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Samsung ends mobile phone production in China (reuters.com)
365 points by gok 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 180 comments





Samsung already makes most of their phones in Vietnam. Not a huge difference, other than the lack of tariffs.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/04/12/why-samsung-of-sou...


I wonder why more producers haven't made this move? If Vietnam is there as far as infrastructure goes and they have the skilled/unskilled labor why is this not a more popular move.

Also when we say "make" I assume we mean "assembles".

Somewhat anecdotally I recently purchased a laptop and tried to find one that wasn't made in China and it was nigh on impossible.


I'm a tech expat living in Vietnam (from Bay Area) for the last 4 years. This is a really loaded question. You have to look into the politics of the VN govt, especially related to the fact that it is on the northern end of VN, closer to Hanoi... which has different politics than in the south.

I've been to Hai Phong, which is the city in the north near the China border where most of this commerce happens. It is fascinating to see how big the houses are there. If you drive along the road to the airport it is literally filled with old men riding their nice shiny new bicycles and exercising by the side of the road.

The tariffs definitely have people looking into Vietnam a lot more. I've driven (motorbike) the dirt backroads near the Chinese border where there is nothing but trees and mountains. There are literally trucks brining goods into and out of Vietnam (illegally) on hastily constructed dirt roads. You can see it in google maps even. I've seen how people have strung cables over rivers between China and Vietnam to ferry goods back and forth. So yea... it is happening, it just isn't hitting the news much. It is also happening in Cambodia and Laos. Look into the roads China is building and how Sihanouk is a literal Chinese eco disaster.

Fascinating times...


I visited Sihanoukville 11 years ago and 2 years ago. It's like a bomb of chinese money went off, that place is going to be the next las vegas/macau.

I don't doubt it, but there must be a very limited throughput. They can't be shipping even 1% of China's output over dirt roads.

Sihanoukville you mean

You can pay something like 50 RMB for them to motorbike you through the jungles into Cambodia or Loas (illegally) without any questions asked.

There are also illegal but protected casinos near the Vietnam-China border entry, that only allow in Chinese nationals.


I did it myself. Even stood on the literal border of Vietnam and China. ;-) That is China in the distance and VN is building a wall of some sort. The road that you see is filled with trucks carrying stuff. Last picture is one of the dirt border backroads I was driving on... pretty epic trip.

I also drove into Laos near the north side and all through it as well. The amount of Chinese influence in Laos is overwhelming.

https://imgur.com/a/WGWv9kr


> Also when we say "make" I assume we mean "assembles".

Well, it's a bit more than that. While Samsung imports many parts and "assembles" all final products in Vietnam, there are also 200 suppliers and contractors who relocated and "make" their parts in Vietnam.

Vietnam in pre-Samsung era was largely known for low-tech textile export. There wasn't a lot of infrastructure to support Samsung's smartphone operation in Vietnam. Samsung not only had to work with the Vietnamese gov't to create the industrial infrastructure that didn't exist, but the company also had to convince suppliers/contractors to set up shops in Vietnam.

Samsung's products now accounts for about 1/3 of Vietnam's overall export.


One problem in Vietnam is that it really does NOT have the infrastructure that China has. (Just look at the state of public transport in China vs Vietnam.)

It's better than Laos/Cambodia, but the streets are now flooded with cars far more than even 1 year ago, and the traffic is becoming a huge issue.

And right now, with all the new factories, Vietnam is suddenly almost as polluted as China. (Just recently we have record AQI numbers here.) But of course rich countries don't care about that, as long as the phones are cheap...

All in all, people are happy, since it helps their bottom line. But the infrastructure is not there yet to beat China.


I am not sure why it is up to "rich countries" to fix Vietnam's pollution problem. Do not allow the building of factories that pollute a lot and it will get better. This is something Vietnam can do on it's own. Absolutely zero foreign interference required.

That's a bit simplistic... "Mr. Tim Apple, we have 2 options to build the next iPhone factory, Vietnam and Laos. They're almost identical, except Vietnam will cost 5% more because of their anti-pollution laws.". What would you do in Tim Apple's position?

Nike stopped using child labour because of (Western) public outcry, without it they'd go for the factory offering the cheapest price. Next you'll say, then it's up to the Vietnamese to have a public outcry about pollution. But corrupt governments seem to have a way to get away with anything, just look at the Dakota pipeline, or arctic drilling...


Easy for you to say. Not so easy for really poor people.

Rich countries can help: for example Western companies can mandate that all their suppliers, for their entire chains, down to natural resources, have low levels of pollution.

Vietnam and other countries like it will have to comply, in order to sell their products.


Wait aren’t we talking about an popular initiative to move all factories to Vietnam??

Go to Japan. A number of Panasonic, Fujitsu & Sony laptops are made there that are only ever sold in the domestic market because of the high costs. Though for the build quality they are still not too bad in terms of value.

