What Makes China Different?

One of the major debates at a recent Eye for Procurement Low Cost Country Sourcing Conference that I attended centered on whether or not China would remain a top focus of global sourcing and new market expansion into the next decade (at least in North America). If you're interested in learning about a key "pro" China argument, I'd strongly urge to read this book review over on Supply Chain Digest. The review analyzes and highlights the most important themes from a recent book by Peter Williamson and Ming Zing titled Dragons at Your Door: How Chinese Cost Innovation is Disrupting Global Competition. The reviewer does a good job summarizing the major themes from the book, noting that whether you're "a company in North America, Europe, Japan or actually almost any region, the work should be a wake-up call to better understand and respond to the enormous competitive threat posed by Chinese manufacturers. Whatever is happening now, China will continue to impact our supply chain strategies to an even greater degree for probably decades to come."

Among other major themes from the book the reviewers cite, they note that China is "not just producing products at low cost, but using the concept of 'cost innovation' to attack and eventually dominate entire product segments." I also find it insightful how China is leveraging their "rapidly growing domestic market not only to build scale, but to develop products and supply chains that dramatically reduce product and customer usage costs." If you're curious to read a strong argument in favor of the Chinese manufacturing boom on a global basis -- whether you agree with it or not -- I'd strongly encourage you to check out this review at the very least (and the book if you have more time).

Jason Busch

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