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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: WA4D on August 06, 2012, 07:10:49 AM



Title: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: WA4D on August 06, 2012, 07:10:49 AM
Does the entry of Chinese VHF/UHF HT manufacturer Baofeng portend a shift in the hardware of Ham radio? A ham showed me his  $50 Baofeng UV-3R. A Dual Band HT that a few short years ago would  have been priced over $200.

A $50 dual band radio is basically a throw away radio.  The blistering pace of change in these ever smaller/feature  rich "intercom" radios means that new functions are added to each release model continuously. How  often do one of the "majors" (Kenwood/Alinco/Yaseu/Icom) release a new HT?   Annually?  And now that the Chinese have entered the space, the bottom has fallen out of the price floor.  And  simultaneously impacted the used market.  Yes, some of us will cling  to our favorite brands for several more years, but it's clear the economics will soon overwhelm nostalgic preferences.

Kenwood  is about to release  what looks to be a worthy successor to it's long and distinguished history of Amateur radios.  The hotly anticipated TS-990.   One wonders is that the end of the Top of the HF line for Kenwood (and others)?  For if the Chinese enter the HF space with their seemingly "how low can they go?" prices--- the impact could be damaging to the majors.  It will be  fun to watch.

I'm guessing the High end of the HF segment might be "a bridge too far" for these 'hit and run'  Chinese electronics manufacturers. Still their  presence  should be worrisome for traditional Japanese Amateur radio companies.

mike/wa4d.net


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: AA4PB on August 06, 2012, 07:56:29 AM
Maybe the Japanese will outsource the construction of their designs to the Chinese?

I expect when it comes to the higher end stuff that the cost of components may have an impact on cost.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KG4RUL on August 06, 2012, 09:12:37 AM
Question is can the Japanese manufacturers survive on "high-end HF" equipment alone?


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: G0VKT on August 06, 2012, 11:13:33 AM
In my opinion the low end HT market is an easy target as the designs can be used for commercial, business use and unlicensed. Quite a large market to recoup costs!

Dedicated / high end equipment will come I am sure. The Japanese did it. But, it might be a few years yet. Economics when hitting a new market is king.

I have not used a Chinese HT yet, but those UK Hams I know who have are more than satisfied for the price and the audio I have heard is fine. If I need one then it is a no brainer. Who needs to spend a fortune for an HT? Cross band repeat, ARPS etc is not not much use for the average ham. An HT is for repeater use and short range comms. Who needs all the bells and whistles?

Break it, lose it - no problems at the price!


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: M6GOM on August 06, 2012, 11:24:16 AM
Wouxun's new dual band mobile offering is priced smack in the middle of Yaesu and Kenwood but without many of the features or the quality. It'll fail because it was expected to be a budget model but they appear to have got dillusions of grandure.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 06, 2012, 01:00:33 PM
Are you willing to gamble away $50 dollars - most people would take the risk.
How about $1000 with unknown reliability and quality - even if the alternative is to pay $1700 for a name brand?

I have been caught many times in buying cheap, only to regret it.
By cheap I mean built with compromises - not just inexpensive but a good product.
Now I only buy quality - whether in Diamond SWR meters or antennas for example.
Items may look the same - but even copies are not the same in the end result.

Having said this, even name brands make some items in China (look on the box), so they just take the extra margin as profit.
I have bought many chinese electronic products which are very well constructed and work great.

Take MFJ - I love this company - it is like a crazy emporium of ham products - a cornucopia of choice.
But, many buyers have lamented over quality control problems, even though these products were made in Mississippi.
Personally - so far - I have been in the lucky group which has never had a problem with MFJ products - but some have.

I also remember the days when "made in Japan" meant a very poor quality product - one to be avoided.
Dr Deming who introduced quality control into Japan is counted as a hero by Japanese industry.
His take on business practices was profound and readily took root in Japan.

One of his many quotes:

"Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them."
W. Edwards Deming

When we stop boasting about our Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom transceivers - they will be in trouble.

73 - Rob




Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: W2NAP on August 06, 2012, 01:32:06 PM
Maybe the Japanese will outsource the construction of their designs to the Chinese?

I expect when it comes to the higher end stuff that the cost of components may have an impact on cost.


some have already moved some manufacturing to china.. ironic as soon as that happened.. all the cheep knock off rigs started pouring out of china...


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: K1CJS on August 07, 2012, 05:02:05 AM
There will always be quite a few hams with the money and the brains to realize that those Chinese made rigs come from a country who laughs at the copyright and intellectual rights laws that other countries hold dear.  Those hams will never buy such rigs until the Chinese companies agree to obeying and upholding the laws that the rest of the civilized world do obey, no matter how cheaply priced the rigs may be.

Could well be that there isn't much to worry about anyway--the new Wouxon mobile rigs are priced above comparible Japanese offerings that have more features.



Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KCJ9091 on August 07, 2012, 06:57:23 AM
Are you willing to gamble away $50 dollars - most people would take the risk.
How about $1000 with unknown reliability and quality - even if the alternative is to pay $1700 for a name brand?


