Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fraudulent Chinese APPLE STORE rip-off

The United States and China are presently in the midst of an undeclared Trade War.

Communist China turned its nose up to entrepreneurial capitalism for decades. They fought hard to implement the communal paradigm of group farming and factory production, to no avail. Though not abandoning the essential Red Party structure--with the familiar rigid controls of all business and labor activity--the Chinese finally capitulated and adopted investment and capital-driven manufacturing and trade policies, which, given the enormous population of cheap workers (abandoning the dying agrarian economy of the countryside), and preferential loans etc., have become splendidly successful. It's unprecedented. China has become the economic engine of the globe, and is no longer a so-called Third World Nation.

The opening of China to the West, may have begun with Nixon's visit in 1972, but the twists and turns of our relationship could hardly have been predicted. As recently as the Tiananmen Square protests, and the storm of indignation in the West, it was still possible to imagine that our connections with them were tenuous enough to consider severing ties over diplomatic disagreements.

But today all that has changed. Take our trade imbalance for 2010 with China:

Total exports - 91.9 billion
Total imports - 364.9 billion

That's an annual trade imbalance of 273 billion dollars, or the largest discrepancy, by percentage, we have with any other country. In case you don't understand the meaning of trade, that translates into 273 billions of dollars of income to the Chinese, companies selling good to Americans. 273 billions of dollars flowing OUT of our country, and INTO China. Profits of that caliber will rapidly impoverish the debtor economy in such a relationship. Which is exactly what is happening. The U.S. government, rapidly losing ground in the tax sweepstakes, has had to go deeply into debt in order to pay our operating expenses. China, realizing the whip hand it now holds, has bought deeply into our bond paper.

In their own, mostly closed, economy the Chinese permit a number of unethical practices. Product and technological piracy is widely permitted. The Chinese labor force is pinned down by their military. Environmentally, China will soon surpass America as the primary polluter on the planet. They've proven that they don't need a parliamentary democracy to challenge the West economically. Beijing has shown no inclination to liberalize, keeping a tight lid on the media, and suppressing the merest hint of dissent or demonstration. It's that new hybrid, a centrally planned capitalist dictatorship.

On July 21st, the Wall Street Journal reported the discovery of a "fake" Apple Computer store in Kunming, China. This probably wouldn't have gotten so much press, except for the fact that Apple has no stores in China! Outside of America, China is probably the largest market for computers and computer paraphernalia. But China won't let Apple Macintosh sell its products there. No one has so far reported on how a Chinese retailer was able to acquire new Apple products, let alone market them openly in a major metropolitan centre. Nor have there been any reports about why the Chinese government officials--who could hardly be more cognizant of the issue of industrial/technical theft and piracy--stood by while this was happening.

The implication, which is impossible to miss, is that China not only is aware of the enormous inequality of our trading relationship, but actively promotes piracy and fraud in their country, victimizing American companies in the full light of day.

When China was our nominal "enemy" on the world stage, no one would have trusted their motives. Now that we're great "friends"--China is now "most favored trading partner"--China can use its reputation as the gruffest negotiator in trade disputes, to fend off complaints and charges of unfair practices.

The clearest instances of conflict among nations are usually the result of power confrontations. China wants more power. It's become very ambitious. It approaches its relations with the rest of the world from a purely selfish priority. What's good for China is good for China. The hell with the rest of the world.

Does anyone now believe that China will deal fairly with us in our trade relations?

It's high time that the U.S. institute some tough trade policies with China. For starters, we slap a 15% tariff on every product imported here from China. That might get their attention. If he hollers, pinch his toe.


Anonymous said...

I stay, pretty much, in the Classical Chinese Culture..
the literature ... the art

greed AND fear has taken over just about everything especially re: China/USA
SINCE not Nixon but that Commodore Perry

long before that The Silk Road ...

and before Nixon the Japanese' Rape of Nanking...

as for Apple

isn' just about ALL of their "stuff" manufactured in China and other Asian nations that revolve around China ?


isn't just about everything American "made in China" ?


just the final assembly of products (like screw a tire's valve-stem-cap on a tire and say that the ENTIRE Ford Focus is "made in America" !

this ... ugh ... trade situation and this present political

quagmire is merely our (the world's
New Reality

if you don't want anyone in China hacking into your emails well


(don't use your birthday or your mother's maiden name or 1234567ate..

