Urban Media Network Essay: Should Importing of Electronic Waste be Illegal in China?

Posted: June 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: waste industries | No Comments »

Part 1: Introduction

Mass consumerism in China has been caused by the rapid industrialisation of the country (Zehle, 2008). Economic growth leads to an increase in environmental impact (Alier, 2000). Electronic waste (e-waste) represents the biggest and fastest growing manufacturing waste in China (Chan and Ho, 2008).

With the rapid development of technology, many people can afford to often buy and change basic electronic items. From a consumer perspective, people tend to think about value for money and functionality purposes before they buy electronic items, very few consumers and perhaps producers, take into consideration of the result of the environmental issues caused by the production and the dealing with electronic items.

There is no direct definition of ‘e-waste’ because e-waste has different definitions to different people in different countries (Terazono et al, 2006). A 2nd hand electronic item for a person might be considered as e-waste for another person. The problem of defining ‘e-waste’ makes the enforcement of e-waste difficult to deal with (Wu, 2009). However, this essay defines ‘e-waste’ as any electronic items which have been used and the owners do not want to continue using them anymore. This could be due to broken parts items or changes in the consumers’ behaviour.

Before 1996, many countries exported e-waste to China. E-waste has been a major problem in China as there has not been effective control in dealing with e-waste. According to Tong and Wang (2004), China has become the largest receiver of e-waste from the developed countries. The use of unskilled labour and inappropriate technology make it cheap for the country to get rid of e-waste (Tong and Wang, 2004, Terazono et al, 2006). However, since 1996, it has been illegal to import e-waste into China and this was implemented in order to manage the environmental impacts.

E-waste from other developed countries could be 2nd hand products to China. Levin (2009) reported that Wang, a spokesman for the China National Resources Recycling Association said that the “Chinese tradition is all about saving and being thrifty”. They prefer to repair and refurbish e-waste before throwing them away. However, whether they could repair or reuse the e-waste or not, in the end, the items would still belong to China, which increases the quantity of e-waste in the country. Furthermore, some Chinese electronics repairers still choose to import e-waste from other countries in order for them to repair and reuse or resell them to local Chinese consumers.

The visit to South Gate Market, Ningbo (Picture 1)enabled the Urban Media-Network students (09/10) to realise that there are many electronic items, especially televisions (Picture 2) lying around the market and it is assumed that they are unwanted electronic waste and are waiting to be recycled.


Picture 1: South Gate Market, Ningbo


Picture 2: Unwanted Televisions

This essay argues that importing of e-waste should be illegal in China. Part 2 explains why creative industries have been viewed as being irresponsible for e-waste. Part 3 looks at the reason why the importation of e-waste still exist in China though it has been illegal to do so. Part 4 evaluates the consequences of importing e-waste into China. Part 5 concludes that the importation of e-waste should be illegal in China unless the Chinese government can regulate the e-waste industry and control the impacts of dealing with e-waste have on the environment and people. This part includes relevant solutions and problems in order to maintain or reduce the amount of e-waste in China.

Part 2: Cause of Electronic Waste – Irresponsible Creative Industries

Creative industries are irresponsible for their creative products. According the Creative Economy Report (2008), the United Kingdom Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, 2001, 11) proposed that creative industries are industries which require “creativity, skill and talent which has the potential for wealth and job creation through the exploitation of their intellectual property”. Examples of creative products include electronic items such as IPODS, IPHONES, televisions, printers and laptops.

The main objective for most electronic companies is to launch advanced products, with modern designs, containing high speed technologies and high resolutions. Few companies pay attention to what happens to the previous products that consumers bought from them. Many companies think that as long as they can make profit, gain customer satisfaction and create brand reputation in the market place, they will launch the products.

Consumers have low environmental awareness on electronic production and e-waste recycling (Meng, 2009). The interviews with electronic consumers that were done for this research (2010), found out that the main factor which influences the consumers’ decision before they buy an electronic item is value for money, which includes factors such as price, quality and performance.

