Talk about the quality of Chinese goods, I have seen that it has been improving over the years. The Chinese are certainly capable of making high-quality products (aren't most delicate and sophisticated electronic goods built by them?). The problem is that few Chinese makers have established a brand name whose reputation they want to protect. So, the Chinese goods are manufactured by many small shops, turning out a lot of no-name products. And they are all competing on prices, and quality is often compromised.
Here's an example. Most of us know or have been to HarborFreight. Some of the tools or equipments are junk, but most are quite usable, though not of Craftsman quality. For DIY'ers like myself, they are good enough. I was particularly impressed with the low price of a small 800W generator that they often sell for $89, and in the past, has been as low as $79 on sale. So, I searched on the Web, and there are literally thousands of reviews of this single item. Some people like it, some do not. But how the heck could they build it for that price? Remember that they do not get $79 per generator, but perhaps only 1/2 or 2/3 of that price. Surely, it is just a simple 2-cycle engine, but what is the material cost alone, for crying out loud? Aluminum is expensive nowadays, and the copper for the coil windings...
So, for curiosity, I looked up Alibaba Web site. Holy mackerel! There are thousands of shops who build very similar generators. Very few want to quote a price on the Web, I guess because they are afraid of being undercut by the competitors. However, I did see one saying he wanted $45/each, in qty. of only 50! Wow!
Now, suppose a buyer works with them, and willing to give them a bit more money to use better material, and with a tighter quality control. Any of these Chinese guys could turn out decent products if their profit margins did not get cut to the bone!
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy