When the going gets tough ... the Chinese shop at home

Reporters on the Job: China’s international reputation for selling nothing but cheap rubbish is not only unjustified, but completely incomprehensible to the average Chinese consumer.

Foreigners may think of Chinese exports in terms of plastic junk, but that ignores the fact that most of the high-tech items you have in your home, computers and hi-fis and fridges and so on, are made in China. And they are better quality – because they are made to international quality control standards – than most goods on sale here.

That gives Chinese-made-for-export items a special fascination for Chinese shoppers, which was evident in the enthusiasm with which they mobbed a month-long fair in China’s Yansha shopping mall, the country’s largest.

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