Is China still the factory of the world?
Trust and reputation are perhaps the only two things in the world that travel faster than light. From all accounts it appears as if China is losing the trust game and this global untrustworthy reputation is casting a long dark shadow over its manufacturing muscle. The perfect heady cocktail of Covid-19, geopolitical tensions, unwanted aggression on neighbours and in the South China Sea, high tariffs, use of forced ethnic minority labour, misusing WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules are all coming together to move the world’s factories away from the world’s factory! Hong Kong and Shenzhen with about 500 and 300 skyscrapers, respectively, the most of any cities in the word, were the leaders on this one metric—a silent but visible testimony to China’s global ambitions, even dwarfing New York and Los Angeles.
China is losing factories at an astonishing pace, especially after the Chinese virus has destroyed much of what we knew as ‘way of life’ in 2020 and beyond. (I wonder if we can have a Spanish Flu and a Japanese Encephalitis, what’s wrong with calling it the Chinese virus or Kung-Flu?!). China has ongoing conflicts with India, Australia, Japan and public perception in the US is predominantly anti-China now as per the Pew Center—and this is a significant shift away from what it was just five years ago! There is a subtle but important shift from Americans viewing Chinese as rivals to viewing them as enemies now. Despite what surveys done in China suggest, the shift away of manufacturing is quite dramatic, and, in another five years, the manufacturing map of the world will look very different from what it does today. Surveys done by UBS globally suggest that 20-30% of manufacturing will be leaving China.
Read More at https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/is-china-still-the-factory-of-the-world/2240670/lite/