Electronic waste is a major issue to e-waste factories and people who lives around those factories, but it has NOT been a major issue in creative industries. The main page of most creative industries websites consists of all the relevant information that consumers have to know including, the price, model and product specification. However, the main page contains limited information about the company being responsible of their products at the end of the product life-cycle. Consumers who are environmental friendly will need to search for the ‘Corporate Responsibility’ link in order for them to gain more information about how the company is responsible for their products at the end of its life cycle. As a result, very few consumers would search for such icon and this reflects that not many consumers care about e-waste.

Regarding Apple’s website (as shown in Picture 3), there is an icon that links consumers to view the Apple Recycling Programme, which describes the possible ways that consumers can do in order to recycle different parts of Apple products. For example, consumers can bring Apple batteries back to any of the Apple’s shop and it will be recycled for free. This shows that the company is trying to be responsible for its products when the products have reached the end of their life- cycle.

Picture 3: Apple Recycling Program

On the other hand, Dell’s website had announced general information about being responsible with their products (Picture 4). However, there is no specific information on what consumers could do in order to recycle Dell’s products.

Picture 4: General Information about Dell being Corporate Responsible

Regarding the interviews with one of the 2nd hand electronics shops (2010), the researchers found out that individual consumer gets rid of their electronic items by selling them to the local junk man. Then the junk man will sell them electronic components to local wholesaler for them to deal with. If the shop receives any electronic items from the junk man, they would try to repair them and sell them as 2nd hand products. If the item reached the end of its life-cycle, they would separate the components into parts which could be sold for money and those parts which could be recycled. The price of components would depend on the market. There would be trucks from Taizhou and Guangzhou coming to collect the items. These two cities contain the major recycling factories in China.

Picture 5: 2nd hand electronics lying around 2nd hand electronic shop

Improper ways of dealing with electronics could cause adverse environmental problems such as pollution and production of toxic air in the environment (Tong and Wang, 2004). Therefore, the researchers asked the staff whether there are environmental regulations in the e-waste recycling industries and they said there are regulations which large factories have to meet. In terms of labour working conditions, they are aware of the way e-waste recycling factories deal with its e-waste having impact on workers’ health but they did not mention about any specific health issues. At the end, the researchers were told that no one really cares about how much profit they make in the business or whether they are dealing with the impact of e-waste on the environment and workers’ health. As long as money could be earned, the business continues.

The researchers concluded that due to the rapid innovations of electronics, the price of 1st hand electronics have dropped dramatically. If electronics are bought for personal use, consumers will choose to buy 1st hand products as the price difference between 1st hand and 2nd hand is not much. Therefore, refurbishing and reusing 2nd hand electronics is being environmental friendly but if 2nd hand electronics are sold at inappropriate prices, then 2nd hand products will eventually be another category of e-waste.

In short, creative industries are the initial cause of e-waste. Creative industries have produced items which caused environmental problems for recycling factories to deal with them. Because electronics are things which consumers have to buy and use, there is nothing much that a consumer can do to influence the production (said by one of the electronic consumers). Therefore, as e-waste has not been a major issue to creative industries and consumers, the responsibility of managing e-waste is left to the e-waste recycling factories.

Part 3: Why Importation of Electronic Waste Still Exist in China?

Soft logistics regulation is another cause of the continuous existence of importation of e-waste. Rossiter (2009) defined logistics as “the management of global supply chains and labour regimes”. This could include any software used to manage, control or input container information, keeping track on the containers and any performance measurement software that measure workers’ actual working hours and workers’ work performance.

Rossiter (2009) further questioned the failure of databases on the logistics containers information that still allows e-waste to be shipped into China even though it is illegal to import e-waste. This is because people involved in the shipment have successfully ‘disguised metal scrap and electronics products’ (Tong and Wang, 2004, 641). They have estimated that 700,000 tons of e-waste was imported through the Yangtze River delta in Beijing Zhongse Institute of Secondary Metals (2002). However, the methods used to estimate the amount of e-waste is not compatible among countries (Terazono et al, 2006). Therefore, there is a problem in relying on the e-waste figures.

