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Making China a 'creator'

Updated: 2016-05-27 07:49
(China Daily)

Making China a 'creator'

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a Didi taxi with Jean Liu Qing, president of Didi, to an Apple store in Wangfujing in downtown Beijing on May 16. Cook's visit follows Apple's investment of $1 billion in the Chinese ride-hailing service. [Photo/China Daily]

Apple CEO Tim Cook's remarks in a recent interview with an Indian broadcaster about moving production to India have sparked intense discussions in China about whether "Made in India" will replace "Made in China".

Whether Apple will move its entire production line from China to India is unknown, but the decline in iPhone sales in China and India's huge smartphone market potential indicate an increasing possibility the leading smartphone producer will move more operations to India.

India's weak infrastructure means it will be difficult to overtake China in the formation of a complete smartphone manufacturing chain, but currently India does enjoy manufacturing advantages.

The transfer of labor-intensive manufacturing to lower-cost regions is an unavoidable economic phenomenon. Labor in China now costs three times more than labor in India and its expensive land has also added to the burden on enterprises.

With the rising production costs in China, the transfer of smartphone manufacturing from China to lower-cost countries is foreseeable.

Yet the "world factory" label pinned on China only signifies the role it played in a specific period. That is why China is making accelerated efforts to push for its industrial transformation and upgrading to change "Made in China" to "Created in China".

But its economic transformation and technological innovation should not be dependent on extending special support to certain industries or fields alone.

"Created in China" can only be built on sound legal and tax systems, an encouraging education and research environment to foster innovation, and fair and reasonable competition.

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