China is well known for many things – having 1.3 billion people, eating a lot of rice, Communism, etc. However, they are also the leading supplier of non-brand name, wholesale electronics. If an electronics product is being produced anywhere in the world, you can certainly find an imitation of it in China for a much lower price.
While the quality may be a bit lower, the price reflects this, and the gadget will perform largely the same function as the original product. China’s share of the market grows every day as the imitations get better, and the quality continues to improve. This trend may seem confusing, given that Chinese electronics manufacturers make a living by producing cheap knock-offs of electronics designs from foreign companies. However, circumstances in China do give their suppliers significant advantages.
First, their costs are extremely low. The cost of unskilled labor and capital in China are much lower than in any of the countries where the majority of electronics products are exported to. This allows Chinese manufacturers to mass-produce goods at a fraction of the cost of their competitors. Second, there are no international copyright laws in China. This gives wholesalers the freedom to reproduce any good they can get their hands on, with no fear of being sued for copyright infringement. These wholesalers spend virtually no money on Research and Development. They simply wait for a company like Apple to develop a new iPhone and copy the design.
With lower costs and greater freedom to imitate, Chinese wholesale manufacturers can afford to offer a much wider variety of products. Most electronics manufacturers offer a laundry list of products, including mobile phones, video game consoles, cameras, computer accessories, mp3/mp4 players, jewelry, and beauty products. It’s as if 10 different stores from the US got together to make a website for their coordinated “going out of business” sale. Plus they threw in some designs from their experimental departments, such as floating iPod speakers and a Photon-Ultrasonic Skin Care Wave Emitter. This is the beauty of Chinese wholesale suppliers. Just about any electronic gadget you can imagine is available online (the shotgun approach at its finest) for a price that makes you feel foolish for spending $ 500 on an iPhone.
In the fast-paced world of electronics, it should not be underestimated how rapidly Chinese manufacturers are able to adapt to changing technology. If any company develops a new innovation, a copy is available almost immediately from a Chinese company. While other foreign companies are restricted from producing that product, Chinese wholesalers have all the latest developments from every company available from one supplier. In addition, they often make one more addition to the new product (such as making it Mini or adding a spy camera) that makes the product that much more irresistible.
Finally, we all know that nothing is permanent, especially in the fleeting world of electronics. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay top dollar for a really quality product when, in all likelihood, a new upgrade will be released next year. Perhaps your fake iPhone will break down in 6 months. It probably won’t, but so what if it does? You didn’t pay much for it, and the technology is likely to be obsolete by then anyway. Rather than being stuck with an outdated product, you can order the most recent innovation from a Chinese manufacturer.