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View Full Version : The Future of "Chinese Ukes"



luvdat
07-08-2010, 02:36 PM
Anyone see this article on Yahoo:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100708/ap_on_bi_ge/as_china_cheap_no_more

Is the Chinese uke industry beyond all this?

Tudorp
07-08-2010, 02:56 PM
Man, I bet Wal-Mart is shivering in their boots right now. Looks like they are gonna have to build factories in Eithiopia or something now.. lol..

SuzukHammer
07-08-2010, 03:51 PM
I see my recent purchase of Oscar Schmidt said made in Indonesia.

I read one of the Hawaiian makers has its ukes made in Indonesia but then the final inspection and setup is made in Hawaii. (Which likely is not true, just a secondary inspection because you would not ship any product not passing QA).

Indonesia has sources of wood and large areas to plant trees and tropical environment similar to Hawaii.

Thailand is supposedly a cheaper place to manufacturer shirts than China. The Chinese buy some of these textiles from Thailand. This makes sense because the Thai baht should have devalued with all its political turmoil; yet, the baht strengthened.

India is always saying it is cheaper than China and Thailand. India is always tooting its horn.

This shows you that there is a neverending pageant of seducing countries luring manufacturing away.

THe fact that the chinese workers are "revolting" indicates that the 2 class system is in trouble up there. Watch out for mobs and mafias in the near future if the political party gets in trouble.

Ahnko Honu
07-08-2010, 04:45 PM
Post WWII Japan was known for cheap labor low overhead and thus cheap manufacturing but as Japan's economy rebuilt and grew along with it's standard of living so did the wages and now many things Japanese became more expensive than domestic along with better quality. South Korea replaced Japan as a manufacturer of inexpensive items but they too grew and is quickly catching up with Japan. China with more open trade replaced Korea but as standard of living grows so does labor cost. Who's the next China? India? I don't know but we may run out of cheap labor countries at this rate. Buy your Kalas and Ohanas now before we can't afford them anymore. ;)

kissing
07-08-2010, 10:24 PM
South Korea replaced Japan as a manufacturer of inexpensive items but they too grew and is quickly catching up with Japan.
Correction, South Korea has already overtaken them in several areas.

iDavid
07-08-2010, 11:13 PM
Correction, South Korea has already overtaken them in several areas.

Good for China. Raise everyone's standard of living. I can live with one or two nice Ukes.

Honestly we have way too much.

P-co
07-08-2010, 11:21 PM
Good incentive to pay a little bit more and get that guy or girl down the road to make you one. The local made price for may things is not that much more usually and by sustaining them you are contributing to the maintenance of your own standard of living. Just a thought.

luvdat
07-08-2010, 11:29 PM
Good for China. Raise everyone's standard of living. I can live with one or two nice Ukes.

Honestly we have way too much.

Actually, America is broke...but I know what you mean.

6stringconvert
07-08-2010, 11:42 PM
http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

iDavid
07-09-2010, 12:16 AM
http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

even worse than I had thought

Ahnko Honu
07-09-2010, 01:45 AM
Correction, South Korea has already overtaken them in several areas.

But not as a whole, they have a ways to go. I believe Singapore is ahead in many ways too.

hoosierhiver
07-09-2010, 04:36 AM
My sisterinlaw worked in a Nike factory in Thailand, she was paid about $4.50 a day.

Lori
07-09-2010, 07:08 AM
I wish they didn't use the pay-per-day rate as the gauge for workers conditions. There should be some other scale. One that rates the living conditions of the workers rather than rate of pay. Can the worker sleep 8 hours a day? Do they have a bed? Do they get proper food and water? How many hours per week are they working? Do they have shoes and proper clothing for their climate? Do they get health care? I have no idea what costs are in China, and how far $4.50 would go in that economy. Do they get to keep and spend the entire amount they earn, or does the factory keep some of it for dormitory fees?

–Lori

hoosierhiver
07-09-2010, 10:58 AM
I wish they didn't use the pay-per-day rate as the gauge for workers conditions. There should be some other scale. One that rates the living conditions of the workers rather than rate of pay. Can the worker sleep 8 hours a day? Do they have a bed? Do they get proper food and water? How many hours per week are they working? Do they have shoes and proper clothing for their climate? Do they get health care? I have no idea what costs are in China, and how far $4.50 would go in that economy. Do they get to keep and spend the entire amount they earn, or does the factory keep some of it for dormitory fees?

–Lori

That's a good point. $4.50 a day sounds like crap, but in that rural area of Thailand it isn't that bad.
She can never save any substantial amount, but has enough to get by.