Of course their displays and RAM are probably made in Korea or China as are the SSDs and I've never pulled one apart to check the motherboard and battery providence...

However they are definitely assembled in Japan.


Japan's economy fascinates me. The vast majority of the cars you see on the roads, computers in offices, TVs in hotel rooms, cameras in people's hands etc are Japanese. Amazing self-sufficiency in a world where globalisation is becoming the norm. Japanese-made products are also pretty universally considered to be very well designed and built, too.

  It would have been fascinating to study Japan in the 80's, but now really sure they are still "self-sufficient." 

  Japan's auto industry is still strong, but their future largely depends on impending trade deal with Trump. Their tech/semiconductor industry has been in decline the past 30 years and what little remains today are being sold to Chinese/Taiwanese companies bit by bit. Japanese brands like SONY or Panasonic now accounts for less than 10% of the US market now, replaced by mostly Koreans like Samsung and LG in high-end, and by Chinese by TCL in low-end markets. The consumer camera business is still dominated by Japanese companies, but the business itself is in a crisis as the market, which peaked in 2013, continues to dive by 30% - 60% annually last several years.

To make this comment readable on mobile:

It would have been fascinating to study Japan in the 80's, but now really sure they are still "self-sufficient."

Japan's auto industry is still strong, but their future largely depends on impending trade deal with Trump. Their tech/semiconductor industry has been in decline the past 30 years and what little remains today are being sold to Chinese/Taiwanese companies bit by bit. Japanese brands like SONY or Panasonic now accounts for less than 10% of the US market now, replaced by mostly Koreans like Samsung and LG in high-end, and by Chinese by TCL in low-end markets. The consumer camera business is still dominated by Japanese companies, but the business itself is in a crisis as the market, which peaked in 2013, continues to dive by 30% - 60% annually last several years.


Yeah raw materials and parts just fall magically out of the sky, as long as you do the final assembly (and sometimes not even that, sometimes only packaging a product is needed for "made in x") yourself then you are self-reliant.

No need for the heavy sarcasm - why not just point out the nebulousness of what 'Made in [Country]' means or provide some sources that give a more detailed look at Japan's manufacturing base so we all don't need to make assumptions?

The RAM is fabbed in either South Korea (SK Hynix or Samsung) or the US (Micron), but Sharp, JDI, and to a lesser extent Panasonic still fab LCDs in Japan (though like the DRAM packaging, the display module assembly process may be in China).

Assembling in China gets you credit with the Chinese government, which is useful to gain political protection and freer access to the Chinese market. But Samsung is getting squeezed out of the Chinese market, so that's not a big plus for them anymore.

I am somewhat surprised I am 24 hours and 175 comments late and yet no one has mentioned what I thought was the answer.

Samsung is an extreme vertically integrated company. As far as I am aware there isn't any other company on the planet that is remotely close to this level of integration. Not even Cargrill.

Samsung doesn't just make Display, NAND/ DRAM / Battery, Assembly, Controllers, MEMS, SoC, Foundry but also down to the Chemicals and Materials as well as actual assembly. Think of it as 80% of the whole Shenzhen Ecosystem.

So while other companies have difficulties moving off that Shenzhen Ecosystem, the reality is Samsung was never part of it. Samsung Mobile is the front line to drive all volumes for each of its subsidiary to a sustainable level, before these subsidiary graduate to start selling to third parties. For Samsung, it is only a matter of government signing an agreement to tariffs, clean water, electricity and all these basic infrastructure. And if the government have trouble getting those up, not to worry, you could paid Samsung and Samsung will built those for you ( Samsung is also a construction company ) and promise to hire enough local workers.

This is in deep contrast to Apple which doesn't actually own any part of the supply chain.


Because most major manufacturers are mainly Chinese now(Huawei/Xiaomi/Oppo), and China is the NO1 market, why leave China?

Samsung had been irrelevant in China for some years now, like below 1% market share. It just can't compete

US is by far the only market that Chinese phones haven't dominated, but that is for a reason. Buying an Android in US there has surprising limited choices, Samsung/OnePlus/Pixel in that Order, and that is it. It is Duoploy either Samsung or iPhone, and others don't play.


Right. The US only. Well, also Japan. Also, Korea. I guess also much of Europe too. Or Canada. But, yeah other than that. Which I guess is really just India and China. So I guess the reason is median/mean income??

To be fair India and China makes up almost 40% of the world population.

https://www.counterpointresearch.com/global-smartphone-share...

Adding Huawei+Xiaomi+Oppo+Vivo alone counts 45% of the world smart share already, by units, and the others consisting ZTE/Lenovo and other Chinese brands as well. Safe to say the Chinese phones are already 50% of all phones shipped.

Yes, it is pretty dominating. Had not for the Trump ban, Huawei would probably dethrone Samsung in EU as well, according to analysis in Feb

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/14/18224614/huawei-chinese-p...

