After spending about a week in China, I came to notice the difference between the manufacturing habits here from the rest of the world. Chinese industries in general are more about the production and putting things out there than the innovation.
By visiting the Chinese markets and seeing knock off products in the tourist shops to the local brand startups in malls, I realized that most of the products were based on or inspired by other popular brands. Cars are one of my favorite things in this world, so I would like to explain this phenomenon by looking at the Chinese automobile industry.
China is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Because of the low production costs, companies like Toyota, VW, BMW, and Ford produce some of their cars there. Of course, these cars are mainly for local use, and keep the closest standard with their mother company. 90% of the cars driven in China are made there!
Along with the international brands, China also has its own set of automobile companies like BYD (build your dreams) and BIGST. I have never seen or heard of these brands anywhere else but China, but they are a perfect example to how the Chinese prefer to have an inspiration and a base to their manufacturing. Take this BYD 全新速锐 model and compare it to the famous Toyota Corolla 2015. One can see that the Chinese BYD car is inspired by the Corolla, or vise versa, but I doubt it. Nonetheless, BYD is a very well respected car in China. It is a very popular “people’s” car.
It is also important to note that this does not devalue the Chinese manufacturing culture in any way, on the contrary. They might not have a lot of innovation with their products, but China is definitely the world’s greatest manufacturer. Today, Most of the world’s products are made in China, and that is very impressive.