I know that the factory Mainland uses makes serious efforts to retain their workers because of the skills they have learned. So in comparison to factories in which there isn't any skill required, ukulele makers do alright. I know our factory gives holidays and sick days and literally shuts down for several weeks for Chinese New Years. When they had that big earthquake a couple years ago, they let their workers off to take care of any personal matters related to the earthquake.

haolejohn
07-09-2010, 11:37 AM
That's a good point. $4.50 a day sounds like crap, but in that rural area of Thailand it isn't that bad.
She can never save any substantial amount, but has enough to get by.

I know that the factory Mainland uses makes serious efforts to retain their workers because of the skills they have learned. So in comparison to factories in which there isn't any skill required, ukulele makers do alright. I know our factory gives holidays and sick days and literally shuts down for several weeks for Chinese New Years. When they had that big earthquake a couple years ago, they let their workers off to take care of any personal matters related to the earthquake.

THis story needs to be told. I know that all living conditions overseas aren't ideal but there are some that aren't that bad. Americans could survive on less if need be. I've traveled to many third world countries and was surprised at how strong these people were or is it how spoiled I am?

pulelehua
07-09-2010, 11:43 AM
It's really hard to relate incomes between even industrialised countries. I live in the UK, but am from the US. Relating my UK income into American terms just doesn't work. Housing is much more expensive (I live in a little terrace house which cost the same as a medium/large detached house in much of America). Food shopping is often more expensive in America. Luxuries are much cheaper in America.

So, 4.50 probably gets some sort of bed and some sort of standard of living, but you can be sure they don't have more televisions than people in the house, no fibre-optic internet, no expensive hobbies they can subsidise with their wages. We always run the risk of either romanticising the simplicity of poverty, or else romanticising the benefits of wealth. I don't have a great deal of experience of living in other countries, but I do have some sense of how complicated it is to understand from my one long-term experience.

The ethics of globalism are tricky. Just what sort of life do the people who built my Kala deserve? I think I spend much of my life not answering that question, because I suspect that for me the answer is "should have bought a KoAloha."

Dunno. Can o' worms opened and smelling wormlike.

haolejohn
07-09-2010, 11:59 AM
It's really hard to relate incomes between even industrialised countries. I live in the UK, but am from the US. Relating my UK income into American terms just doesn't work. Housing is much more expensive (I live in a little terrace house which cost the same as a medium/large detached house in much of America). Food shopping is often more expensive in America. Luxuries are much cheaper in America.

So, 4.50 probably gets some sort of bed and some sort of standard of living, but you can be sure they don't have more televisions than people in the house, no fibre-optic internet, no expensive hobbies they can subsidise with their wages. We always run the risk of either romanticising the simplicity of poverty, or else romanticising the benefits of wealth. I don't have a great deal of experience of living in other countries, but I do have some sense of how complicated it is to understand from my one long-term experience.

The ethics of globalism are tricky. Just what sort of life do the people who built my Kala deserve? I think I spend much of my life not answering that question, because I suspect that for me the answer is "should have bought a KoAloha."

Dunno. Can o' worms opened and smelling wormlike.

You are correct. I am looking to move outside of america or at least back to Hawai'i and I am already preparing. No internet at the house anymore. No cable. Just got a bicycle to supplement my motorcycle as my other means of transportation. Even poor folks in America are rich compared to the international community.

6stringconvert
07-09-2010, 12:09 PM
This is a good thread. Gets you thinking, I've been really interested in all the comments.

I donate 1% of my income to the British Red Cross and Medicine Sans Frontier each month. Not much, but helps me sleep at night.

mythidiot
07-09-2010, 12:32 PM
I know that the factory Mainland uses makes serious efforts to retain their workers because of the skills they have learned. So in comparison to factories in which there isn't any skill required, ukulele makers do alright. I know our factory gives holidays and sick days and literally shuts down for several weeks for Chinese New Years. When they had that big earthquake a couple years ago, they let their workers off to take care of any personal matters related to the earthquake.
I met with the owner of a Chinese factory a year ago that produces several Ukulele brands. He was a Christian man. His workers live with their families. He took their children out to lunch on their birthdays. The factory has free music lessons for anyone in the family and they even have a little children's Uke band that plays together. He makes sure that all of the kids are getting an education...

Long story short, his factory was a VERY good place to work. There are a lot of bad working conditions, but the quality ukulele factories tend to be good places to work from what I've heard.

Tudorp
07-09-2010, 01:05 PM
It greatly depends on their economy sure. That was allot of money 100 years ago, and people lived ok on it. I recommend EVERYONE watch the documentory "Wal-Mart, high cost of low prices" It REALLY opens your eye on the conditions of overseas factory workers, especially in the company dormatory atmosphere. I will never walk into a Wal-Mart because how they do their overseas factory workers, as well as the damage they do in the US to the small town, and mom and pop shops...