Curtis Faville said...

If you're not interested in the world, then you're missing a good part of human life.

History doesn't fold up neatly into little boxes with labels and lids. China is no longer about Confucius.

The point about globalism is that whole nations--and millions of people--are getting ripped off. That should concern you, even if you don't care about the fate of your own nation.

Can we excuse China's trade practices by thinking that because they make parts for some things we use, this exonerates them from any responsibility for the loss of employment we've suffered here? In fact, we buy more and more from the Chinese, but this trend has been encouraged by various kinds of cheating by China. It isn't a level playing field. Are you willing to impoverish yourself to balance some imaginary "debt" you think the U.S. "owes" the rest of the world? If you are, you'd be a fool.

Anonymous said...

yeah I just bought one of those $1.00 sink strainers
up at the Dollar Store...

how many high-paying jobs did "they" steal from us ?

what is past is prologue let's build a new rail-road system with slave-Mexican Labor instead of Chinese Slave Labor !

oh, we already do that... who ARE the orange/grape/cotton pickers in
America now? Americans?

WOW ! the Chinese and the Mexican surely need a Union
like our American Indians have.

Curtis Faville said...

Wake up, Anon.

This isn't about ethnic prejudice. It's about international trade, and what some nations think of as their manifest destiny.

Mexicans don't come here because they want to spend the next ten generations picking strawberries. They want the same things you want, and the quicker the better. "Open borders" and "free trade" are just bullshit phrases concocted by people who want to legitimate their entrepreneurial schemes. It's about money, not about fairness or liberty or the rights of man.

The sooner we set aside racist and bigoted thinking, the quicker we're going to solve these problems.

One problem our country can't solve is bringing prosperity to other nations, and/or absorbing the millions of folks who want to flee the mother country.

Maybe you have "solidarity" with the poor and destitute of the world. Terrific. Why don't you just emigrate to Brazil? Then you can be poor and honest and deprived all at the same time. That's consistency.

1000 Names of Vishnu said...

Well, Crapple can afford it, and yes much of the labor (hardware assembly, etc) is farmed out to China and other countries--keeps labor costs down and that means more shekels for Stevie McJobs and Co. Rip them off--who cares.

Anonymous said...


what's good for our USA Wall Street is .... a taste of things to come as they are already here as The New Reality !

read this:

Kirby Olson said...

I try not to buy Chinese products. It's a one-person boycott. I didn't know the precise numbers of the trade imbalance.

No one should buy their stuff. It seems a lot more important than being vegetarian, and yet few who have signed on to an anti-Chinese boycott.

The Chinese dragon is going to be very tough to stop. But it can start with refusal to buy anything that says Made in China.

Just say no.

Curtis Faville said...


Grass roots protest is good, but I think in this case action is needed at the international level.

If China wants to join the family of nations, they need to bear in mind that it's a symbiotic relationship. They can't rip everyone else off and march confidently into their dream.

We need to treat them to the same medicine they've been giving to us. That might level the playing field, and allow American workers to compete. As it is now, no matter how hard anyone here works, the deck is stacked against us. We deserve better.

Kirby Olson said...

I agree with you about protectionism, at least against the Chinese government. They are just the worst monsters on the planet. Perhaps only North Korea and Myanmar are worse, maybe Zimbabwe, but all three are enabled by China.

Every person must fight the Chinese in every possible way.
You and I can't affect international trade and neither of the major parties will take them on.

Ron Paul or Ralph Nader might, but they'd do too many other goofy things to make it worth getting them into office.

So I think it's a question of the individual.

We need to boycott China. Don't even eat their food.

Chopsticks aren't very functional because they don't have a scooping aspect.

I know individual Chinese people that I've really thought were cool over the years. And many of them are ok even still. Taiwanese are ok, and people who've run screaming from Chinese culture are ok. And many of them don't want their government to be rotten.

But those people are in the position that Americans are often in. Once a government gets weally big, it's hard to stop.

Even the Athenians were bad once they were the superpower of 460 BC. Heck, they were bad to the Trojans clear back in 700 BC.

The Red Chinese are real pills.

Craig said...

Nobody complained about Chinese imports when all they made were toenail clippers better suited for clipping toes than toenails.

Fifty years ago Made in Japan meant a) you could afford it on your allowance and b) it was made of balsa wood and usually broken before you got to the parking lot.

