If you are reading this from a phone or computer I am 90 % sure it was made in China and I’d also bet you that most of the products you use have a Chinese engraving on it, and in this never ending world on production and consumption I’ll try to give you a clear conception of why the world is made in china.
Consumerism can be defined as an economic and social ideology and order that encourages consumption or acquisition of goods/services in a never-ending cycle. Consumerism encourages purchasing and consumption of goods and services in excess of a person’s basic needs.
In the past before the invention of money trade was done through mutual exchange of goods and services for other goods and services and when money became a tool of trade and as the general human population grew methods such as butter trade could not support the general populous.
The rise of consumerism today is evident in both developing and developed countries. This can be seen in the mass production of luxury goods, and for such mass production it requires skilled and non-skilled labor, efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process and finally easily available raw materials.
In the 1970’s China made a huge leap from economic methods of Communism towards Capitalism, and with and approximate area of 9.597 million km2 it was easy to set aside areas in the country to be dedicated to manufacturing and production, they then after opened up those cities and the country to foreign investment, having a population of 1.3 billion people as of 2018 companies found an easy avenue to produce their products cheaply at the expense of the workers, quickly due to heavy investment in machinery and robotics and still end up with products of the same quality.
This eventually led to an imbalance in healthy business competition as companies that had not or were unwilling to make their products in China were finding it hard to compete. Kenya alone imports from china were at US$3.66 billion as of 2018 according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on International trade.
The expression ‘’don’t put your eggs in one basket’’, came to fruition this year as companies came to realize over reliant they are to China as manufacturing sectors were closed down to stop further spread what came as a dynamo effect was felt all over the world as from small businesses to large corporation went at a heavy loss, important products such as medicine and medical facemask came in high demand yet a low production. As the world nearly fell to its knees it became clear that truly something had gone wrong and had to change.
So with all this is there any hope?
Well yes, the pandemic brought about a realization and a change in production of many companies and with Countries like Japan who set aside over 20 billion to encourage companies to migrate away from China, also with other companies in path to moving their production to other countries such as India, Vietnam, the monopoly of China is going to be a thing of the past.
In retrospect Africa with its ever growing young population, there are many talks of it being the last frontier for technological and economical exploration it’s still yet to be seen as countries like China and USA fight and cash out to be part of its growth. The technological and economical potential of Africa I leave it for another day.