Where better to learn an emerging trade like supply chain management than China, the workshop of the world? While many companies are beginning to source cheap goods elsewhere, in countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, China still affords an incredible amount of opportunities for anybody interested in learning the ways of the supply chain from the factory floor up.
The manufacturing industry is the backbone of Chinese economy. China’s relatively cheap labor and vast market made it the global manufacturing powerhouse. However, as the labor cost rise, the workforce ages and costumers grew more demanding and sophisticated, China must adapt to compete with emerging Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. China has long vowed to transform its low-cost-labor-driven manufacturing industry to be driven by innovation. As China invests heavily on technology and begins to implement protections over intellectual property, the country is determined see a new type of development in its manufacturing industry. China is tired of being the world’s manufacturing factory. Its goal is to become the world’s manufacturing leader. China’s manufacturing industry is at the turning point and now is your chance to witness the transformation going on in the country!
- In 2011, China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s largest manufacturer. Three decades ago, China was ranked seventh following Italy.
- China’s manufacturing workforce has increased from less than 90 million to nearly 100 million in 2009. In comparison, the number of workers employed in the manufacturing industry in the U.S. is only 14 million.
- As China’s economic growth slows down, news reports have pointed out that its manufacturing industry has correspondingly weakened in 2014.
- Technical innovation, infrastructure quality and human capitol will play crucial roles in the industry’s structural transformation in China.
- Shanghai hosts numerous factories and company R&D centers. The city will be your best choice to have a manufacturing internship.
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Learn More About Manufacturing in Shanghai
Nearly anything can be manufactured and produced in China. Major manufacturing centers include Shanghai, Shenzhen (the first Special Economic Zone, encouraged by its proximity to Hong Kong) and the Pearl River Delta region. Some industries are spread out throughout the country, automobiles and industrial equipment to the north and consumer goods in the south- but that does not hold true across the board. Most companies will retain offices in Shanghai but manufacturing will occur further outside of the cities. If you're looking for an internship in a manufacturing-related industry -with companies large or small- SmartIntern will help you take that important step in obtaining real-world international experience with an offshore manufacturer.
Companies in China manufacture anything from simple to complex, small to large. The country is still one of the few in the world that can manufacture everything from t-shirts and simple plastic toys, to high-end automobiles and technology. Recent times have seen news stories about employee strikes [foxconn], resulting in employers and companies giving a larger voice to workers and improving working conditions. To go along with the rise in working conditions comes with higher costs. As China's standard of living continues to rise, some manufacturers are pursuing other nations for cheaper manufacturing capabilities, even the USA, and some manufacturers want to be closer to their target markets. Some companies have shifted various percentages of manufacturing operations from China to other countries (based on factors such as higher costs), whereas some have completely changed strategy and view China as only a consumer market at this point. Either way, opportunities are in abundance.
As Lean Manufacturing continues to grow in popularity in China, expect more opportunities in this sector.
The next major advancement facing China of late is tighter quality and process control. Numerous worldwide scandals originating from goods manufactured in China (whether sold overseas or domestically), regardless of brand or location of company, have caused a number facilities and manufacturing partners to work on implementing and enforcing regulations and controls. Regardless of how long it takes to rid itself of the stigma created due to these events, China will continue to progress manufacturing capabilities.