Week 18 – New Blog Format

Jun 29, 2020

Welcome to week 18 of the Buy Localized blog, where I will be mixing it up. Our other style, which will still be posted on IndieHackers, was a bit too operations based. I’m going to experiment with a new weekly blog post where I go over the past week’s news on western manufacturing and Chinese malfeasance, and talk about new features we have coming up.

The News

China versus the world. The dispute between China and India is increasing rapidly. India has started working hard towards rejecting Chinese products, with Amazon announcing they will tag all products of Chinese origin. After the border clash between China and India where 20 Indian soldiers died there has been a huge escalation of tensions and anti-Chinese rhetoric in India and in Indian media.

China announced they are laying charges against the 2 Canadian falsely imprisoned for espionage, it makes me furious. It’s crystal clear that China is telling the world that right or wrong doesn’t matter, if you don’t bend over backwards for us we will lock up and torture your citizens until you capitulate. They are mirroring the Canadian proceedings, gaslighting everyone claiming that the Canadian charges are fake and that their own charges are legitimate. When Meng was arrested they took 2 Canadian businessmen, put them in jail without charges, as well as taking a previously convicted Canadian out of jail and changing his sentence to death. They are making a statement to the rest of the world that they will punish your citizens if they are wronged, no matter how justified it may be.

The Hong Kong riots continue, without much change. The most compelling article I read on it can be summarised by saying that China is waiting for the world to stop paying attention, and will then move the tanks in, and that seems likely to me. I’ve been to Hong Kong a dozen times, it’s a phenomenal city. It makes me deeply unhappy to see a bastion of freedom get crushed like this.

Manufacturing

I haven’t come across any particularly relevant articles this week. It was vastly cheaper to get goods made in China 15-20 years ago, but a lot of prices have caught up now. T-shirts, socks textiles like that can be automated to such a degree that it’s feasible to manufacture in the USA. If you are going for cheap you go to Vietnam or the Philippines, not China. I imagine that the recent surge in interest about western manufacturing, due to COVID, will result in some manufacturing coming back, and we will be sure to tell you about it!

I read this this week, and I think it’s a great article. Manufacturing these days involves so many vendors who are hyper specialised, something like an electronics item has hundreds of vendors. Picking that up and manufacturing it again in the west is extremely difficult. For us though, here at Buy Localized, we believe strongly there should be a local option. A lot of the time it will cost more, but it should be possible to get some electronics made by people of a similar culture, in a country with a government that isn’t authoritarian or full of corruption. It doesn’t all have to be made local, but there should be an option. We want the things we buy to come from people who are paid a fair wage, in non dangerous conditions and for none of the money to go to dictators, the easiest way we see for that to happen is to purchase from Western countries.

Buy Localized

We had a solid week last week, we are almost ready to launch the largest patch so far, where we will give users the ability to browse through much more results from within our database. It makes finding what you want a lot better, and will really show off the tremendous amount of listings we have. We’ve also been researching at a steady pace and have a large backlog of slam dunk listings to add to the extension.

Let me know what you think of the new format and see you next week!

Gareth Struivig de Groot is the founder of Buy Localized. He originally hails from Vancouver, and he is passionate about helping people get informed about where the things they purchase come from.
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