In the course of reporting our upcoming cover story on the export sector (readers across the globe wait with bated breath) China Economic Review had the opportunity to speak to a range of people working in manufacturing or sourcing. The tales were grim. Dongguan is apparently a somber place at the moment. We heard of worker protests, head-knocking by police, and even the ransoming of manufacturing equipment by disgruntled employees. What’s more, the pain is spreading across sectors.
One source, however, mentioned a bright spot – security equipment manufacturing. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see the logic. As our source said, “As times get bad, crime gets worse,” adding that his company recently posted a record month in sales. Just a reminder that counter-cyclical plays do exist out there, though ferreting them out is probably much harder than it sounds.
We also heard anecdotal tales of companies closing up shop without notice. Rumor and hearsay for sure, so we encourage you to take all of this with a grain of salt. But, in that vein, we offer a word to the wise to those working in the manufacturing sector: Beware of company-sponsored trips. Apparently one strategy employed by unscrupulous company bosses is to send employees on a company trip and disappear before they return.
That’s what we call a team building exercise.