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"Half An Hour Later, I Wanted To Buy Another Hard Drive!"

It seems that hardly a week goes by without news of another bad product coming out of Communist China. The latest one (as of this morning) is a bunch of Maxtor external hard drives that shipped with a little "fortune cookie" bonus -- a pre-installed Trojan program.

This on top of the 2.7 metric assloads of other Communist Chinese products that have been recalled. Kid's toys painted with lead paint. Kid's toys painted with a substance that turns into a date rape drug. Pet food that kills dogs and cats.

Back in June, it was already turning into a trend. And then, I wrote "Once is an accident. Twice could be a coincidence. But all three in such short order... to ignore that would be insane."

At what point do we have no choice to look at these incidents and say that this has gone far, far beyond the point where mere happenstance? That there is a systemic problem with products produced in Communist China?

No, I don't think that there is some grand conspiracy to ruin the West with cheap, defective goods. The idea that this is all part of some plan to slowly weaken and then ruin us with attacks aimed at our pets, our children, and our nerds seems a bit on the paranoid to me.

But it is strongly indicative that Communist China simply isn't up to meeting fundamental standards for safety, and we need to start looking far more carefully at pretty much any and all goods that come here. And, since that suspicion is eminently justified, it would be more than appropriate for Communist China to pick up the tab for the inspections -- after all, they've forfeited any right to claim innocence in this matter.

I don't think we can afford their cheap stuff. The non-financial price is just getting too damned high.


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Comments (18)

How about if we all just ST... (Below threshold)

How about if we all just STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS!? OK, easier said than done. but it would certainly send a message if sales of ChiCom products dropped by 20, 30, 40% or more.

If you can buy one of several products, and one of them is labelled "made in (anywhere but China)," then pay more and buy that one.

Buying drives with trojans ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Buying drives with trojans pre-installed just makes good sense. Most people are going to end up ith one anyway. This way, you know that it insalled correctly.

Well theoretically we are s... (Below threshold)

Well theoretically we are still fighting a proxy war with them (see Korea, the 1950s). Just because they want to play "capitalist" with us, doesn't fundamentally change their communist worldview. Lie down with dogs - wake up with fleas.

Heh, gotta admit I laughed ... (Below threshold)

Heh, gotta admit I laughed at the title of this post.

Well, part of the problem i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Well, part of the problem is that buyers get lazy. There was a time when folks would do their homework before buying something important, and with the Internet "I didn't know" is getting to be a pretty lame excuse.

What's happening in China is a mix of new business rules and industry conditions. Sure, we're seeing crappy products, some of them downright dangerous, from companies like Brilliance Motors, those geniuses who thought the tread of tires did not need to be secured to the belts, and the lead pain/ melamine poisonings. But China is also the home to Lenovo computers, to Tsingtao beer, to Ping An company (life insurance), China Mobile (world's largest cell phone service), Moutai (wines and spirits, largest purveyor in Asia), Gree (air conditioners) and Vanke (property development, planned communities). There are quality and low-risk companies out there from China.

Like any emerging market, China is a mixed bag. But if you do your homework, that helps a lot.

I cook a lot and I am a kit... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

I cook a lot and I am a kitchen gadget person. I will no longer buy anything for my kitchen from China. I am going back to paying a bit more for good stuff from France and Italy (that won't poison me or my guests). I have some decent china from Wm Sonoma that is made in China, but I've used it for years without a problem. But new stuff? No.

remember when the foolish, ... (Below threshold)

remember when the foolish, backwards, inbred xenophobic inbred redneck hatemongers questioned the wisdom of allowing *all* of our manufacturing capability to die & get shipped off overseas to a country that thinks of themselves as our enemy?

remember what the wise, big-picture elites told us? that this was all *good*, and that allowing high-paid manufacturing jobs to evaporate was *clever*? because, well, the chinese would make stuff for us, and we could all wear ties and get jobs as mortgage brokers and make the big bucks? that the iron rules of human nature & balance of trade somehow miraculously no longer applied?

because, really, what could possibly go wrong?

then they urged all good americans to finance their homes with interest-only ARM's, and take vacations on 24% interest credit cards.

how's that elite, ivy-league, new paradigm, high-tech advice working out so far? any problems popping up on the horizon?

We all need to apologize to... (Below threshold)

We all need to apologize to China for their dangerous, malicious and lethal products. Mattel did.

I dislike Red China for a w... (Below threshold)

I dislike Red China for a whole swarm of reasons, but reading anything into the hard-drives incident seems foolish. Similar things have happened before, with viruses worming their way onto commercial software CD-ROMs. One such incident even happened to an antivirus program! All it takes is for one source machine to be infected, and pow! an entire production run gets contaminated. Generally, the guilty company gets egg on its face, institutes some new QC procedures, and it never happens again.

Personally, I'm angrier about the "lead paint on toys" business -- there's no excuse for that.

By the way, isn't it intere... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

By the way, isn't it interesting that the lab which found the trojan horse and wants everyone to install it's "anti-virus" program, is called Kaspersky Labs?

A bit Russki, nyet?

So ... install the anti-vius to keep your data from going to Beijing, but maybe it goes off to Moscow?

This particular virus see... (Below threshold)

This particular virus seems criminal in nature, not a spy plot. Here's a clarifying story.

> ... searches for passwords to online games ...

So they want to steal your elite armor in WoW, not your ICBM launch codes.

Perhaps the ChiComs are jus... (Below threshold)

Perhaps the ChiComs are just doing a little testing of their own. Something like dispersion modeling.
The best part is we are paying them to do it :)

Arthur, do you keep ICBM la... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Arthur, do you keep ICBM launch codes on your home computer?

That's what those drives are for, you know.

The idea that this is al... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

The idea that this is all part of some plan to slowly weaken and then ruin us with attacks aimed at our pets, our children, and our nerds seems a bit on the paranoid to me.

so you're telling me that the Chinese AREN'T trying to kill my cat?

when it comes to this whole "cheap products from china" debate, my answer is in line with the first comment here. if we buy the stuff, then we support the production of it.

too bad it's not as simple as that though.

I've been wondering this fo... (Below threshold)

I've been wondering this for awhile now, and keep forgetting to ask: what's the difference between a metric assload and a standard assload?

God forbid that the corpora... (Below threshold)

God forbid that the corporate conglomerates that pay some lowly Chinese laborer 15 cents/hr as they jack the price of some $.50 item to astronomical sums at the retail outlet should be compelled to pay the freight to assure safe reliable products that they vend.

No, no, no...the corporate pigs should be able to swill their obscene profits as they vend Chinese crap to Americans who no longer can afford to buy anything but crap.

Once upon a time it was a "chicken in every pot." Now it's "cheap toys with date rape" in the era of Republican family values.

There are very few countrie... (Below threshold)

There are very few countries that would let an entire market segment of manufactured goods be taken over by a foreign producer or producers. There are many reasons why.

Giving up control of what is and isn't acceptable is one of them.

If you think the stuff the ... (Below threshold)

If you think the stuff the export here is bad, you should see what they sell domestically.






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