Originally Posted by Ricci
Not sure what any of that has to do with my post.
Note: I have worked at an electronics manufacturer for the past 10 years and deal with tooling and machines all day every day. Also one of our main facilities is in China and I have been there twice to train people and have toured a few tooling manufacturers while there. I also have many contacts who either live or travel to China to work in various technical fields...Most not related to speakers or audio. I do know how these things work as you say which is exactly what I meant by my post.
Very briefly you would negotiate a quantity unit price to have a product produced and you would pay for all or most of the tooling, dies, whatever to get production ready. Your company would own those. If your product is covered by patents or has other sensitive information related to it there would be contracts and agreements about protecting that information, not selling or distributing the product to anyone other than your company, etc,etc. Typically this stuff would be also be haggled over at the end of the partnership, molds, tooling, and dies owned would be retrieved etc and existing product still at the build house bought up. Now I have no idea what TC's story with this place and how things were handled so who knows. I do know that there is a LOT of bribe taking, intellectual property theft, patent infringement, product dumping and counterfiting or blatant copying of designs there and it is very difficult and costly to effectively win any type of legal battle over it. Sometimes even when you do everything that you could to cover your companies interests it doesn't work. (The safest practice appears to be hand picking people starting your own facility and tightly monitoring things.) I know for a fact that many large businesses that operate in the People's Republic have large accounts set aside just for the purpose of greasing the wheels of commerce there, if you know what I mean. I don't want you to get the idea that I'm ragging on them or I dislike them or anything...We have some absolutley great people over there and they are hard workers but as far as business ethics and regulation is a little wild west. Again I have no idea what the actual story is in this case...It could be anything but I don't get the warm fuzzies over it.
The design work and patent work was done and paid for by someone else as was the tooling most likely...They are not authorized to sell them it seems and good luck with any type of warranty.
I wouldn't buy any of these personally. YMMV.
LET'S FLIP IT ALL AROUND:
If I owned a USA company, and someone from China paid my company to make something; Then that company in China stopped it's orders and said they were going to have it made locally instead, and I so lost that business. ..... Even if they had a Patent in China and sold the product locally in CHINA, I would have no issues selling the same product in the USA or NorthAmerica provided there was no patents or contracts or legal repercussions I might face preventing me from doing that. Even if I had a contract that said I would not do it, if there way no way for them to enforce it in my local country of MFG I would not worry much about that.
They wanted to do business and decided to stop, fine. Go kick rocks or piss up a rope then, I am going to get mine. Why is this attitude any different when it works in reverse ? It seems it is only wrong to people like you that are in the industry or have a moral judgement. If things were reversed many American business owners would have no issues screwing over customer that ceased doing business to order from another part of the world instead. I don't see how it's any different in reverse. This seems normal to me, and the only difference is USA courts protect things a little better. But USA courts don't do much damage to people living in Asia half way across the world that do not do any MFG inside the USA.
For the record- I am not buying any and I don't really care. But I am not very surprised or upset either. The only people taking a strong stance are the ones that this hits closer to home. With a global economy these things happen. If you don't want it to happen, then don't go overseas in the first place. If you go overseas, then you must accept this liability it could happen.
I blame them going overseas in the first place.
It is not natural to protect things with patents. If this was 500 years ago and I traveled to China and saw they had a cool way of doing stuff, I would come back to my country and start doing it. I would copy the good idea. This is natural.
Now there is a place for patents and protection of intellectual property- but it's hard to police is across the world in different court systems in different countries. If you care about such things- then make it in a place where you can control them. IE: Have it made in the USA where USA law protects you with your USA patent- and have the MFG in the USA so it's easy to legally enforce it.
Or- Canada, Mexico, Europe, or any country that has a legal system that would allow you do it it. If you go overseas and you don't have an overseas patent in that country, and that country does not have a legal system that allows you to enforce anything then you are taking very big risk in having it made- and if it happens you have no one to blame but yourself. Perhaps it would have been smarter to pay a little more to protect yourself and your intellectual property.
I truly believe in the capitalist way - so if they want to MFG it cheap in Asia and try selling it as "knock offs" without warranty or the expertise of the original MFG then the value is much degraded. We have has some serious discussion already that the lack of warranty support, quality control, etc... really does diminish the value as compared to a legit drive purchased in USA from PE. So perhaps the PE version that has a warranty locally is worth $400- how much is the knock off worth ? Not $400 right? Probably not $300 either. Once you factor in expensive shipping ($60) I would guess it's probably worth about $100 each.
So now you have someone making a knock off that can only sell it for $100- the reduced margin is a direct result of the product quality and willingness of people to pay for it. I am not sure my numbers or prices are correct but at some point there reaches a point where it will make sense to people. I know they would sell like crazy if you could buy one for $49 each. It would be worth the risk IMO of getting a lemon or a defect.
If people care about warranty, or moral values then show it with your wallet. Buy the local version that is legit. If MFG care about this stuff happening, then choose wisely who you have MFG your products- and don't just take the lowest bidder.
This is how the world works today. Some people need to just realize it. I am not saying it's right or wrong- just that it is what it is.