As a gadget enthusiasts, though overall the phone innovation is slowing down, but at least Chinese brands are the fewer left there to churn out marketable features, like those monstrous cameras and tricks to hide it. Apple and Samsung are just being lazy there, with incremental upgrade which command a premium


You said "US is by far the only market that Chinese phones haven't dominated"

So Chinese phone manufacturers making up 1/3 of the European market, as per your link, is them dominating it??? Chinese phones don't dominate worldwide in the sense of geography. They dominate worldwide in the sense of units because they are the low margin, budget phone manufacturers supplying lower income parts of the world. Not a bad place to be, but doesn't remotely support your assertion above that the US is the only market they don't dominate. That's obviously wrong just from your own sources.


While you're partially right, I wouldn't look at the smartphone sales trends if I were you... Chinese phones were at something like 1% 5 years ago and now they're at 45%. There's also not much sign of them slowing down.

Samsung was basically saved from being overtaken by Huawei as #1 by Trump's ban.


The higher end Huawei devices were nearly as good, but significantly lower priced, or better for similar pricing. Was actually considering a Matebook as a future laptop purchase in a year or so.

>So Chinese phone manufacturers making up 1/3 of the European market, as per your link, is them dominating it???

Considering that a lot or most of the iPhones and Samsung phones sold (well, before the moving out) were also made in China, yes. The 1/3 you mention are just the Chinese brands....


Apple iPhone, yes, they are made in China; most Samsung phones were made in Vietnam by 2017 and on. So no.

I assume this has to do with carriers. Most people buy their phones from carriers in Canadia, US and Japan. What carriers subsidize dictates the market. In other markets like India where most customers use prepaid plans they get their phones directly from phone manufacturer.

I think Samsung and their partners have the funds to make a full shift far more capably compared to companies who operate in China, or their manufacturer is in China... and don't have the resources / have their own concerns about leaving China.

Also who knows how long Samsung has been working on such things.


It takes time to move supply chains.

Right but Samsung didn't start yesterday either -- I'm surprised news of Samsung starting to move their production (whenever that started) didn't spur other companies to move.

And crucially, it takes more time than imposing new tariffs.

It is a big difference if you care about fairer trade partners.

There should be more push back against goods made in non-democratic countries like Vietnam, and not just against Made-in-China.

My previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S5 and I was surprised to find out that it was made in Korea. Manufacturing in Korea certainly didn't seem to harm Samsung's financial prospects back then, and the phone wasn't any more expensive than its Made-in-China competitors. I have zero reservations about South Korea's workers' rights protections, workplace health and safety, and environmental regulations.

Too often the discussion becomes:

1. We shouldn't manufacture in China

2. We can't afford to manufacture in US/EU

3. Let's just manufacture in Vietnam/Cambodia/Myanmar instead

When it should be:

a. We shouldn't manufacture in non-democratic countries

b. Let's manufacture in democratic countries instead


>I have zero reservations about South Korea's workers' rights protections, workplace health and safety, and environmental regulations.

Well, Samsung only just apologised last year to workers for some unusually high rates of cancer among workers at its (local) semiconductor and display factories[1]. It took ten years or more to go through the Korean courts. In general, Korea's industrial death/injury rates are very high compared to Western countries.[2] Workplace health for workers in Korea's electronics industry in general does not appear great, to say the least.[3] Finally, Samsung's treatment of workers in its Vietnam factories is, by most accounts, subpar at best.[4]

I live in Korea and I've been here for about four years. (Note that if we were to cover something outside tech/electronics, like construction, the workplace health and safety situation in Korea would appear even more dismal). I think I've dumped enough links already, but without adding more I will agree that legal protections for workers are quite strong in Korea at the base level, but they are often blatantly disregarded or skirted around by employers.

[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/samsung-electronics-a...

[2]https://www.ft.com/content/57c76820-d3f0-11e7-8c9a-d9c0a5c8d...

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25938673

[4]https://ipen.org/news/samsung-workers-line%c2%a0unique-repor...


Interesting! It sounds like South Korean worker rights are a little below US/EU ones, but still far superior to the completely lacking ones in China/Vietnam/Cambodia/Myanmar? Or is that wrong?

Sounds about right, but I can't properly speak to US/EU ones, and definitely can't speak properly about worker rights in those other Asian/SE Asian countries. I think we'd probably all agree that EU ones are some of the best. I would guess that generally Korean worker rights are better than the ones in those Asian countries. (The growing foreign labour force in Korea, mostly for manual labour and factories, and mostly from SE Asia and China, might disagree, as they often fall into the same migrant labour trap that exists in other developed countries.)

Some things that I think are good about Korean labour law/rights:

-No at-will employment: employers must have a solid reason for firing somebody (misconduct, financial loss, crippling lack of company funds). In practice, this is often skirted through social pressure, i.e. employees encouraged openly to quit, or having their working lives turned into quiet hells until they quit to get away. If a person is fired they must be given either 30 days' notice or 30 days' salary.

