Chinese-made, but not in China

By greenteapanda

December 1, 2006

Category: Shopping

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Hainan isn’t a particularly good place to find low-priced goods. Selection is limited because there are a lack of big-box retailers. I travel outside China a lot, and I end up buying many of the items I have outside of China. Even though the items I buy are made in China.
Not many of these Chinese-made objects can actually be bought within China. If I can, they are often much more expensive than what I can get in other countries. Apple computers cost 25% more in mainland China than they do in Hong Kong or the USA (and have infinitely crappier customer service to boot!).
Some things are too big just to bring on the airplane. Especially since the current amount of luggage one can generally bring is 20kg now. When I first went to Japan, I had two 33kg suitcases and a carry-on. So I really miss the fact that there is no Carrefour or Metro in Hainan. Or ideally, a Muji store.
I remember their store in Taipei having a mission statement. It talked about making things simple, but not lowest cost in the cheapest labor countries. Yet many things (other than paper and chopsticks, made in Japan) were made in China and the Philippines. That China must be in some parallel universe, because I haven’t seen anything like it for sale in the random assortment of shops I can shop at in Haikou.
Not to mention the need for clothing that can fit a panda. Even though pandas come from China, they cannot buy clothing or shoes domestically…

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