This is a very quick note on why do MOST Chinese suppliers don’t answer all the questions you ask them in an email. And why the quality of product you buy from China is more likely than not to be subpar.
The reality of it is, and I have to balance the truth (as I see it through the eyes of someone who lived in China for a very long time) with political correctness. So, I will give you some clues, but you really have to make an effort and read between the lines.
Let’s say you shoot an email to a new prospective supplier in Shenzhen, you ask them 1. 2. 3. 4. You even meticulously indent and numerate your questions “lawyer style”. Now you are going to get your 4 answers about MOQ, production time, payment terms, and warranty issues … right? Well, wrong. If you are very lucky you will get 3 out of 4 answered. Most likely only two semi-randomly selected questions will be answered.
Another scenario; you began working with a supplier and have been buying some trinkets, or maybe even electronics, such as refurbished mobile phones (wink, wink), but the RMA rate is at 8-10%. You get these phones delivered to your office, you test them and a bunch of them just won’t power on, no signal, bad LCD screen, other issues. “Why?”, You ask yourself. Didn’t I write to you about this same slue of problems 3 times already? Didn’t you promise me to triple check every unit?
Here is the clue to why MOST Chinese suppliers don’t answer all the meticulously numerated questions and why no mater how much you complain about the quality, little to no change in quality will ensue. These supplier behaviors and outcomes stem from the same attitudinal root cause.
The politically correct way to describe it is this : in Chinese , the name of the country means the Middle Kingdom. It is the center of the universe, it is the land of superior and proud people (not necessarily versed in how to run a business western style though) who on the deep seeded collective narrative level resent the thought of needing anything from outside the bubble. You are just not perceived as equally “smart” or important as a customer, or as a person.
Yes, in theory the profit motive should override the collective narrative. But it does not, or not all the way, or not enough so. The profit motive just can’t battle out the worldview that was acquired with mother’s milk. Think about the Santa Clause narrative in western culture. You know he does not exist, but, yet his image, and the chimneys, and the socks, and the Christmas tree are all part of your reality and affect what you do and the way you do it every year around Christmas time.