The country may be on the shy side when it comes to the exchange of digital information, but thanks to cheap labour costs and an enormous workforce China’s exports can be found in practically ever corner of the world. Assembling and distributing everything from U.S. flags to iPhones and laptop computers, since childhood many of us have been familiar with the imprint “Made in China” on the underside of our action figures or dolls. But even if we chuckle at the sometimes shoddy workmanship or gasp at counterfeit goods that never work, arguably few — if any — western countries could survive as they do today without their neighbours in the east.
It would seem, however, that the familiar old “Made in China” stamp is gradually being phased out. Looking at a number of goods assembled in China in recent times, “Made in PRC” is instead becoming an increasingly common sight on boxes and labels. Needless to say, the change is setting tongues a-wagging in Japan.
Perhaps wishing to shake off its past image of shoddy imitations that just barely circumvent copyright infringement, more and more goods originating from China are appearing on the market with the new stamp “Made in PRC”, referring to the country’s official name of the People’s Republic of China. (Speaking of which, I’ll give five house points to anyone outside the Commonwealth who can tell me the U.K’s full, official name.)
Japanese Internet users, many of whom who were initially unfamiliar with the new term, had this to say:
– “Just a layer of gloss over the same surface…”
– “Maybe China is feeling a little self-conscious?”
– “Oooh! I had no idea!”
– “LOL Keep your wits about you, guys!”
– “Oh, going for an image change I see…”
Overall, the new trade tag met with a fairly lukewarm reception in Japan, with many suggesting that the change was simply a way of selling the same old cheap goods to buyers who had come to be wary of the old “Made in China” stamp. At least one person was quite fond of China’s new stamp, however, saying that they thought “Made in PRC” sounded “kinda cool”.
We can’t help feeling that perhaps people are being a bit hard on China. If the country is hoping to change its image and strive for bigger and better things, who are we to judge? After all, Mark Wahlberg used to be Marky Mark and his career has come on in leaps and bounds since making the change…
Source: Byoukan Sunday (Japanese)
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