-"Pension"/severance pay: all full-time workers accumulate a month's salary for each year worked at a company. Legally this must be paid out within 14 days after leaving a position. My own (Western) country has nothing like this, and I think it's especially good for the Korean context where a person might work for LG, Samsung, or Hyundai for twenty years, then be eased out right when their kids are starting university. Often, they can't find other whitecollar jobs. Every second or third cabbie I talk to in Seoul used to work for one of the big Korean firms. So the severance gives people a bit of a buffer if they randomly get fired or have to quit.

-Strong state-funded healthcare and social safety net.

Two less-good things:

-Koreans famously work some of the longest hours in the OECD, and it's usually overtime that people find it impossible, culturally, to say no to. The government legislated against it this year (all work beyond 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week to be defined as overtime, with time and a half paid for overtime and a maximum of 12 extra hours per week allowed) so hopefully things are going to slowly change there. In practice, people still seem to be working tons of overtime (for which they should be paid extra) without reporting it, but the law is still new.

-Minimum number of leave days per year is around 11-12 for the first year of employment and could be higher. In practice, corporate culture often limits peoples' freedoms around when they can take leave. Lack of separate sick days is common: people have to either use a leave day, or work sick.


If it helps, most large brands do take efforts to ensure that their factories and manufacturing partners adopt safety and worker rights measures. Ikea, for instance, forced one of its Indian manufacturing partners to start an on-premise school for its workers' children. It also delayed production by a nearly year to ensure that the supplier could meet all its safety regulations.

I've seen this first hand in Ludhiana, India. I know the narrative from the Nike sweat shop days still holds, but large brands are very aware of the backlash they could face and make efforts to improve working conditions wherever they can. If you're a worker in say, India, you're better off working at a factory affiliated with Ikea than one selling to local brands.


That doesn't work out because:

1. Every country is susceptible to change government at any time

2. Corporations are in the game for profit, everything else is a kind of nice to have


Democratic countries cost too much money, since they value environment and worker rights too much.

People say they support human rights and environment, but then they still go for the price.


We really need to get rid of the concept of optimal human capital in globalism; focusing the world's battery production in a country with a ton of lithium or whatever is fine, but playing the musical chairs of shit labor & environmental laws so companies can gain more money they aren't going to spend in your country anyway is not

In my mind this thinking is no better than isolationist thinking of those countries. Bringing business to those countries is the best way to improve living conditions of the workers and expose them to the better world.

It's even better to bring business and good treatment of workers. Your argument is not wrong, but it's sometimes used to defend sweatshop practices.

China is particularly problematic because they are huge and powerful. I agree it would be better to use democratic countries instead, but since that's not gonna happen, I'm glad companies are at least moving to smaller countries.

As long as the Electoral College is there, the US is not democratic either.

> My previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S5 and I was surprised to find out that it was made in Korea.

Samsung is a Korean company so it's not that weird that they should manufacture things there.


They meant that they were surprised it wasn't outsourced manufacturing. They know it's a Korean company...

Nah, company only manufacture in cheap countries.

Note - Vietnam has an FTA with India (unlike China), and so this also helps it fight back against Chinese smartphone players that are currently dominating in India AND it also works as a bargaining chip with the Indian govt. for tax incentives. IIRC they moved their television assembly back to Vietnam in retaliation for some failed deal last year.

Might be a good idea too, the Indian state is a moronic rent-seeking state whose sole purpose it'd often appear is to run a leaky incompetent "welfare state" simply in order to support of its political masters.


They have 1 billion people, they are a market who can do whatever they like, in their own right.

Debatable. Money is just as important and right now India's GDP is comparable to UK's GDP. And the UK only has about 65 million people.

India will have a "welfare state" as long as we have a large poor population and all people are not on the same pedestal.

If you are interested, here are some background articles about Apple's assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2188162/f... https://www.businessinsider.com.au/apple-iphone-factory-foxc... https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/technology/apple-iphone-c...

Why my interest? I taught Maths (in English) in Zhengzhou for a couple of years and constantly wondered where my students could find employment, so I recently searched online and found these articles about the iPhone assembly plant there. Some things I learnt: assembling iPhones is boringly repetitive, basically just install the same one screw all day, so workers only last about a year; the impetus came from Terry Gou, the Taiwanese billionaire founder of Foxconn; and, in the past, to be purchased by the Chinese, such "foreign goods" had to be shipped to Hong Kong, then turned around and imported back into China, whereas Foxconn negotiated virtual export/import at the touch of a button. The iPhone story, by putting my former Zhengzhou students in the "centre" of the US, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong tensions, made those tensions more "engaging" for me.

And yes, I am concerned about the plight of the Uighurs. I think the repression of that group is directly linked to the 2014 knife killings at Kunming railway station, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Kunming_attack. Immediately after that attack, metal detecters were set up at railway stations in Zhengzhou. And I noticed some Muslim businesses disappearing from the streets.


