Long before our Congress filled Wal-Mart’s shelves with Chinese goods, Communist Chinese companies were copying successful Japanese products and selling them in third-world countries. On my first trip to Lithuania in 1994 I went into a new electronics store that had a limited number of products for sale. There were several boom boxes in the glass case and I thought they looked familiar. Were they Sony, Sanyo, or Panasonic? No, they were “Pensonic,” “Pansionic,” and “Panasony.” All names that would fool the average buyer who wasn’t too savvy about the genuine article. Was it worthwhile for Panasonic to go after this outright fraud? Not really. Too hard to prove when you can’t go into China for evidence. Did they ever stop the pirated music and video business there?
Nothing has changed today. Communist China will do anything to come out ahead, and that means our rules are not their rules. With all the international business world scrambling to move production to China, I believe they are overlooking the long-term disadvantages with cheap labor. Instead of business growth and increased profitability, companies will eventually see copycat competition take over market share of their formerly exclusive products. The Chinese can make very good copies! In time they may be able to make copies that hold up almost as well as the originals, but right now they have problems with raw material quality and product longevity. But, hey, who cares? If the radio, tool, motor, etc., breaks, just go out and buy another one; they’re so cheap! I just know I’ll never buy a BMW made in China.