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Foxconn and China Manfacturing

A great series of articles by TechCrunch about Foxconn and their +1mm manufacturing city in southern China. by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, Foxconn manufactures for major major hardware makers, most notably Apple. The maker of iPhones, iPads, and other apple objects of worship has built a strong manufacturing brand, and commands strong customer loyalty. The major under-pinning of Foxconn's success, however, is cheap labor. With prices and wages rising in China, demographics leading to a shrinking workforce by 2015, and demands of Chinese workers for, "more", Foxconn's future success is by no means assured. Even running at full tilt, their profit margins are 2-5%, little better than a grocery store. The author spent a considerable amount of time in Foxconn City in Shenzhen, a rare experience for a journalist. Worth the read if you take an interest in China manufacturing.... Continue reading
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Living in a Renting World

I have been struck recently by an anecdotal list of big ticket items that can now be rented, and the wide disparity between the selling price, and the rent. - Richard Branson's Caribbean Island paradise. A dreamy bungalow suitable for 26 people can be rented for $350k/night. He originally wanted to live there, plowed a lot of money into it, and now leases it as a resort.- Private jets - The average cost of a 3 hour flight using a shared leased aircraft (1/8th ownership) is $125k/flight. You can take a maximum of 4 people. A first class ticket on a comparable flight is $6k. - Luxury Yacht - owners are selling their boats, and finding few takers. You can lease them for $25k-$50k/week. Crew are extra. - Luxury flats - in Beijing have risen 400% in the past 5 years, averaging $600k. However, rents are $600/month. In all these cases, the owners of these... Continue reading
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