Friday, December 11, 2009

British people's view on China

From Southern Weekly's review section 09.12.2009, a part of their "Watching China" series.

Author: Southern Weekly's editorial department

The independent British research company Populus recently conducted a survey which found that 41 % of British parliament members believe that over the next 50 years China will become Britain's largest trade partner. The data presented in this survey is undoubtedly good news for Chinese companies planning to enter the British market.

But it also includes news that are not that encouraging: 45 % of ordinary people believe that the quality of Chinese products is inferior to British products, which is three times the number of people with the opposite view (14 %). Is this really a fact? Certainly there are some Chinese products of bad quality, but there are also many Chinese products that are not only cheap, but also of superior quality. Even so Chinese companies should not ignore public opinion, no matter if this view surely differs from reality.

The basic solution to this problem is of course to improve product quality, create one's own brands, and gradually change the West's prejudices against "Chinese manufacturing". The survey discovered that young British consumers understand more about the new generation of imported Chinese products and their view on "Chinese manufacturing" is also more positive: 60 % of people between the age of 55 and 64 and 56 % of people above the age 64 believe the quality of Chinese products are worse than British, while only 33 % of people between 18 and 24 and 32 % of people between 35 and 34 are of the same view.

Young British people and “Chinese manufacturing” put together is an extremely good opportunity, but the opportunity is only there for those who are prepared, if only this time we do not once again ruin our reputation by going the way of Russia “using chicken feathers as eiderdown”.

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