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The ethical dilemma of buying from China


Care for Chinese workers was part of the story pitched by many companies at the Hong Kong trade show I was at this week. They have photos in their stand showing working conditions and worker accommodation. My naive takeaway is that the message about sweatshops is getting through. The only way to find out though would be to visit the factories and see the conditions first hand. When you are offered items by a manufacturer at a price of, say, 15 cents when you purchase them through a wholesaler in Australia for five dollars you have to wonder where the savings are being achieved. Labour has to be part of it. Walking through the trade show is a real ethical dilemma. The products are of a high quality with a low price tag. You need them for your business to compete back home. But then do you support an economic situation which is unfair on the workers?

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By Mark