A friend of mine recently showed me the infamous HiPhone — the China-made iPhone clone that you just have to see to believe. It may not have the newfangled technologies that Apple’s iPhone may have but the HiPhone’s manufacturer really did a good job of imitating the whole look of Apple’s Jesus Phone. It will really dupe anyone especially seen from afar.
Which brings me to the whole point of this post. We all know that China is the world hub for imitation goods. Name the fake item and most likely it was manufactured in China. I think it would even be fair assumption that the whole underground economy of the country is firmly entrenched in bogus and fake goods. But what most people fail to realize that manufacturing counterfeit goods actually have a far more significant effect than just fueling China’s underground economy and the proliferation of fakes around the world. By reverse engineering all sorts of stuff, the Chinese are actually learning what makes each quality item tick, what makes it expensive and ultimately be able to actually learn the skills to manufacture something just as good (if not better, in the most extreme circumstances). I respectfully submit that this thriving industry of fakes is going to be the real force that will make China the undisputed world economic power.
Why do I say this? Well, it’s simple. What would stop the Chinese from actually learning the secrets and taking advantage of the technology transfer that happens when a big manufacturing company transfers its operations to China? What would prevent them, for example, to learn the ropes of aircraft manufacture from established leaders like Boeing and Airbus if these are contracted to Chinese factories? I won’t be surprised if, in a decade or two, we’ll start seeing Boing 868s and AirTaxi B400s flying the friendly skies.