Alibaba And The Curse Of Chinese Manufacturing
A fairly unnoticed story percolated through the interwebs this weekend about Alibaba’s CEO and hundreds of employees being implicated in what amounts to a payola scandal. Alibaba is a site that allows you to buy the worst junk imaginable. They represent over 500,000 factories in China. It is a sourcing site full of fake laptops, poorly made clothing, and potentially life-threatening auto parts. And, best of all, it was acting as a middleman to actual criminals.
I’m reporting this as a warning. CE makers have drilled it into our heads that you can make low-priced, high quality electronics. You cannot. It is, on the aggregate, impossible. That $500 laptop bears an unseen price.