China to improve quality of goods & manufacturing

Beijing, August 25 — Within five years China is determined to improve the quality of consumer goods. The new guidelines for standards and quality for 2016-2020 has been approved by appropriate Chinese authorities, reports Xinhuanet.

By improving the consumer goods sector, we will force the upgrading of equipment manufacturing,

“By improving the consumer goods sector, we will force the upgrading of equipment manufacturing,” [Premier Li Keqiang] said (reported by Xinhuanet). Among other things safety of consumer goods has been emphasized as one of most important objectives.

Recall related event from history

As far as food safety is concerned some may recall from 2008 the infamous Chinese milk scandal in which several hundred thousand victims fell ill with six infants dead and thousands hospitalized from complications resulted from baby milk tainted with toxic melamine.

Later in 2009 Chinese court found two middlemen (people who bought milk from local farmers and sold it to dairies) guilty of the heinous crimes when investigators showed the two men diluting milk with water and then mixing with the toxic chemical melamine to cheat protein content tests. The two men were sentenced to death.

The third person a former head of Sanlu (the company) Tian Wenhua received a life sentence after admitting to known of awful quality problems the company was facing with its products and not informing authorities.

Why is this case important?

Most people around the world are at least once in their life become familiar with a knock-off product. Often times these knock-off products are purchased already assuming they are knock-off by price alone. Say a cheap USB cable.
This is a gamble because these cables tend to rip, tear and short-out within a much, much shorter use time over a brand-name cable. In more serious cases such products – bad USB cables in this example – can have bad internal wiring simply because the actual USB standards that government operational requirements for the cables are ignored and result in damaged electronics equipment and fires.

Read popularmechanics article discussing how Amazon is starting a war against knock-off USB cables.

But that is for cables and such “throw-away” goods. The issue comes up with consumable goods even more. It only takes one baby milk scandal to utterly extirpate entire product sector from international trade.

Read full article at Xinhuanet.
Read about the 2008 Chinese Baby Milk scandal at Time.
Read about the 2009 Chinese court conviction of scandal at TheGuardian.