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This is a bit off topic; however, it may still give some good information to the boys and girls who just graduated from colleges.
In China, we have talked about “catch up” for decades but still catching up. But personally I feel the “catch up” is quite easy. When I joint a multinational years ago, I did have something need to catch up, but not many. After half or one year of “catch up”, I did catch up with my colleagues. The best thing I learned during the “catch up” was utilizing the knowledge base by paying few hundred dollars a years, learn from colleagues, learn from service companies, and attend few workshops.
It was not a tough try.
Many Chinese who work oversea experienced the same thing that they need a sort of catch up, but it is quite easy.
But, what happen to entire China industry? Why the “catch up” is so tough?
Well, I do feel the problem is ourselves. As I have mentioned above, so far, Chinese companies, professional have not realize yet there is a very easy way to update knowledge so that all Chinese companies, engineers, scientists can stand with the western professionals in the same level. It is so easy, but they have not realized yet.
The other problem is the old thinking. I do not know where it came from but it is still a fixed thinking that Chinese companies should not utilize foreign material or equipment. And actually, the state run companies do have no access to the materials, equipment available overseas.
A simple example, in the industry I am working on, few different equipments need high quality rubber, but the best rubber only produce from a German company. So all the companies over the world buy the rubber from the German company but Chinese companies. The Chinese companies only use Chinese rubber, which is not qualified at all, so that the equipments of course not qualified for many tough operations. It turns out that the relevant operations in China have to be reduced in scale, or simply impossible.
A little rubber slow down the whole operations, is it worthy? Of course not, but the Chinese companies are still doing so.
I had asked many people, include my brother, who is chief engineer in a big machine company, - why your products are still not as good quality as Japanese ones? My brother told me, the major reason is, the entire China industrial level is behind Japanese companies, so the parts available in China are not as good as Japanese ones. This is out of their control. But by the design and the manufacturing, they are nothing behind Japanese companies.
Well, this goes back to the example I mentioned above – Chinese parts. Why don’t purchase the good quality parts from foreign companies? A simple reason – the state run companies are not allowed to do so.
So, the Chinese machine manufacturers have to wait until the Chinese part suppliers catch up to the Japanese ones. How many part suppliers? My brother told me – close to 100. So they have to wait until the 100 Chinese part companies catch up.