This was originally a reply to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21143687.

Didn't China encourage consumer boycotts of South Korean products after South Korea agreed to put an anti-ballistic missile system into place on their soil?

Samsung very quickly went from a popular product with consumers to an also ran.

It seems odd to ignore this as a factor in Samsung's decision making.


Overall, the rise of domestically-made Android phones are probably the biggest reason of their demise. But if we have to point at one specific instance, arguably it’s the Note 7 debacle. Samsung completely mishandled the situation - they refused to recall the devices in China despite doing so in other countries, and when some customers posted pictures of their burned phone, Samsung threatened them. And of course consumers voted with their wallet, and nowadays it’s rare to see Samsung phones in China.

"Rising labor costs", what happens in the future when the world is fully developed and these co's run out of developing countries with cheap labor to exploit?

By exploit, do you mean offering them jobs that pay higher than local average? Or that developing countries have weaker institutions for labor laws?

Not OP, but probably just the dictionary definition of the word "exploit", to use a resource for one's own benefit. If there are business models that cannot function without this particular resource, what will become of them?

They aren't paying "higher than local average" out of the goodness of their hearts. If they were, shareholders wouldn't be too happy.


What happens in the future when the entire world is rich and everyone has a bunch of money? I dunno, but I'd argue that by definition it's nothing particularly bad.

Probably violent protests and war as economic opportunity shrinks to an ever smaller elite class of wealth.

Increased automation and industrialization reducing the need for human labor to make the product.

People get paid more, products cost more, people consume proportionally less and expect their products to last more than six months.

I'm guessing the question is rhetorical but ... robots.

Outsourcing is the step before automation

Prices rise.

Unfortunately, there will always be someone to exploit. Capitalists have a clever way of "evolving" to always be able to capitalize on someone/some group.

At least capitalists can feed people.

Oh, they can...but the market forces that they follow tend not to incentivize the feeding of people unless there is some gain in it for them. /s

Seriously though, I acknowledge and thank you for your opinion, but respectfully disagree.


I believe you mean to say some "grain" in it for them. /badpun

Awesome! :-)

Disagree all you want, but I can walk into any grocery store in America and get a day’s worth of we’ll balanced nutrition for under $3.

Does "full-time employees at companies like Amazon or Walmart often can't afford food and rely on government assistance to eat" count as capitalists feeding people?

Apple should too

Apple just recently announced their making macbooks in texas, perhaps its a start. Even mexico could be a good place because prosperity there helps the US as well.

Not macbooks, mac pros - a much smaller market by unit size, with a much greater markup, so much easier to move to the US than most of their other products.

And they were already manufacturing the previous generation of Mac Pro there since its introduction at the end of 2013. Presumably they will continue to use Flextronics for their American manufacturing of the new Mac Pro. Also, as far as I can tell, this American manufacturing and assembly relies on automation to an extreme extent.

Maybe this is a stupid/naive question but why doesn’t Samsung make their phones in Korea?

Why doesn't Apple make their phones in the USA?

Labor costs, unions, and ..well..it's just not profitable for them. Apple is in business to make money, by any means necessary. Helping the American economy and labor force is not a priority.

Probably labor cost.

An anecdote: There’s a really good book called China Inc. that has a story about a belt manufacture in America. The American executive tours a belt manufacture in China one day. He sees that all of the leather hides that have blemishes are being used whereas he would have to discard them. The Chinese factory had so many workers that were paid so little, they could afford to pay someone to cut out small, even tiny patches of leather, and glue them into the blemishes of the belts. It hit the guy so hard that he decided then and there to close his factory in America and move it to China.


The total cost is lower in Vietnam, partly due to environmental concerns, labor cost, taxes, permitting.

Expensive

Probably labor cost.

An anecdote: There’s a really good book called China Inc. that has a story about a belt manufacture in America. The American executive tours a belt manufacture in China one day. He sees that all of the leather hides that have blemishes are being used whereas he would have to discard them. The Chinese factory had so many workers that were paid so little, they could afford to pay someone to cut out small, even tiny patches of leather, and glue them into the blemishes of the belts. It hit the guy so hard that he decided then and there to close his factory in America and move it to China.


In addition to tariffs, they were effectively training their competitors in China. Manufacturing in China just accelerates the rate of IP theft.

Isn't that how Samsung grew during the 90s?

Japanese companies outsourced to them, and basically trained their competitors.

Manufacturing in Korea during the 90s just accelerated the rate of IP theft.

It was like that in Japan during the 80s too.

I wonder which country will be after China.


No. Samsung grew during Japan's trade row with the US in the 80's. The trade hostility between the two nations gave opportunity for Samsung to jump in the DRAM business, just in time for their 64K and 256K breakthroughs ahead of competition in 1984. By 90's, Samsung was already ahead of most Japanese competitors.