73 - Rob




In this particular case I was glad I did.  In March I was working Grid at an SCCA race.  It was the weekend of the winter Monsoon.  I put my $600 Motorola back in the truck and stood out in the pouring rain and wind with a $50 UV3R in a zip lock bag.  The Motorola was spared the abuse, the $50 radio performed above expectations, and had it got wet and failed so what.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KG6BRG on August 07, 2012, 07:13:34 AM
I've got 2 Wouxun transceivers, about $105.00 shipped with a Li-on battery, drop in charger, programming cable, and programming software.  North American support with an 18 month warranty.  They work as promised, not much to dislike. They are about 2 years old and zero issues, great build quality.   I've sold off my Japanese H-T's.  Dont miss them. cheers.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: K8AXW on August 07, 2012, 09:47:31 AM
This American/Japanese/Chinese subject looks more and more like a lesson about karma! 

I remember when the term "Japanese Junk" was synonymous with anything the Japanese made.  Not only was it junk, a most of it were copies of an American product, without concern with copyright laws or patents.

Now the Chinese are doing it and again, in many cases, without concern with copyright or patent laws of other nations.  What's more, we're now using the term, "Chinese Junk" more and more.

I think within the next few years the Chinese government will enact the same laws the Japanese did.  Anything produced for export must pass a rigid government or 3rd party inspection.  This is when the Chinese will become a serious game changer.



Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KD0REQ on August 07, 2012, 12:13:13 PM
Yaesu has had to move some production to China after the Fukushima Dai'ichi nuke plant debacle.  seems enough component makers floated out to sea that it was not worth cleaning up their assembly plant in the area.

Japan is going through the US blues, as we did in the 80s... production will start moving wherever it's cheapest, and the manufacturers are going to try and hold down the fort by designing and moving chairs on the Titanic deck at home.  good luck with that.

where offshoring production has worked for some major Japanese companies is building where ther market is.  reference Toyota and Honda with their US plants humming along on 2 and 3 shifts.

so is it possible that Yaekencom will end up in Starkville, Mississippi?


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: K0JEG on August 08, 2012, 05:46:15 PM
Yaesu has had to move some production to China after the Fukushima Dai'ichi nuke plant debacle.  seems enough component makers floated out to sea that it was not worth cleaning up their assembly plant in the area.

Japan is going through the US blues, as we did in the 80s... production will start moving wherever it's cheapest, and the manufacturers are going to try and hold down the fort by designing and moving chairs on the Titanic deck at home.  good luck with that.

where offshoring production has worked for some major Japanese companies is building where ther market is.  reference Toyota and Honda with their US plants humming along on 2 and 3 shifts.

so is it possible that Yaekencom will end up in Starkville, Mississippi?

Not wanting to get too political here, but that's basically why inflation is considered good for business. If you devalue the dollar through printing more of them, you basically make labor cheaper by paying people the same amount but with "cheaper" dollars. The problem with China pegging their currency to the dollar is that every time we print, they print. This negates any attempts to devalue our labor pool to remain "competitive" in the world marketplace, since the Chinese are mirroring everything we do. Not passing judgment (although read between the lines to know what I think), just pointing out one explanation why production shifts from one place to the next.

Japan's been trying to devalue their currency for about a decade now, with mixed results.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KG4NEL on August 09, 2012, 09:54:27 AM
There will always be quite a few hams with the money and the brains to realize that those Chinese made rigs come from a country who laughs at the copyright and intellectual rights laws that other countries hold dear.  Those hams will never buy such rigs until the Chinese companies agree to obeying and upholding the laws that the rest of the civilized world do obey, no matter how cheaply priced the rigs may be.

You make it sound like there are no copyright or trademark suits brought in the US  ;D

But if there's to be a boycott, it doesn't make any sense to stop at radios. Everything from lightbulbs to jeans.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: KG4NEL on August 09, 2012, 09:59:45 AM
I also remember the days when "made in Japan" meant a very poor quality product - one to be avoided.
Dr Deming who introduced quality control into Japan is counted as a hero by Japanese industry.
His take on business practices was profound and readily took root in Japan.

One of his many quotes:

"Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them."
W. Edwards Deming

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."  :D Deming has some gems out there.

What's amazing about Deming is that he tried his ideas at home first - US industry, in its postwar, Galbraithian-haze of dominating the world marketplace, told him to go take a hike. The Japanese had the patience for long-term production planning; they were facing years of rebuilding anyway.



Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: W5DQ on August 09, 2012, 10:37:48 AM
I would bet the JA manufacturers hardly even notice the Chinese are even in the business. Most of the JA profits come from the high end gear and the Chinese haven't goten around to copying that level of equipment yet.


Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: WB6DGN on August 09, 2012, 09:15:31 PM
    
Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?

They should be able to do at least as well as the US manufacturers did against the Japanese onslaught a few years back!
Tom


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: K1CJS on August 10, 2012, 04:41:01 AM
You make it sound like there are no copyright or trademark suits brought in the US  ;D

But if there's to be a boycott, it doesn't make any sense to stop at radios. Everything from lightbulbs to jeans.

