Though China did not qualify for the World Cup, Chinese products are omnipresent in South Africa, from the Jabulani footballs, jerseys, nets, whistles, sneakers and socks to the vuvuzelas and even fans' hairpieces. But we need to rethink why we haven't cultivated a Chinese brand that can be showcased at the gala, says an article on caijing.com.cn. Excerpts:
Chinese enterprises are way behind their foreign counterparts in research and development, brand marketing and quality management. Most of the Chinese firms on the Fortune 500 list are State-owned enterprises that enjoy many preferential policies. But still they cannot represent Chinese brands.
Many Chinese factories are at the lowest end of the world industrial chain with a margin "even thinner than a blade".
The country's cheap labor, loose environmental protection regulations and "low human rights" give it a bad name.
Without having the competitive edge and a sound industrial structure China cannot become a true economic power even if its products are sold all over the world.
The country has no reason to be complacent with its status as the "factory of the world". Instead, it needs more technological and institutional innovations to expedite the transformation of its economic development model.
(China Daily 07/01/2010 page9)