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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.http://techcrunch.com/tag/future-of-foxconn/Owned 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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