中国法律博客
ChinaLegalBlog.com
'Made in China' Can't Catch A Break
媒体来源: 中国法律博客

A 30-second TV commercial remains a hot topic in China nearly two weeks after four Chinese industry associations launched a "Made in China" ad campaign on the CNN news network.

The ad, currently airing on the International, US and Headline News channels of the CNN, highlights international involvement in producing high-quality Chinese goods.

It features an MP3 "Made in China with software from Silicon Valley" and clothes "Made in China with French designers," among others. (China Daily)

I haven't posted anything on this story in the past couple of weeks because I wasn't too excited about it. These things usually run the gamut from sad to pathetic and are instigated by industry groups or government agencies desperately trying to stave off something inevitable.

I dimly recall similar campaigns in the U.S. years ago, replete with images of down-on-their-luck cotton farmers (who were actually subsidy recipients – the ads were meant to help the textile industry) and laid-off Midwest laborer types (nameless drones from Sector 7G whose bosses blamed labor cuts on overseas competition).

These campaigns are essentially calls for local protectionism, either in the form of government assistance or consumer purchasing. The latter never works of course – everything else being equal, American consumers seem to be perfectly OK with the cheaper import.

It's rather ironic, then, that the current China campaign is an effort by Beijing to combat foreign resentment of cheap China imports, and is basically a fight against protectionism.

Kind of a stupid campaign, though. I think about all those folks out there with no job, or worried about losing a job. You think they are going to be happy to hear that the products they are buying are not only cheap imports from China (instead of being made by a local factory), but were made in cooperation with local designers/innovators? Protectionist-minded people will see that as even more evidence of the traitorous ways of the corporate sector.

As a free trader, I appreciate the sentiment, but ultimately my disdain for public awareness campaigns (regular readers have suffered with my diatribes against IP "education") leads me to believe this is doomed from the start.

Needless to say, stories like this unfortunate one that just came in over the wire a few hours ago are definitely not going to help. Whoever is in charge of the 'Made in China' campaign must have barfed up a kidney when he saw this:

A toy mouse has been recalled after parents complained that the rodent sounded as though it was singing "paedophile, paedophile" to the tune of Jingle Bells, the Sun reports.

The £2.99 Chinese-made novelty is sold in smaller shops and on market stalls. The product's distributor, Humatt, of Ferndown, Dorset, said the man providing the voice had been unable to pronounce certain sounds; his singing had also been speeded up to heighten the pitch, distorting the result further.

A spokesman told the Sun: "We've slowed the song down and it definitely says Jingle Bells. But we have recalled them now just in case anybody might take offence." (The Guardian)

Merry Christmas from all your friends at NAMBLA. My goodness . . .

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