The China Category

Investigative Report Details Toxic Gas Poisoning and Other Serious Labor Violations at Key Apple Supplier

China Labor Watch released a lengthy report Tuesday detailing appalling work conditions at Catcher Technology, a supplier of computers, digital cameras and other products to Apple, Dell, HP, IBM and Sony. The factory under investigation, however, is primarily an Apple supplier, producing iPhone frames and MacBook components. Among many other labor violations, China Labor Watch found toxic gas poisoning, unsanitary food, inadequate protective gear and excessive pollution during its investigation of the Catcher factory in Suqian, China, conducted from October 2017 to January 2018.

ICYMI: “Alexa, How Much of What I Just Bought on Amazon Will Be Subject to New Trade Tariffs, Quotas in 2018?”

Luckily, as a consumer mainly buying Echos or pairs of Christmas socks, the answer is not much. (Or at least, the passalong effects should be negligible.)

However, if you're a U.S. buying organization with a domestic manufacturing footprint, international supplier base, and significant steel or aluminum spend, the answer might indeed surprise you — depending what happens in the trade policy arena over the next several months.

China’s Single Biggest Trade Issue, and Other Current Policy Must-Knows

Our sister site MetalMiner recently launched a new podcast series called "Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential." Procurement organizations with a domestic manufacturing footprint and global supplier networks — especially those with a significant steel or aluminum spend — take note. (If you'd rather bone up on some trade policy intelligence for work rather than half-focus on your latest James Patterson on the plane to visit your in-laws, you're welcome.) The latest episode takes listeners through China's recent setback at the hands of the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding China's non-market economy status, and which other trade cases and investigations matter in the current political and economic landscape and why.

Inflation in China: Higher, But Unlikely to Accelerate

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from H. Cole Hassay, economist at IHS.

China is finally escaping a persistent deflationary environment as price levels rise. However, inflation rates will not be increasing.

Producer prices in China rose at their fastest pace in five years in December, increasing by 5.5% year-on-year. This follows a 3.3% year-on-year increase in November. Price increases in upstream sectors, particularly in coal, steel and oil, were the main drivers in the price uptick. However, increases were seen across several industries, indicating that the rise in inflation was broadly based.

Chinese Commodity Prices and Your Supply Chain

Have you noticed prices from your Chinese suppliers increasing in the last month and a half or have you been living in a cave? Is there anything you can do to stop these increases from impacting your bottom line as much? If you read us, the answer is yes (about the prices, not the cave). While many of these costs go to a supplier’s bottom line, being an educated buyer can stop you from having them passed directly to yours.

SAP Ariba’s Atzberger on China’s Economic Ascent and Opportunities for Innovation

In the first part of this Spend Matters Conversation, Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch talked with SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger about how Chinese trade policy has evolved in recent years and where it may be going. This second installment explores opportunities in light of China’s evolving economy, as well as potential for innovation. Those interested in the topic of China's ascent in the world economy, trade policies and market economy status (MES) should also look at our dedicated multimedia site on the topic.

Digitized in China: Exporting New Realities

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gareth Bowen, head of SAP Greater China.

For centuries, China has been the largest manufacturer in the world. And it has led the way in developing innovative processes that have fundamentally transformed production and supply chains. But China is changing. And a new lexicon may be in order: Digitized in China.

The Trump Effect: Trade, Policy, Commodities and Procurement in 2017 [PRO]

White House

The election of Donald Trump will undoubtedly have an unexpected impact on the domestic and international procurement, supply chain and trade communities. Perhaps the even bigger surprise will be in how much of the grassroots rhetoric from the campaign actually becomes reality in 2017 when President-elect Trump takes office. Reversing previous executive orders and issuing new ones, as opposed to pursuing a legislative approach to change, is a faster route to creating shorter-term impact, but also potentially less effective in the long term.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an overview of some of the most important trade, policy and commodity inputs to what a Trump Presidency may bring. It provides a procurement and supply chain perspective on likely changes that we need to be aware of as practitioners, as well as select wild cards that are important for consideration. The second installment of the series will also include suggested strategies, tactics and technologies that organizations can deploy to minimize business risk and disruption moving into this expected area of change.

The Week in Metals: Bulls Everywhere!


This week started with lead and zinc hitting multiyear highs as metal bulls rushed to invest as and infrastructure demand continuing to buoy prices. Tin hit its own high, even as MetalMiner Co-Founder Stuart Burns warned that the rally is based on investment and not supply-and-demand fundamentals. Everywhere we turn, these days, there are more industrial metals bulls (even in India).

Zhongwhang in Hot Water: The Week in Metals


This week MetalMiner Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large Stuart Burns interviewed Harriet Lau, of Chinese aluminum giant China Zhongwang. The company is being investigated by the Department of Commerce for allegedly avoiding anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders by shipping downright ridiculous products to the U.S. Lau said her company was only putting the customer first by shipping the curious 5050 alloy to one customer who wanted it. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in commodities and trade news from MetalMiner.

Tradeshift Heads to China: Getting an ICP License, Q&A and Summary Analysis [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

For technology vendors, entering new geographic markets can be as easy as hiring a handful of local employees, offering local language support and getting an office. But in the case of China, especially when the solution a firm sells touches at the very core of government VAT requirements, market entrance is many orders of magnitude more complicated. This Spend Matters PRO research series explores how Tradeshift is entering the Chinese market in partnership with Baiwang, including the process Tradeshift went through to obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, its specific (regionally customized) solution elements for the Chinese market and a summary analysis of what increasing levels of VAT and tax collection legislation will mean for multinational corporations and the e-invoicing solutions that they deploy. For background on the new Chinese VAT and tax reporting requirements, including system components and elements, please see the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO research brief.