Interesting article with growth of Chinese design and moving from OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to ODM (original design manufacturers) to more importantly, OBM (original brand manufacturers).
China’s design industry experts are calling for greater government support in order to help the country’s manufacturers raise the competitiveness with innovation.
Zhu Tao, president of China Industrial Design Association, said the Chinese economy suffered heavily from the global economic crisis, with factory closures and layoffs.
“Without our own design, we won’t have our own brands. Without our own brands, we won’t be independent in the world. Being an OEM is no way out,” he said.
Critics say “Made in China” often means cheap and low value-added goods with thin profit margins, which are frequent targets of anti-dumping measures by other countries.
If Chinese companies wanted to transform crisis into an opportunity, Zhu said they would have to focus more on industrial design and develop their own brands, and the government should help.
“If a brand sells very well in China and a quarter of the world’s population buys it, it is virtually a world-class brand,” he said.
As I begin to adjust and orient myself, I can’t wait to explore and see what the creative community is like here in Beijing. Are branding and design really becoming valued for their benefits? Is design appreciated for pure aesthetics or do the Chinese really value good design in conjunction with business? I would venture to say that China’s not quite there yet.. we shall see :)
via Xinhua News