Mainland China acts as a manufacturing powerhouse for many American companies, producing their products at a competitive price. The majority of the goods exiting these factories, however, face a common issue: quality and safety standards often don’t comply with American FDA regulations and are therefore rendered inadmissible for import into the USA. This is mainly the consequence of miscommunication between those placing the order and those executing its production.
Product manufacturing in China requires more than a vague manual or basic design, and the language and business etiquette display much greater obstacles than you’d think. Let me elaborate.
Language barriers come in many shapes and sizes. Instructions are misinterpreted or misunderstood, words that exist in Mandarin might not in English or vice versa. Plays on words are literally lost in translation, and often the difficulty of having to communicate in a foreign language has people shying away from asking vital questions again and again until every detail is clear.
Commonly Ignored Factors
Even the best translator might not help. For example, it is not polite in Chinese business culture to ask too many questions. More importantly, Chinese will nod in understanding even if they do not understand your explanation at all – just to be polite. The deeply ingrained cultural customs of making a guest feel welcomed, understood, and their ideas and thoughts unquestioned absolutely stands in the way of discussing manufacturing processes effectively. Chinese are just too polite to their guests.
Discover the secret to successful manufacturing with this case study. Incorp China helped an American motherboard factory train a Chinese factory’s staff to create electronic cigarettes that comply with US FDA regulations for export to the American market.