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Online shopping rings up customer complaints.

How Can China Inspire a Craftsman's Spirit?-- Beijing Review

How can China manage to grasp the spirit of the craftsman and apply it to overall economic and social improvement? A selection of opinions published in Chinese media follows:. Zuo Ya People's Daily: Today, too much "just so-so" exists in China's manufacturing area. China's output of about industrial products ranks first in the world. However, when it comes to quality, products made in China are seldom seen among international brands.

Most Chinese products are sold in low- and middle-end markets. The fundamental reason is the lack of a craftsman's spirit. This lack of spirit leads to a big gap in competitiveness in the market. In the short term, a poorly made product demands constant polishing, costing a large amount of human resources while squeezing the profit margins.

In the long run, the poor reputation of these products will inevitably prevent enterprises from raising the added value of their products and hamper the transformation and modernization of the enterprises.

Cultural Strike a spirit of craftsman

The craftsmanship issue was mentioned in this year's Government Work Report, and this proposal has hit the point. From Japan's light industrial products, to Germany's sophisticated machinery and to Switzerland's premium watches, craftsmanship has brought huge economic benefits and injected strong vitality to these countries' manufacturing sectors. The global financial turmoil has persuaded countries to put more emphasis on quality, and if it wants to secure a footing in the worldwide market for high-end products, China must see the urgency to nurture the tailor-made model.


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Where does craftsmanship come from? It first comes from a "serious attitude" toward manufacturing products. Market competition has always hinged on the quality of the products themselves. During periods of rapid economic growth, colorful ads might be able to attract quite a number of consumers; however, the final winners will be the enterprises that manufacture competitive products. For years, many Chinese enterprises have tended to focus only on the expansion of business, ignoring the quality of their products.

As a result, due to poor design and quality, Chinese products are often outperformed by Japanese and German products on the details. Today, the Chinese economy has entered a "new normal" characterized by slower growth.

NAJGA 2014:The Spirit of the Kyoto Garden Craftsman

It's becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to make profits by expanding the manufacturing scale. Consumers' requirement for product quality, however, keeps rising. Enterprises that do not focus on the sophistication of products will be swept aside sooner or later. Of course, the corporate culture of pursuing perfection will not come into being overnight. Take the customizing of a wardrobe for example. If there are detailed criteria for a finished product set and followed before it reaches the customer, there will be few flaws in the wardrobe.

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Nurturing craftsmanship also depends on support from a sound external environment. The precondition for the building of craftsmanship culture is a large number of excellent technicians trained in a variety of enterprises. Thus, there should be a good system that can attract more and more highly qualified artisans. Only when intellectual property rights are put under proper protection, and counterfeit makers are severely punished, can we expect to see a strong driving force for innovation and economic efficiency in this regard.

Actually, China already has the foundation for nurturing a craftsmanship spirit. Traditionally, the country boasted master craftsmen. Besides, the knowledge and pride in design and construction have been passed down in a wide range of sectors, including large industries such as aircraft and rocket production. China is now faced with an opportunity to do more.

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As Chinese consumers are increasingly turning to higher-end products and services, high-quality craftsmanship will help a company gain a greater market share and generate more profits. We hope to see fewer and fewer "just so-so" and more and more national-level craftsmen.

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Qin Xiaoying China Youth Daily: Premier Li asked why China is still incapable of producing the balls of ball-point pens at a meeting on addressing the overcapacity of steel and coal industries in early January. Is it possible for a country that is able to make rockets, satellites and warships to fail in producing such a small component?