Recycling factories deal with unwanted steel, copper and unwanted semi-deconstructed metal waste (Wu, 2010). However, small amounts of e-waste are hidden in containers which came from aboard and this does not cause problems in passing through custom, but sometimes they are forfeit (said by one of the recycling factories). This means that there have not been full inspections on containers entering into China and exporters have not been declaring honestly about what they are exporting to China.

Picture 6: EGO Digital Plaza
Therefore, due to soft logistics regulations, there has been continuous existence of the importation of e-waste into China.

Part 4: Discussion – Should Importing of Electronics Waste be Illegal in China?

Importation of e-waste into China has both positive and negative sides. Part 4.1 argues that if importing e-waste into China is made legal, the importation will bring benefits to individuals and China. Part 4.2 reflects that because dealing with e-waste can cause environmental issues and health problems, the importation of e-waste into China should be illegal.

4.1: Importation of E-waste should be Legal
Due to the amount of land, space and workforce that China has, many companies have outsourced their electronic products to China for production and therefore, many items have been labeled ‘Made in China’. As China has taken the responsibility of the production stage, it should also take the responsibility of dealing with the recycling stage. Also, the 2008/09 world economic crisis had impacted the recycling market adversely and therefore many Chinese people ended up being unemployed. Importation of e-waste should be legal due to the following reason.

Reason 1: Employment Opportunities
Importing e-waste will give working class people employment opportunities to work in the e-waste factories (Terazono et al, 2006). In terms of individual benefits, people will have their own incomes and savings, which can help to pay their debts and resolve their poverty issues. In terms of the whole country’s benefits, the unemployment rate would be reduced. This essay assumes that developed countries are waiting to export e-waste to China as it offers a reasonable price. With a large workforce being unemployed, if importing e-waste is made legal in China, the unemployment rate would decline and the economy is likely to grow further.

Reason 2: Individual Consumption Benefit
By importing unwanted electronic items, Chinese people could gain consumption benefit (as found out from the fieldtrip). In other words, e-waste in other countries is money for China. Wu (2009) reported that there are illegal e-waste factories in Shanghai to refurnish the imported e-waste and sell them as 2nd hand electronics. This means that the imported electronics could be reused in China but it must be sold at a reasonable price. If this system is managed and controlled effectively, it will be an environmental benefit to the whole world as well.

Picture 7: E-waste or 2nd hand electronics?

In short, if China imports e-waste from other countries, it could bring benefits to individuals and the Chinese economy. However the effectiveness of dealing with electronic waste would highly depend on the level of strictness. As being environmental friendly is costly (according to Wu (2009) equipments to treat e-waste could cost as much as 15 million RMB per company), electronic producers and e-waste recycling factories would not take this issue into consideration.

4.2: Importation of E-waste should be Illegal
Even though dealing with imported e-waste brings benefits to the Chinese people and the Chinese economy, however, if they are not dealt with in appropriate ways, the ‘contamination of electronic production’ (Zehle, 2008) could cause problems as explained below.

Reason 1: Health and Safety Regulations
Chan (2009) proposed that the three major issues of labour condition in e-waste industries are: job security, the use of contingent labour, and the fair and fixed-term labour contracts. These include the danger of the working environment, hiring child labour and unpaid overtime work.

According to Maxwell and Miller (2008), the process of e-waste recycling in China has adverse impacts on the environment, human health and human safety because materials such as plastics and metals contain cadmium and mercury could affect the biological development of children. In additional to Maxwell’ and Miller’s (2008) opinions, if e-waste recycling factories still do not pay immediate attention to the basic protection against toxic metals and if it does not care about the workers’ lives, other countries should continue to stop exporting e-waste to China.

Rossiter (2009) appreciates that improving labour conditions could cost the company a lot of money. As a result, improving labour conditions is a cost to the company while it is a benefit to many workers. In order to raise the standard of working conditions, solving the health and safety issues of e-waste factories, the government play a significant role in collaborating with the electronics producers and e-waste recycling companies.

