Problems such as intellectual property theft, hidden costs, high defect rates and bad quality became commonplace during manufacturing, leading to a significant number of ‘reshoring’. However, with advances in regulatory measures, quality control and a maturity of the Chinese manufacturing industry, such problems have begun to diminish gradually. Moreover, many companies who choose to tap into the expertise of experienced sourcing consultancies stand to reap the full range of benefits associated with manufacturing in China. These consultancies are able to easily navigate past the layers of intricacies and headaches typically involved with outsourcing to China, and to circumvent many of the restrictions that prevent an optimization of the outsourcing process. Today, China remains as the leading manufacturer of a wide range of consumer products around the globe.


For more information on how to fully benefit from the low costs and great quality offered by manufacturing in China, reach out to us here at Sourcing Overseas.



Sources:http://humanities4engineering.blogspot.tw/http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/ancientchina.htmhttp://www.buzzle.com/articles/technology-of-ancient-china.htmlhttp://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/from-yao-to-mao-5000-years-of-chinese-history.htmlhttp://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/h-carnegie-steel.htmvhttp://fee.org/freeman/chinas-forgotten-industrial-revolution/

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