This excerpt from a recent conversation I had with a friend:

“…I know what you mean about products from China [being ill thought-through]. It is not that they lack the ability. I think they are so used to making bits and pieces in isolation for western companies, and they are only just now realising that they can put the bits together themselves and sell complete products directly to the world.

Look at what Lenovo’s doing after buying the Thinkpad line from IBM. Everyone was really scared that they would Chinesify the range. Far from it…”

When the Chinese get their act together on product design, packaging, marketing and service (ie full emotive customer engagement), as opposed to continuing to produce cheap stuff with ever more (pointless) features, they will be a force to reckon with.

And they only have a small window to do this – before their labour costs go up so high that they have to offshore manufacturing.