Question: Push to get companies to stop using Chinese manufactoring?


Yeah, people going to call this “political,” but I think everyone’s peace and safety are more important.

I am for a push to get companies to stop using Chinese manufacturing for their products in light of the information coming out about the on-goings about the Chinese Wuhan Virus outbreak.

You may ask what does this have to do with Linux? A lot. Lots of devices are now being made which are targeting the Open Source/Linux Community. Items like the Raspberry Pi, and various projects being made by the Pine64 folks are being targeted for Linux.

When I bring it up, people try to absolve the factories of any wrongdoing. I say that is not the case for many reasons.

  1. If you have ever watched a Chinese citizens being interviewed outside of China, and even with their face covered, they fully support their government.
  2. Those companies have to do what the government tells them to do. Look how they were able to shut down the whole city of Wuhan with millions of people in it.
  3. They collect taxes off these companies which over goes to support the Chinese government which just keeps them empowered.

What about those hundreds of thousands of so-called test kits from China which were not even working, and had to be shipped back?

You can watch a great report put together by Tim Pool. It is a bit lengthy, but opens your eyes to what China is really doing, and makes me a bit angry.

What’s everyone’s else thought on this?


China might as well take out a patent on internet evil:

Gee, it’s kind of profound: my very posting, nay, my very internet access, full stop, could be cut off :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: from making the very suggestion I just made above, if that “New IP” protocol were in place now.

BTW: My particular Raspberry Pi was made in the UK.

Bonus: other eye-opener podcasters focusing on China, probably akin to the Tim Pool stuff, are LaoWhy86, Serpentza, and their two combo channels, ADVChina, and ADVpodcasts. I by and large trust these brave, real men, and I’ve watched many informative episodes of theirs, over the last couple of years. They each lived in China for over a decade, can speak fluent Mandarin, and have smart, talented Cantonese wives, who can speak English.

Take a gander through their vast histories of videos, if you are bored, quarantined at home!


What will I be doing differently myself? Not buying any new gadgets, if possible, and if I really need to buy something, I’ll strongly favor buying something used and/or local.

There’s so much really decent, powerful-enough used hardware out there, if you know what you’re looking for.

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Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t AMD source their manufacturing from Taiwan? I’d like to believe you could still make a PC. I think this pandemic is teaching countries that having their own in house manufacturing is a really big asset. So they don’t have to import supplies from places that are running out of those supplies. Maybe that will influence tech companies too.


That is one of the reasons the US has banned Huawei equipment for government use. Even their 5G network equipment. (Also banned from access to Android) Meanwhile Europe is accepting it with open arms.

I have seen those two guys in China, however I don’t fully trust what they say. Reason being is their incomes fully come from their work on YouTube, and donations coming in from viewers. They are both there on visitor visas. People in China are always trying to get them deported. I am sure if they go too far, they could be easily expelled. So they must carefully choose their words.

But my point of my message is maybe if you agree manufacturing needs to be pulled from China, you should say something, to the manufacturers.

I think it still can be possible. Maybe a list of manufacturers who have items which are made outside of China can be created and berate others who still have items made in China.

I just picked up an old Patriot SSD I have laying around. It shows made in Taiwan. Looking at a couple of Hitachi drives, one is made in China, and another made in Taiwan.

Looking at an article on AMD, it indicates their CPUs are made at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

It’s true that their videos have gotten really cynical and negative in the fairly recent past (several months or so). That cynicicm does go too far, and leaves one with a bad taste in one’s mouth. I don’t praise such cynicism.
Their older videos have a healthier level of skepticism.

They made a documentary travel video (pay-to-view, but actually contains some praiseworthy cinematography of China’s rarely-seen geography) about Northern China, that one is much less cynical. I would point at that doco as their “Best Of” material.

They actually had a crew of skilled cameramen, with pro-grade (or at least pro-sumer) camera gear, to make that film.

PS: They often praise Taiwan as being a place which has much-better preserved traditional Chinese values. They feel travelling there (at least as of lately, pre-Coronavirus) is a much less nasty experience than Mainland China.

PPS: Laowhy86 has a B.Sc. in Computer Science. One of his gigs in China was to teach the Python programming language! I would sure love to hear one of the DLN podcasters have a geek-out interview with him, and get a sense of wether he digs on Linux! @JasonEvangelho? @dasgeek? @MichaelTunnell? Surely the “New IP” news story could be broached with him as a very rich topic of discussion?

It goes well beyond electronics. Almost everything we buy has been produced by cheap labor “somewhere else”. I guess I’d call it globalization but what do I know. The formula seems to be find the place where we can source the materials and manufacture the goods at the cheapest possible price regardless of what the human or environmental toll is.

I am a complete hypocrite as a direct beneficiary of this system, living a life that people could only dream of not that long ago. Life isn’t perfect but what right do I have to complain? I have more material wealth than I could ever dream of, all thanks to a system that I assume to be morally corrupt and destroying the planet.

But here’s the rub. In some places, this might be the best opportunity that a person has for employment and a better life. Despite the working conditions, the poor pay (comparatively), lack of benefits and so on. My family came to America as immigrants, working in coal mines and steel mills in unsafe conditions for low wages and managed to make a better life for themselves, and, maybe more importantly, their decedents. What can I say? It’s complicated.