Reason 2: Damaging the Environment
Improper ways of dealing with e-waste not only result in significant negative effects on the workers’ health and people living around e-waste recycling factories, but it also affect the environment (Tong and Wang, 2004). For example, the burning of plastics components or other non-recyclable materials sends toxic gas into the air (Tong and Wang, 2004). This damages the environment and affects both workers’ health and the surrounding residents.

As there is no proper control in the e-waste industry (Terazono et al, 2006), there is no reliable methods to obtain the data on the quantity of e-waste being imported or the quantity of e-waste China produced locally (Maxwell and Miller, 2008). Therefore, it is difficult to convince people on the adverse impact that e-waste is harming on the Chinese environment.

In short, due to the inappropriate technologies and ineffective ways of dealing with e-waste in China, many people’s health and the environment are affected by the impact of e-waste. Therefore, the importation of e-waste in China should be illegal in order to maintain or limit the quantity of e-waste in the country so that the impact does not rise.

Part 5: Conclusion and Discussion

Should importing of electronics waste be illegal in China? The answer is the importing of e-waste should still continue to be illegal in China.
Furthermore, there should be stricter control in customs so that the quantity of e-waste in China will not rise. With this policy, environmental issues and people’s health problems will not be on the increase.
However, if a stricter policy is enacted resulting in little of no e-waste entering China through imports, as a consequence, many workers who work in the e-waste industry will find themselves without jobs.

Even though e-waste recycling factories have been using improved technologies and have intensive management, the government could still further mitigate environmental issues (Chen et al, 2010, 366).

Firstly, there should be deeper collaboration between government, producers, consumers and recycling factories. For example, when consumers want to recycle their unwanted electronic items, the government has to ensure that there are recycling facilities available for people to do so (suggested by an electronic consumer). If not, consumers might just put the electronic items into an ordinary bin and it would be mix with other items, which makes it less likely to be identified as e-waste later.

Secondly, as the initial cause of e-waste issue comes from creative industries, the government should increase incentives for producers to change the earliest stage of material flow (Tong and Wang, 2004). ‘Corporate Responsibility’ increases brand recognition and reputation of the company. Producers should take responsibility for the products which have reached the end of the life expectancy in order for their brands to have better reputation. Moreover, the government should educate consumers about the concerns of e-waste to increase the people’s awareness. This communication could be done through media by showing the possible impacts and environmental transformation (Zehle, 2008).

Thirdly, the government could subsidise creative products’ materials and use materials which are less harmful to the environment (Wu, 2009), because most producers find it challenging to accept the additional of financial issues for disposing their end-of-life products (Tong and Wang, 2004).

Lastly, this essay would like to suggest that only if the Chinese government could regulate and manage the domestic e-waste in China, then it should change the regulation for the country to be able to import e-waste legally from other countries in order to increase employment and consumers benefiting from gaining 2nd hand products as stated in Part 4.1.

References
Chan, Jenny and Ho, Charles (2008) The Dark Side of Cyberspace: Inside the Sweatshops of China’s Computer Hardware Production, Berlin: World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED).
Chan, Jenny (2009) ‘Meaningful Progress or Illusory Reform? Analysing China’s Labour Contract Law’, New Labour Forum 18 (2): 43 – 51.

Chen et al (2010) ‘Study on adverse impact of e-waste disassembly on surface sedium in East China by chemical analysis and bioassays’, J Soil Sediments 10: 359 – 367.

Davis, Mike (2008) ‘Who Will Build the Ark? The Utopian Imperative in an Age of Catastrophe’, Brecht Forum.

Dwivedy, Maheshwar and Mittal, R.K (2010) ‘Estimation of future outflows of e-waste in India’, Waste Management 30: 483 – 491.