You've got a point, but that isn't what I did mean.  It probably would be interesting to find out how many of those suits were brought by manufacturers in other countries against manufacturers here in the US.  I'm willing to say quite plainly that that number would be dwarfed by the number brought by manufacturers against Chinese companies.  73!


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 10, 2012, 03:23:46 PM
There is a Chinese essay called the 36 stratagems.

They are basically examples of attitudes which can help you to succeed in different situations.

One of them for example is "Watch the tigers fight".

This means if you are a tiger hunter and see two tigers fighting, wait until they exhaust each other and then strike your blow.
Obviously you can see how this can apply to modern day conflicts as much as to tiger hunting.

Another saying is "Sacrifice the plum to save the peach".

This was to say that if a peach tree's roots are attacked by worms, the plum tree nearby invites them to eat it's roots instead.
The Chinese government knew many years ago that they needed western high technology.
So, they sacrificed some degree of communism and collectivism to gain this "peach" of western technology.

In this way, they saved their government and gained what they wanted, while still retaining central control.
Intellectual property and western systems of law are just that - western ideas.
It is not a given that every culture accepts these tenets of our civilization, and to think so is naive.

I am not making a value judgement as to the relative merits of one society over another.
But if we do not exercise due diligence we may find we sacrifice our peach tree to save the plum.

73 - Rob




Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: W8AAZ on August 15, 2012, 08:23:54 AM
Work had a lot of Kenwood 2 way UHF radios for business use.  Got hard use.  Started falling apart and failing. After years of abuse.  Someone got the bright idea of replacing them with Chinese commercial UHF radios. UAW branded.  THey work fine and presumably cost alot less than replacing old Kenwoods with new Kenwoods.  No ham conversion bonanza there, all trunked radios anyway. And trashed out. The new UAW ones are not trunked but it does not matter for our uses, now.  I guess that when if ever, my Icom HT fails, a Chinese model may replace it.  But so far my old Icom is still ticking, just as the two old 2ATs I have are still working.  I am concerned about whether the Chinese radios can be pirated or meet FCC specs. Going way back, can you imagine what those Chin. HT's would cost if made in the US?


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: K1CJS on August 16, 2012, 05:08:11 AM
The world today is a far different place than it was at the end of WWII.  Most countries in this world now know that cooperation and mutual respect gain them a lot more than threats and bullying.  The exceptions to that are the nations that want to do as they please--to name a few of the headliners, Iran, N. Korea and China.  Iran and N. Korea are still looking to the military type of bullying, while China sees that that type of bullying isn't really effective--so they've gone to the economic type of bullying, strictly controlling their currency, ignoring mutually accepted copyright and patent laws, and so on.

The idea of "Western Ideals" isn't a dream like it was at the end of WWII, it is more or a reality than it ever was.  Those nations that still want to and still try to do as they please are still not realizing that mutual cooperation seems to be the way to do business these days.  BTW, if you don't agree--look at OPEC.  THOSE nations found that out--in a big way--and are holding the rest of the world to ransom by doing so.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: ONAIR on August 16, 2012, 09:20:16 AM
When the Chinese finally come out with the all mode, 160 to 440 rig for under $300, it will be the game changer. 


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 16, 2012, 01:32:37 PM
When the Chinese finally come out with the all mode, 160 to 440 rig for under $300, it will be the game changer. 

Yes, I think you are right.

If you keep dropping the price of anything, even a box of dead flies, someone will buy it.

73 - Rob


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: WA4D on August 16, 2012, 03:17:14 PM
K1CJS treads into the waters of Political Science/Economics and International affairs all in one post.
And gives us his analysis circa: 1982.

The era of "Western ideals"  in the 21st century is a fast fading memory. It is currently in the vogue to write of Western decline and influence. And surely recent events bear this out.  The Euro's fiscal woes, the delusion of an "Arab spring", the rise of radical muslim states, even increasing hostility in Latin America.  Fareed Zakaria ( reformed plagiarist of late and veteran of the Council on Foreign Relations ) writes of this decline in his best seller, "The Post American World".  As does Politcal Scientist Ian Bremmer's recently published, Every Nation for Itself "A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history?"

Mutual cooperation isn't much practiced now.  25 years ago, Europe, Japan and the USA were the dominant forces in the world. Today, "they struggle to find their footing".  Europe is on the ropes. Japan has been economically marginalized for 20 years. And the US with massive debt, 2 inconclusive wars, domestic political dysfunction and ever increasing entitlements  on both ends of the demographic spectrum is hardly in a position to push "pax Americana" as it did in the 2 decades after WW II.  And what about Russia?  Now democratic but hardly "cooperative". And what of the US "Pivot" to Asia as the rise of the Pacific Rim looms over the world?

The era of American exceptionalism is over. As Thomas Friedman said in last week's NY Times. "Average is over". And that's what most Americans are.  "Average".

NOTE: I'm reading Bremmer's book but have not read Zakaria's.


Title: RE: Can the Japanese withstand the Chinese Radio onslaught?
Post by: WB4M on August 19, 2012, 08:47:46 AM
At least the Japanese rigs don't support the Chinese army, yet.