I have no idea what to do about it other than to appreciate what I have and try to contribute to the problem as little as I can. If there is a product that is made ethically or domestically, then that is what I’d prefer to buy. If I can get something used and keep it from ending up in a landfill then I’ll get that instead. When I’m done with something I pass it along to someone else instead of throwing it away. Almost nothing is actual garbage with no other use.

Back to electronics, I’m not sure there are ANY electronics that are fully sourced from non-conflict regions, manufactured in an ecological way by workers who are fairly compensated. Can anyone think of an example of this? I’m genuinely curious to know if it’s possible.


Let’s just look at two important facts:

  • The Chinese fight against the Corona virus has been superior to that of the USA.
  • The number of prisoners in China is much less than in the USA, despite that they also lock up political dissidents.

You can’t fight China with Trump’s type of conspiracy theories. It is proven and clear for the whole world, that the US government is a lying bunch of nitwits. We in Europe don’t believe any word coming out of Trump’s mouth or out the mouth of his puppets.
I will not put any more on paper, because this stupid entry is ruining my Linux day, so I will NOT reply anymore! This thread is dead for me!

Yes, it does go beyond electronics, but I am keeping it within the context of the people here are using devices using Linux which uses hardware which is probably mostly made in China. In many cases we just purchase something from a company not knowing where it was manufactured. That is why I think everyone should start a push to get companies to stop manufacturing anything there which helps empower that government. We gotta start somewhere. I have started by not pursuing purchases I was going to make from Chinese companies, and look elsewhere for a similar product.

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those are not “facts” as China is know to never tell the truth.

What I find funny about your next comments, then doing the same thing you were complaining about recently.

You can choose to contribute, or not, but acting like what you are complaining about if not helping, nor contributing.

I think these are good points, and I think good morality looks like that. You do what you can, given the choices within your reach, in your immediate circle of influence. You’ve avoided taking an us/them stance as you said that. You also spoke in praise of gratitude for the good things in life that you inherited, thanks to the hard work of your ancestors.

Myself, I always try to find a good home for any gadget I no longer need, not just packing it away until it is just rubbish.


Fairphone is aiming at doing just that but I don’t know if they fully achieved that goal.

I agree on most of what you said. I’d prefer the people overseas to have decent jobs and not being obliged to ruin their health so their descendants can have a future…

On the globalization I hope people and governments will realize that a lot of the goods don’t have to be produced on the other side of the world. To me it’s not about China, it’s about climate, it’s about having job opportunities were you live. I work in aviation so I’m also kind of hypocritical on that but in my town I saw the economy shift towards this model. Production factories and small shops of all sorts have closed and now people work for those big companies delivering parcels or sorting things in those big hubs. It gives jobs but those are bad jobs. Plus they may disappear soon with robotics :roll_eyes:

If suddenly companies stop producing in China and go to Vietnam that will not change anything. Those big companies will still exploit people, China won’t loose power as they are now too deep involved in global economy to be ignored. And sincerely, as a European, I don’t thrust the Chinese government but I don’t thrust US government either…


I think that open source has a lot of power here, where given the skills anyone can produce something anywhere. In theory, you could get a license from ARM and manufacture chips in North America. RISC-V is an open instruction set as well. This could be an opportunity to really push for more open hardware. I can even build my own 3D printer, from local sources, and manufacture parts and enclosures for myself and others.

Everyone wants to make things as cheaply as possible to maximize gains to continue to thrive. How can an open standard NOT help with this? There’s no costly fees for incorporating some intellectual property, the cost of production goes way down. If Apple could manufacture laptops or phones in the USA, or Canada because it would be cheaper there given the USD to CAD difference, with open source software and open hardware; would the cost savings of not paying hardware licenses per device cancel out the extra costs in manufacturing and labour?

The other thing to think about too is that these places that exploit workers are also the most densely populated in the world. The labour market pushes wages way down as well, there is always another person behind you who is willing to work for a lower wage. On top of that the density of the population also makes it the place where most of those products can be sold as well. Why not manufacture devices where 80% of them will be sold? For those people they are buying locally and supporting their friends and family with their purchases.

Additionally, most people in other countries just wouldn’t want to do those jobs because there are other industries that pay well. So the population of other places is smaller and the population that is willing is smaller still. No company wants to move to a place where they’ll exhaust the entire labor market in 1 year.

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There’s nothing to this conversation that’s not geo-political. It vaguely touches on open source hardware but this conversation is about ethical product sourcing based on OP’s viewpoints.

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It will be political no matter what.

Even Pine64 is having a similar discussion

Even the Raspberry Pi is no longer manufactured in China, but instead in the UK.

The Raspberry Pi was first manufactured in the UK with production only going to China when there was the historical demand It was actually the other way around, I was wrong. You could still tell by the color of the audio port though :slight_smile: (and printed on the board too but port color is neat).

According to this BBC article, it was made in China until 2012 when they reached a deal with Sony to use the manufacturing plant there.

And a blog from them stating this:

Yeah no you are right, the first batches were indeed Chinese for the first few months. I was erroneously counting the alpha boards, which isn’t accurate and shouldn’t be counted. I’ll mod my post.

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If they can do it and keep price down, I don’t see why others cannot do the same one they get rolling in volume in number in demand. I think it’s time to stop feeding that Dragon.