Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturing firm, is at the center of controversy once again after admitting to pushing student interns to work overtime in advance of the release of the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 gaming console. [More]
While some Apple enthusiasts might have been put off by the colorful plastic shells of the new iPhone 5C, it’s hard to complain about the $99 price point. Even the full, unsubsidized price of $549 is lower than what you’d pay for many new, comparable smartphones. But customers in mainland China are scratching their heads and wondering why they are being charged $733 for what is supposed to be a bargain phone. [More]
Who doesn’t miss their pets while on vacation? If you can take them along to a critter-friendly locale, that’s excellent. If you can’t, it’s better to find a sitter. And if you’re trying to smuggle your pet turtle onto a plane inside a hamburger, it’s time to rethink your entire life. [More]
Two Chinese entrepreneurs came up with a brilliant business idea: they bought regular old no-name condoms from a factory in one province, and bought packaging material with the globally recognized brand name of Durex, as well as Russian name brand Contex and China’s own brand Jissbon. When all of these big brand condoms started hitting the market at cut-rate prices, the authorities noticed, as the authorities tend to do. [More]
The beauty of shopping online is that it’s easy to bring products from all over the world into our homes with a little bit of typing and a major credit card. The problem with buying from abroad, though, is that products for different markets don’t come with the same consumer protections. And sometimes you don’t know that you’re buying a product destined for a different market at all. That’s where Cassi’s cautionary tale comes in. From a small discount site, Cassi bought a Samsung MP3 player. Samsung tells her that it was made for the Chinese market and that if she wants them to honor her warranty, she has to fly to Hong Kong. Being a sensible person, Cassi does not want to fly to Hong Kong over a $200 MP3 player. [More]
Not enough meat on your McDonald’s burger? Throw another patty on. Still not sufficient? Forget going for a third patty, when you can just toss on a couple of sausage links. [More]
If there’s anything that people across the globe truly need and want, it’s more fizzy sugar water. And so PepsiCo is investing more money in getting the attention and the business of consumers in the world’s largest market. Their latest attention-getting scheme and bit of inter-brand synergy between two of the company’s signature brands: Cola chicken-flavored Lay’s potato chips. [More]
“Imported Chinese jerky?” you might be saying. “Who would buy their pet any food from a country whose safety standards would shock Upton Sinclair?” Lots of well-meaning Americans are feeding their dogs and cats imported treats. Every year, the United States imports 86 million pounds of pet food products from China. Some of that food is jerky that’s packaged and sold under brand names you may recognize: Waggin’ Train (Purina), Canyon Creek (Purina), and Milo’s Kitchen (Del Monte) are the most common. Now thousands of pet owners claim that these products may have sickened or even killed their animals, and demand recalls and justice. The only problem is that the FDA can’t find any proof of harmful chemicals or pathogens in the meat.
Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to The Consumerist Flickr Pool this week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or just plain neatness.
Ashley ordered a special occasion dress from the website of a manufacturer in China. She didn’t realize that the company was in China, despite the “About Us” on their site saying so, and the deeply mangled English on display on many of the pages. But no matter–sometimes shopping direct on Chinese sites can be a pleasant money-saving experience. This wasn’t. Her dress looked nothing like the photo of what she ordered, and the company will only refund her if she ships the fluffy dress back to China. That will cost $138, when the dress cost only $142. She’s not the only customer in this bind. So what should she do?
Bad consumers are responsible for those signs that remind you not to litter, smoke, talk too loudly, turn off our cellphones, and apparently to stop having sex in cable cars.
Sophisticated new ID-authentication systems mean that determined teens need sophisticated new fake IDs in order to get into clubs and buy booze. Enter ID Chief, a now-defunct site based in China. Provided with your photo, name, and Social Security number, ID Chief could provide you with a license from any state you choose, good enough to fool the scanners at even the finest liquor stores. The price? A money order for $75. Oh, and they sell your personal information to the highest bidder.
Back in January, Best Buy CEO Brian “Brooks and” Dunn confirmed reports that the electronics retailer would continue to shrink the footprint of its bricks-and-mortar stores. But a recent memo sent to employees says not to worry about those shuttered outlets because Best Buy is opening up new stores — in China.
Many of the things you buy and own were touched at some point by Chinese hands, and those hands are about to get a little more expensive. The Guangdong province in China, the seat of the country’s manufacturing might, is going to get a 20% minimum wage increase starting January 1st, 2012.
With a large number of Americans still feeling the sting of the economic doldrums, the U.S. is banking on a hope that tourists from China will come to this country and spend money on products that were probably made in China.
The amusing name belied the deadly and illegal contents. “The Cat Be Unemployed” read the package, featuring a yellow background with a bright-eyed cartoon feline and thick black Chinese characters underneath. Within, was rat poison, and the chemical brodifacoum at 61 times its legal limit. It doesn’t kill just rodents.
According to research firm estimates, China’s hunger for devouring PCs is finally surpassing that of the U.S. During the second quarter of the year, shipments in China rose 14 percent to 18.5 million while they fell 4.8 percent in the U.S. to 17.7 million.
For all the ballyhoo about how Chinese products have infiltrated our shelves, it turns out that only 1.2% of American spending actually ends up in their coffers. How is this?