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Design republic

— China


China makes cheap products to order. Could it ever make well-designed ones too? Monocle looks at the companies who think it can and are leading the way.

Cheap, mass, production, well-designed

Chinese manufacturing had a very public wake-up call in 2010. In May the world’s media pounced on reports of nine suicides at electronics producer Foxconn’s main Shenzhen plant where the output included the recently launched iPad. With international companies outsourcing manufacturing to China facing accusations of having “blood on their hands” and shaky export demand (within months, the­Purchasing Managers Index showed a 2 per cent drop in China’s manufacturing output) there were people in central government who realised they had an image issue…


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