Is China Headed for a Breakup Just Like The Soviet Union’s?

The Wall Street Journal article “The Coming Chinese Crackup” by Dr. David Shambaugh, a leading expert on China, forecasts that China may be heading towards the same political breakup the Soviet Union experienced in 1991 under Mikhail Gorbachev. “China-watchers have been on high alert for telltale signs of regime decay and decline ever since the regime’s near-death experience in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Since then, several seasoned Sinologists... Read More

Is China Facing a Growth and Debt Crisis?

“Will China Shake the World Again?” is a recent article written by Robert Preston. Preston is the Business Editor for the BBC. The piece discusses China’s ability to sustain its growth, manage its heavy debt positions and avoid a disaster equal to or greater than the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Preston believes China has an “unbalanced economy whose recent sources of growth are not sustainable.” In 2007-2008 “…the Chinese government... Read More

Is China’s decline permanent?

News reports are replete with China’s struggles and decline. China’s past success is frequently labeled a “Bubble” with the question – Is it bursting? Yes, China is in decline. But not just due to negative Global economic struggles. China has entrenched problems that are contributing to its decline. Are these problems intractable? Following are significant but an incomplete list of its problems: ● Manufacturing processes and systems are... Read More

Mexico vs. China. Which is the Better Plant Location?

The question of whether Mexico is a better place to manufacture a product versus China seems to come up frequently.  A recent Los Angeles Times article combined with my experiences in closing a USA plant and building a new plant in Shanghai are the sources for the following: Since 2000, the 3,700 Mexican Maquiladoras have declined to 3,200 with a loss of over 250,000 jobs.  Most have relocated to China.  These include operations of Hasbro, Sanyo... Read More

Outsourcing from China – Avoiding this Horror Story

A recent article in Manufacturing News described the outsourcing horror story that has engulfed Fellowes Inc. The large paper shredder manufacturer has suffered a significant loss in China. A Chinese joint venture partner stole Fellowes Inc.’s proprietary assets and forced the operation into bankruptcy. The estimated cost is valued at a $100 million. Now the former Chinese partner is planning on entering the shredder business independently,... Read More

Can Manufacturing Return to the USA?

The need to move USA manufacturing operations to competitive economic climates, has been essential for a Company’s survival.  This exodus to a number of foreign countries, mainly to China and Mexico, has had a negative impact on the USA – its economy, median incomes, standards of living. Today, New Balance Inc. is a rather unique exception to the migration trend.  For more than twenty years, this successful Boston manufacturer of athletic... Read More

China to surpass USA as World Leader in manufacturing?

The headline in a June 2010 Financial Times article was bothersome. It chronicled “US Manufacturing Crown Slips”. In summary, the article reported: “The US remained the world’s biggest manufacturing nation by output last year, but is poised to relinquish this slot in 2011 to China – thus ending a 110-year run as the number one country in factory production.” “Last year, the US created 19.9 per cent of world manufacturing output, compared... Read More

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”

Sun Tzu’s book “The Art of War”was written in 400BC. Peter Drucker’s and Sun Tzu’s management tenets for success are essentially the same. Sun Tzu was China’s first professional General. Prior to him the Sovereign led his army which was frequently disorganized, under-funded and unsuccessful. He developed strategy and tactics of war but also detailed financial budgets, manpower required, basic training and logistics (e.g., the number of... Read More

Where is China Heading?

Mark Leonard’s book “What Does China Think?” presents China’s challenges and struggles with some surprising priorities its leaders have set to correct them. For the first time in China’s history its 11th five-year plan does not list economic growth as its first priority. The plan: “put people first”…“respecting the natural environment”…introduces a Scandinavian model of social welfare to eliminate its existing problems. China’s... Read More

China’s Achilles’ heel – Obstacles to Low Cost

Several issues negative to China as a solid, long-term base for low-cost manufacturing are becoming apparent: Efficiency & Productivity: A company I’m working on is in the process of acquiring a China based digital electronics manufacturing company.  In the search for an acquisition candidate, I visited twenty-four manufacturing companies.  A large number of them were located in newly constructed 5 and 6 story manufacturing buildings. But... Read More

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Contact

Robert Amter
(347) 316-8410
bob@robertamter.com