Nov
24
2019

The RPG/minis industry is *not* immune to Chinese manufacturing problems.

There’s no reason, in fact, why anybody should think that this:

The China Law Blog (previously) reports on the kinds of questions that western businesses operating in China are raising; China’s serious economic downturn and rising authoritarianism have turned the site’s normally businesslike posts into a glimpse of a kind of cyberpunk stranger-than-fiction dystopia (for example).

A new post on the site describes the consequences of a sharp downturn in the Chinese economy: a new mood among many Chinese businesspeople that they are at the end of the long Chinese boom and that there’s no reason not to burn their bridges with non-Chinese firms, because they’re not going to be doing business with them for much longer no matter what.

(via Instapundit) …would be limited solely to non-gaming manufacturers. It’s all widgets at that end, folks. And also on this one, sure: but on this end there are significant protections built into the system that protect, well, everybody. Unfortunately for, well, OK, the entire planet: in stark contrast to us the People’s Republic of China is a self-consciously totalitarian* regime that has a rigorous hierarchy as to who should benefit from its economic activity, and it’s highly unlikely that anybody reading this will ever be high on that list. All y’all would be lucky to be low on that list, in fact.

Note: that includes anybody for the PRC’s security services who has to read blog posts like this as part of their thankless jobs monitoring the West. Hi, guys! Yeah, liberty is awesome. You should try it sometime.

Moe Lane

*For just one example: the eagerness with which that regime is currently trying to erase Uighur culture is diagnostic. But there are more examples. Lists. Books. A record of shame, for the ages.

7 Comments

  • junior says:

    Over on a miniatures gaming forum that I frequent there’s been some chatter that the company Cool Mini Or Not (CMON for short) just recently built some offices in China earlier this year.

    Specifically, they built them in Hong Kong.

    Oops…

  • Luke says:

    In fairness, it’s China.
    They’ve been doing bloodthirsy/totalitarian for generations beyond counting.
    .
    I don’t know much about Chinese history. But I know enough to be horrified by it.

  • Phil Smith says:

    A friend of mine makes gas tanks in China. He follows all the rules, but they shuttered his factory anyway and forced him to pay a ransom just to get his property out.

    This happened 5 or 6 years ago, long before the current unpleasantness.

    • 1_rick says:

      Saw several comments like that in the Instapundit article.

      Last year, places moving out of China were saying “well, we’ll be back if prices change (e.g., tariffs go away).” I bet many of those companies are singing a different tune now.

      Which shows remarkable short-sightedness on the part of the Chicoms: all they had to do was make a few concessions and they’d probably see a lot of their business come back. Now, though, they may be burning their reputation with the rest of the world for a generation. I wonder if ol’ Xi thinks the Chinese peasant class can afford to pick up the slack.

      • Phil Smith says:

        Manufacturing supply chains are undergoing permanent transitions as we speak. Take my friend as an example: the main thing he had to ransom was his collection of dies. If/when he takes those out of China, they’re never going back. The Chinese have, of course, copied them, but they can’t just steal his distribution channels by force. They’re going to have to build them, and that takes time.

        Hmm. Free marketing ploy: Manufacture your goods anywhere but China, use the Hong Kong Flag, and NOT MADE IN CHINA in your branding. Alternate that with NO SLAVE LABOR USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THIS WIDGET.

      • Luke says:

        There’s a stereotype that a Chinese shopkeeper hates to see a customer leave satisfied.
        Because it means he could have gotten more.
        .
        Like many stereotypes, there’s a germ of truth to it. Merchants in China were not a respectable class. (Society in general, and Imperial government in particular, treated them worse than peasants. And there are numerous stories about them living down to their reputation.)

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