Now, stop making stuff up to rationalize China's IP theft.


There's obviously a bit more to the story. Japan used Koreans as labor force in the occupied territories. For that to have been possible they must have built factories there.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-japan-laborers...


Whatever Imperial Japan built in Korea, they weren't certainly smartphone factories. The Imperial Japan didn't really build a lot of industrial base in Korea and what little they built were in the North and destroyed during the Korean civil war.

Also remember that most Korean forced laborers were forced to work in mines and factories on the ground level, not weren't brought in to develop their products or run their businesses.


It's also how the US grew in the 18th century, by stealing IP from the global technological leader, Britain (who stole a great deal from India).

I know Britain exploited the hell out of India as a colony, but what IP did they steal?

Or did you just mean stolen resources?



Huh.

It's the source of the rockets red glare.


Huh. So this is why Indian civilization gets a gunpowder boost in Age of Empires 2

I don’t have a reference, but high quality steel making would be one.

You don't have a reference, because high quality steel was invented in the U.S.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a...


I'm talking about an earlier time https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wootz_steel

India had 25% of world's before Britishers arrived and sucked all the wealth to bring it down to 4% when they left. That's some serious exploitation.

Stolen resources.

India had advanced steel making, ship making and textile technologies which were taken by the British.

Huh, I am Indian and have never heard it said like this. Do you have any sources to back this up, apart from the rockets and textile industries?


I think I stumbled upon that a while back. Thank you!

Considering we're all just going to end up "stealing" each others' technology in the end anyway, it strikes me that it might be much easier if we all just collaborated in the first place.

Europe was after China last time. For example, Marco Polo. Opium War was pretty much China to Europe as well. Brits stole tea and gave it to the Indians as a cash crop.

There was an effort to help Japan develop during these years in order to ensure they were a stable democracy in the east during the red scare. Yes there was a lot of IP theft but a lot of their growth came from many different political aids and economic perks we gave to them. So we cant come down on Japan too hard.

Just guessing that after China will be portions of Africa in terms of economic growth for cheap labor production. However, I'm not sure that cartel warlords (also an issue elsewhere) will be worse or better than the PRC govt.

This is an essential force for transfer of tech. Ideally, it should be India given that many MNCs from chip fabrication to military hardware have set up shop and base here.

However, India doesn't seem to have learned to use this model, as is evident from decades of buying foreign weapons without learning to make them ourselves.

China built its military industrial complex by copying Russia. The only thing India has copied so far is an anti-materiel rifle.


Who exactly outsourced to Japan?

The US.

I think you will find it went the other way around. Japan even had foreign currency quota and ownership limits just like China does today.

Frontline: Coming From Japan [The Fall Of The US Television Industry] (1992) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aesJTsZqm6c and sadly now paywalled article https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1990/09/30/j...

"September 30, 1990. HOW DID Japan destroy the American television industry? The secret history of that strategy reveals how Japanese manufacturers and the Japanese government first created an anti-competitive cartel ..."

also https://www.jstor.org/stable/43294946


This reeks of whataboutism. IP theft is problematic and nobody has ever engaged in it to the extent that China has. The Chinese intelligence apparatus is actively engaged in IP theft as well.

The entire US Industrial Revolution was kicked off by Francis Cabot Lowell stealing the designs of British power looms. Alexander Hamilton, as treasury secretary, adopted an actual policy of stealing technology and sent spies to Britain as well.

This is how it works. Countries without technology steal it from those that do. It's basically a market force- if you don't make it available at something approaching a reasonable cost then it will be duplicated through research or just directly stolen.


Context:

The two countries were still enemies at the time and on the verge of war. If I recall my history correctly, the trade routes collapsed when Britain stopped selling America textiles, stopped buying American cotton and then tried to blockade the entire country.

Yes stealing the loom filled a void in the American market, but in this case Britain isn't exactly blameless.

It wasn't really the same market forces that we see today, unless I'm missing something. China's not stealing IP to fill any market void.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enercon

See Patent Dispute.

I’m not saying US does this as much as China. It would be hard as US is the tech leader in many fields.

But whenever US is not a tech leader they happily engage in government sanctioned industrial espionage (Not Officially Officially sanctioned but wink and nod whoopsie kind of). Thus the complaints about what China is doing ring hollow.


It's how innovation happened throughout human history. The entire oh so celebrated age of enlightenment happened this way.

Nobody would come to the conclusion to call that IP theft though.


IP theft does not exist. IP is an invalid concept and can not exist in a free society.

Agreed. The whole 'IP theft' story is bullshit and founded on an intellectual fiction (that ideas can be property).

> nobody has ever engaged in it to the extent that China has

Translation: what about all the countries that aren't as bad as China?

A certain amount of "whataboutism" is unavoidable if you attempt to make any comparative statments, or believe inductive reasoning is possible.