1000 Names of Vishnu said...

Some protectionism is reasonable: Walmart for instance ships in chinese tires (as do other tire stores), and they sell for much less than Merican. So, a tariff may be in order (there is a small one already, courtesy of ..ObamaCo--).

Protectionism however is a ....nationalist if not leftist policy. Many Mericans simply won't stand for it across the board--preferring say Toyota or Honda or Yamaha over Chevy, or Ford, or Harley. Usually the Merican made goods are pricier, because of labor costs (and unions)--but not necessarily superior in quality. Furthermore while one might want a Harley, consumer X doesn't have 20 grand for it, and has to make do with a Kawasaki for 1/4 the price of the HD. And so on.

The Crapple affair is fairly trivia, though probably has some SiliconCo millionaires worried. Paraphrasing HS Thompson, fuck those people.

Kirby Olson said...

Curtis, which party or politician do you think is most likely to stand up to China?

And most likely to stand up to illegal Mexican immigration?

How central are these issues to how you will vote in a little over a year?

1000 Names of Vishnu said...

Steve McJobs & Co are the problem, CF. Not chinese workers. Arrest Jobs and other techno-execs, seize their properties and assets, and divide. Besides, Jobs knows less about computing than the hardware techs in some chinese sweatshop. Meritocracy, CF. Not America/Crapple/Google/MSN first

Anonymous said...

the very same factory that makes the Apple computer ALSO makes the Chinese version

same with clothing just drop the brand-name label
then same shirt as IZOD becomes an IGOD shirt.

same factory same quality same product made by slaves except the IZOD shirt is $47.50
and the IGOD shirt is $4.95

WHERE IS Hunter now that we need a bit of his humor ... and sanity...

Go Gonzo ! let's win one for the Gipper & other such fantasies

Anonymous said...

you just don't have your facts correct.... Apple has 3 (maybe 4) LICENSED retail stores in China in the larger cities..

this store was for some reason NOT able to get a liscence from Apple..

THEY DO NOT SELL knock-off Apple products.. They sell the real stuff...

at least this is what was reported on a feature about this store on NBC tonight...

besides most of the apple products if not all of them are made outside of the USA..

Apple is ripping everybody off ... so,

'one good turn deserves another", eh?

Curtis Faville said...

"you just don't have your facts correct.... Apple has 3 (maybe 4) LICENSED retail stores in China in the larger cities.."

The story I saw initially was on (I think) a local Fox
affiliate. The presumption--repeated by the broadcasters--was that Apple had "no retail outlets" in China, hence the consternation. If Apple has stores in China, I presume that anyone opening an unauthorized one would certainly come to the attention of the Chinese authorities. Do you think Apple would stand still for this, if they had known?

"this store was for some reason NOT able to get a licence from Apple.."

Do you know this for a fact? Or are you just speculating?

"THEY DO NOT SELL knock-off Apple products.. They sell the real stuff..."

Fact, or speculation?

"at least this is what was reported on a feature about this store on NBC tonight..."

This might have been a later account, with clarifications. The initial story I saw was reported as relayed from an American tourist who had taken hand-held digital shots on the spot.

"besides most of the apple products if not all of them are made outside of the USA.."

Does the fact that some of the parts of the products were made outside the U.S. somehow make product piracy okay? If they weren't authorized to sell the product, how did they acquire it?

"Apple is ripping everybody off ... so,"

Ripping who off? I happen to own an Apple, which works very well for me. I don't think it was over-hyped or over-priced. Microsoft may be ripping people off, because their products have so many problems, and aren't user-friendly. Not Apple. Or do you simply think all computer firms are ripping you off?

"'one good turn deserves another", eh?"

Again, I don't see your logic, here. China rips off an American company, and this is and eye for an eye? Huh?

Anonymous said...

just saw the girls blog post that opened this up..

you are right I was wrong..

seems like first they practiced by making "perfect"
knock-offs of John Lennon albums and sold them on the black market

now they're making "perfect Apple knock-offs and selling them in public stores


from a John Lennon c-d to an Apple iMac .

am now running via my new Mac OS X Lion ....

"Designed in Ca", the pamphlet says...

what we should do is spend anther trillion dollars straightening out our trade policies with China...

as soon as the Tea Party stops inhaling that OOLONG
tea We she rise again !