Greenpeace (2008) Chemical Contamination at E-waste Recycling and Disposal Sites in Accra and Korforidua, Ghana.
Levin, Dan (2009) ‘China’s Big Recycling Market Is Sagging’, The New York Times, 11 March.
Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby (2008a) ‘Creative Industries or Wasteful Ones?’, Urban China 33: 28-29.
Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby (2008b) ‘Ecological Ethics and Media Technology’, International Journal of Communication 2: 331-353.
Martinez-Alier, Joan (2000) ‘Environmental Justice, Sustainability and Valuation’, Harvard Seminar on Sustainability.
UNEP-Vital-Graphics (2004) Vital Waste Graphics. E-Waste: The Great E-waste Recycling Debate, October.
Rossiter, Ned (2009) ‘Translating the Indifference of Communication: Electronic Waste, Migrant Labour and the Informational Sovereignty of Logistics in China’, International Review of Information Ethics 11.
Terazono et al (2006) ‘Current status and research on E-waste issues in Asia’, J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 8: 1-12.
Tong, Xin and Wang, Jici (2004) ‘Transnational Flows of E-waste and Spatial Patterns of Recycling in China’, Eurasian Geography and Economics 8: 608 -621.
UNCTAD and UNDP (2008) Creative Economy Report 2008, http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/ditc20082cer_en.pdf
Waldmeir, Patti (2010) ‘China’s Irregular Recyclers Face Scrapheap’, Financial Times, 15 March.
Wu Jiayin (2009) ‘The Junk Man Cometh: But He Won’t Recycle’, Shanghai Daily, 16 February.
Zehle, Soenke (2008) ‘Network Ecologies: Documenting Depletion, Exhausting Exposure’, Urban China 33: 30-31.
Unpublished Papers and Research
Meng (2009) ‘An Investigation of the Situation of E-waste Recycling: Concerning the Recycling Industry in Ningbo’
Urban Media-Network researchers (2009/10) includes N.Rossiter, Y. Wu, Y.Huang, Y.Lv and M.Pratheepwatanawong


Documentary: Electronic Produccts and Electronic Waste

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: video, waste industries | No Comments »

The documentary covers the interviews which were done with 2nd hand electronic shop and electronic consumers.

As many of us own at least 1 electronic item, the documentary enable us, as a consumer, to realise more about the electronic stuff that we are using.

The documentary covers the extent to which people are concerned with environmental issues and labour working condition in the electronic waste recycling industry. It looks at the general information about 2nd hand electronic items. It researched on how people deal with their unwanted electronic products. It asked people for suggestions on who do they think is responsible for e-waste and how e-waste management should be improved. Finally, the documentary reviewed the factor that influences people’s decision before they buy electronic products.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTcyODIxNDAw.html


Field Trip: Logistics (23rd April 2010)

Posted: April 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: maritime industries | No Comments »

Wu Yang and I visited Zhejiang Ningbo Maoyu International Freight Agency Ltd. The purpose of our visit was to find out more about operation in a logistic company, looking specifically at the supply chain of the company, employees’ performance measurement and working condition and the use of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) databases.

About the Company: This logistics company consist about 20 employees and the purpose of the business is to act as the middleman communication between the customer who want to ship things and the supplier who offer the shipping service. This is a domestic company, which also deals with international destinations.

The main strategy for the business to be efficient is to communicate effectively with customers and suppliers and also to be accurate with the information they are providing. This would lead to building trust with customers and maintaining business relationship with them.

Making mistakes has been a stressful issue because once mistakes are made, employees have to do enormous amount of work to correct the mistakes for both the customers and suppliers. Due to the nature of the logistics work, employees have to both key in complex data into cargo software and also communicate with customers via MSN at the same time. Therefore, high attention to detail and being attentive are main skills to be accurate in their work.

The culture of the company is very informal. As the company is small, investments on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) databases have not been done.  Employees use traditional clocking machine to record their working hours and the Human Resource department will measure their performance based on their work, working hours and their behaviour. There is no labour union in the company and therefore employees would seek government support if they have any issues with the company.