I also think 'whataboutism' is critical to maintain logic consistency and try to avoid bias. For instance imagine I dislike group X, and and I use a condemnation of action A (which they engage in) as part of the justification for that dislike. If my condemnation of A is valid and genuine supportive evidence of my rationale for disliking X then A should be bad in contexts other than when X is engaging in it.

And so comparing A when done by actors other than X is absolutely critical in determining whether it's actually indeed a bad action, or whether I'm simply clouded by bias and calling it bad because of my dislike of X.

In searching Google Trends it's somewhat unsurprising to find that 'whataboutism' as a term didn't even really exist until around 2017 [1] when partisan driven bias and antagonism started to exponentially skyrocket. It's quite an insidious term since it helps deflect potentially logical critique of irrational views, but has a paradoxical connotation of legitimacy and intellectual authenticity.

[1] - https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=w...


>This reeks of whataboutism

Yes, aka "putting things in perspective" and "not doing one-sided criticism"...

Why don't all these whatabouters don't just let us blame whoever we want, and keep mum for shit ourselves or our friends did/do?


> This reeks of whataboutism ... nobody has ever engaged in it to the extent that China has.

I hope you see the irony (hypocrisy?) in this statement.


[flagged]


Notice how your other posts have already been deleted?

How do you define a better human being? Let me guess, you fit in that group!


[flagged]


We've banned this account for breaking the site guidelines.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It is whataboutism I agree, whenever something about China comes up the very first comment is usually a "what about... "

Samsung claimed a Chinese company stole their folding phone screen tech.

https://www.slashgear.com/samsung-galaxy-foldable-screen-tec...


After decades of stealing from Apple and other companies, Samsung complaining about this is sheer irony.

How do you feel about Apple's theft of Xerox's innovation in the late 70's or Obama's "pardoning" of Apple IP theft (ie, Samsung's USITC victory), that would have banned iPhone imports from China in 2012?

> Apple's theft of Xerox's innovation in the late 70's

Apple was invited to visit Xerox in exchange for pre-IPO stock purchase rights. Xerox's management didn't know the value of what they had and willingly gave it away.


There was no such "exchange" -- Xerox's investment in Apple did not depend on Apple's visit to Xerox, which had been open to public demonstration throughout.

This. Apple didn’t steal anything from xerox, they bought it. Sure they got a good deal, but it was still a legal transaction.

Apple didn't buy anything from Xerox -- and there was no licensing between the two companies. Xerox filed a lawsuit in fact in the late 1980's to prevent Apple scaring potential customers with Apple's copyright claims (eg, Apple's lawsuit against MS which Apple eventually lost).

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Was this supposed to make any sense? It might be the first non bigoted remark you've made on this post, but can't tell because it is completely incomprehensible.

That happens all the time. Made in Germany in the beginning was a mark for cheap counterfeit goods. Copying British products is how Germany’s industry got started.

American chemical industry got a significant push when they received German chemistry patents during WW1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Made_in_Germany


It would be the ultimate irony for Samsung to complain for IP theft...

Reading this site on iPad and chrome activates an ad/dialog that sends me to luckyguys-dot-top, which locks my iPad in a never-ending series of “Congrats lucky iPad user!” dialog boxes.


Dang, this is the second time today an Anandtech article has been causing ad issues. I commented earlier about it happening to me but on a different article.

That happened to me as well. I was worried I had a virus or something. Glad to know it's not me.

Hopefully it will stop happening, but if not, we can penalize or ban the site.

Same for Safari on iPhone.

China can do without Samsung phones, the market is a political stake against Samsung and Korea, but their OLED and RAM are needed there, at least for now.

It doesn’t matter if China doesn’t need the phones. The phones were made there for other markets...

Not even President Trump can make Apple do that

Apple should do it because it’s morally right.

Why?

I'll try it without citations :)

Because China is an authoritarian regime that imprisons, and sometimes kills, people for their opinions.

Because China systematically destroyed one of the oldest and most peaceful cultures the world has ever seen in Tibet.

Because China put 100's of 1000's of Muslims in concentration camps. A program which is still happening by all (non Chinese government) accounts.

And so on.

Not that Apple makes decisions based on moral considerations.


You should do some actual research on what exactly the culture in Tibet was like before China took over. Not excusing the behavior of the CCP but look up what the lamas were doing back in the day.

It wasn't some Hollywood "paradise" like most people believe.


I wasn't aware human rights had to be earned.

Are there any human institutions where you _can't_ just say "oh those supposed good people did evil too"?

I'm legitimately curious if evil is struck throughout 'both' sides in any situation ...


> Because China systematically destroyed one of the oldest and most peaceful cultures the world has ever seen in Tibet.

If the criteria is to not have destroyed another culture, then there aren't a lot of countries to manufacture in.


Sure... but I was just answering the question of why Apple might have a moral concern by a previous poster.

That said, there are plenty of countries that haven't done anything approaching the scale of what China did in Tibet in the last few decades.


