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China Mart

January 12, 2012

I saw a posting in a forum for foreigners where one American man said he was anxious to be an ex-patriot in thePhilippines so he could get away from the land of “Chinamart.”  It was clear that he looked down on Wal-Mart and the preponderance of Chinese merchandise in that chain of stores. A day later, another poster made a very good point in answer. What he said was that if you think you will get away from shoddy Chinese made goods by moving to thePhilippines, you will be severely disappointed.  In fact, the common folk here (me included) have to buy Chinese made products because the imports from other countries are simply out of our price range. Some of those products from China include those that have been banned in theUS like some dairy products or toys because dangerous chemicals or ingredients are in them. The Chinese of today are quite similar to the Japanese following World War II. Those of us who were alive back then remember that the Japanese copied the products of the West and then sold them at relatively cheap prices. That was possible because their workers got barely enough wages to subsist. These days, the Chinese do the same and seem to care little about quality.  They make high priced pills like Viagra and charge pennies on the dollar because they are knockoffs. The Chinese don’t pay the pharmaceutical companies any royalties and the worst part is the pills may not work. They care not at all about intellectual property and find a ready market willing to buy books, movies, and music copied from the originals. Name brand labels are slapped on items ranging from shoes, to clothing, to handbags, and others even though they are third rate products. They are then sold at a heavy discount in the Philippines and the sad fact is that most buyers don’t care about the practice and gladly settle for inferior products just as long as the designer label is on it.  Every Wednesday is bargain day in my town and I can go to the city market and find all manner of Chinese made items sold at rock bottom prices.  I can choose from tools, to watches, to combs, to small appliances, and so much more.  For the most part, it’s on a buyer beware basis because the government does not meddle in such commerce even though there are laws against it.  It’s just not something the government cares about. The man who thinks he is getting away from what he calls “Chinamart” has a real eye-opener coming when he leaves the US.

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