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.