Beyond your last point on concentration camp, the US isn't a shining example of "imprisons, and sometimes kills," and "systematically destroyed peaceful cultures" either.

And the bail system where poor people can be held for not having money to post bail is akin to decentralized concentration camps around the country. That you can say is a stretch, but you get the point.


"Only the US is allowed to mistreat Muslims and only when the Muslims are foreigners" is a thermonuclear take of mine that I mostly keep to myself, because it doesn't really help anybody and just makes people mad, and because (most importantly imo) two things can be bad at the same time.

The big difference between the situation in Xinjiang and the US's treatment of Muslims and illegal immigrants, IMO, is China's censorship of any opposition to the government's actions. Prominent politicians and members of the media openly criticize and report on the US's unethical actions - any such speech in China is strictly controlled and punished.

>The big difference between the situation in Xinjiang and the US's treatment of Muslims and illegal immigrants, IMO, is China's censorship of any opposition to the government's actions.

Sure. And the Chinese govt's surveillance apparatus is that much scarier for operating in such (relatively) plain sight. We are getting into actual specifics now, which is not the purpose of the thermonuclear take I posted above. As I said, two things can be bad at the same time. It seems I'm better-informed than the average person about the various Badnesses of the Chinese government, but that probably says more about the people I hang out with than anything else. That said, the sudden uptick in the last few months of China-as-boogeyman in media and the conversation of Westerners has me watching with a kind of sick fascination.

I save the thermonuclear take for when someone appears essentially misinformed and is just repeating whatever Bloomberg article they read last. Spratly Islands? Meh, it's called the South China Sea for a reason.

Sometimes you just want to hit the big red launch button and point out that in fact, the Chinese and US governments can probably find some common ground. Where? Well, in their prolific torturing, maiming, and murdering of innocent Muslims over the last decade or two... ^^;


Who said anything about the US being a shining example?

> And the bail system where poor people can be held for not having money to post bail is akin to decentralized concentration camps around the country.

Cash bail should be abolished, but there is absolutely nothing in common between the Chinese government's treatment of the Uighur minority and the practice. There's literally a clause directly targeting this in the 8th Amendment, which has been enforced by the courts at various times to reduce bail. No such recourse is available to inmates of Chinese concentration camps. And the 4th Amendment, which the courts actually enforce, guarantees that you can't be thrown in jail without probable cause to begin with.


Oh, typical "What about US?" answer, bravo.

What's wrong with reminding people (who are probably from the US) that their government is worse? The whataboutism that I see most on Hacker News is Americans complaining about the Chinese government, while their own country has a horrible record when it comes to human rights (Iraq War) and democracy (regime changes organised by the CIA).

As an American I make no claims about this country's righteousness. I'd put it on the top ten list of most evil countries without hesitation.

But it's hard to take the argument that it's worse than China seriously.


Anyone who claims that Tibetans have "one of the most peaceful culture" knows the topic only through watching the Dalai Lama on TV.

The reality is that they are the same as everyone else.


*were

Tibetans still exist.

It was a joke... but also at least a million of them were killed, they're now an ethnic minority in Tibet, practice of their spiritual beliefs is either outright banned or strictly controlled.

Being Tibetan means something very different than it meant prior to 1959.


> they're now an ethnic minority in Tibet, practice of their spiritual beliefs is either outright banned or strictly controlled.

Not according to Wikipedia:

"In 2011 the Tibetan population was three million.[33] The ethnic Tibetans, comprising 90.48% of the population,[34] mainly adhere to Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, although there is an ethnic Tibetan Muslim community."

Also not according to my personal experience. I've never been to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, but I have been to an ethnically Tibetan part of Sichuan, and you certainly see a majority of people who look Tibetan, people speak the Tibetan language, taxi drivers ask if you don't mind if they stop and pray at Tibetan Buddhist shrines along the road, restaurants serve yak butter tea, and so on. There's simply no way to claim that Tibetan culture is gone or even endangered.


90% of the population of Tibet is of tibetan ethnicity and there are areas of tibetan majority outside of the autonomous region (sometimes referred to as greater Tibet)

People practice their religion openly.


You forgot to mention medical tourism for organ transplants taken from young, healthy people that happen to follow the wrong ideology.

The Chinese state does all of that, which doesn’t mean that normal Chinese people are evil.

So why does it mean that they should be impoverished or that it’s morally wrong to contribute to their economic development?


short answer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_re-education_camps "As of 2018, it is estimated that the Chinese authorities may have detained hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Hui (Muslims) and other ethnic Turkic Muslims, Christians as well as some foreign citizens such as Kazakhstanis, who are kept in these secretive internment camps throughout the region."

Expect a reply with fifteen citations lol

I agreed


We need to distant cellar business from China, expect their Government to spy and others to steal.

Samsung has lost the Chinese market. It's all Apple, Huawei, and the other Chinese brands.

This what this piece of news highlights, really.




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