In Quality Fade in China, international trade expert witness Rosemary Coates of Blue Silk Consulting writes:
Quality Fade, the process of quality degradation over time, is the single biggest issue in low cost manufacturing countries. It happens frequently in China where manufacturing processes are immature and competitive pricing drives the profits to extremely low levels. It also happens in Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and other low-cost countries.
You have probably noticed quality fade, but didn’t know what to call it, or understand how it happened. Maybe you noticed a plastic shampoo bottle that seemed too thin. Maybe that hand-held electronic game you put in your son’s Christmas stocking stopped working after a few days. Maybe the zipper in your pants broke after a few zips.
Quality fade is a particular problem for products coming from China, where nearly 40% of the world’s production now takes place. This startling fact about the tremendous volume of goods produced in China is evidenced at the drug store, department store, big box retailer and the grocery store. The ubiquitous “Made in China” label can be found everywhere. These products are initially equal or superior in quality to Western-made goods, but over time, quality begins to fade. Sometimes poor quality is just an inconvenience and sometimes it is downright dangerous.