Further thoughts: Wu Yang and I realised that communication is the main success in logistics industry and the type of communication used by a logistics company would further indicate the transformation of a company’s or a country’s development.

The use of traditional clocking machine, spreadsheet, database and cargo software measured that the company had achieved the standard of logistics operation. As the nature and culture of the company has been like this, communicating via MSN, e-mails, telephone and text messages show that work also occurs outside workplace. This is another form of company culture which employees would need to accept even though they might not be willing to work outside workplace.

Further research: In order to further understand how the type of communication has transformed or developed the company, further research should analyse and evaluate on what technology or software were use in the past, what are being used in the present and what is possible to be used in the future.

Another case study on a middle size or big size logistics company would provide a significant analysis on operation in such industry.


Literature Review on ‘Creative Cluster ‘Out of Nowhere?’ by Keane (2008)

Posted: April 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: creative industries | No Comments »

One of the purposes of this article is to raise the awareness that “Planning is important to the success of creative cluster” (8th paragraph).

Even though creative clusters create wealth and employment opportunities for many people, however, it is important to realise that the success of creative cluster depends highly on the efficiency and effectiveness of planning the construction part of the clusters and how to attract investors to invest in creative clusters. As it could take a few years and millions of yuan to construct the clusters, investors should pay high attention to the forecast of economic situation when clusters are completed. This means that if clusters are completed at the time of recession, it would be worrying for investors.

In short, effective and efficient collaboration between investors, governments and other stakeholders is an essential project management skill to manage the construction of creative cluster projects and to deal with any unexpected situations and threats during the construction of after the completion of the cluster.


Field Trip on E-waste

Posted: April 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: waste industries | No Comments »

On Friday the 9th April 2010, Ned Rossiter, Wu Yang, Lv Yulin and I visited Tian Yi Digital Plaza, EGO Digital Plaza and South Gate 2nd Hand Market in Ningbo. Our purpose was to investigate on how electronic  waste are being managed in the country, where did the e-waste come from and where are they going and the current situation on the 2nd hand electronics in the e-waste industry.

(As the investigation have been carried out in Mandarin, below is my general understanding of the field trip.)

From 10 am to 11:30 am, we were at the two digital plaza walking around on the top floor, which was the floor where electronics are being repaired or they have reached the stage of the product life-cycle which they are ready to be recycled or put into the bin. By popping into a few shops asking them questions about the 2nd hand products, we found out that 2nd hand electronics are from local individuals  who wanted to use new models and new products launched in the market recently. 2nd hand electronics are sold to small businesses which aim to save cost in buying electronics. If electronics are  for private use, customers tend to buy new products as they believed that it will last longer. How much profit they get from selling 2nd hand electronics would depend highly on the model of the product, the number of years which the customers have used it and the remaining life expectancy of the products.

From 12:15pm to 1pm, we walked around South Gate 2nd Hand Market. We could hardly find any shops that sell or repair electronics. As soon as we found Wu Yang’s friend’s electronics shop, we popped in to asked a few questions. We found out that other electronics shops in South Gate have been closed down due to poor business. As this shop has been opened for 10 years, they could still survive in the industry because of good relations with old customers and old customers would tend to introduce this shop to new customers.

After buying products back from their customers, they would do their best to repair them so that they could earn some money by selling the products to other customers. If it is impossible to repair the products, they would deal with the external and internal parts by separating them into materials which could be sold for some money and materials which are valueless. Currently, there is no specific price for the any materials because the price depends on the economic situation and therefore the price varies from day to day. As an electronic shop which sell new products, repair and recycle old products, they survived in the industry as long as there is some profit for them to make.

In terms of electronic waste, the staff in the shop are aware on how much e-waste could damage the environment. Moreover, they are also concerned with the health of people who deal with the next step of the e-waste.

Further thoughts: In summary, Wu Yang, Yulin and I concluded that in order for the quantity of e-waste in China to be reduced, electronics should be repaired so that customers could reused them again. In addition,  2nd hand electronics should be sold at reasonably low price so that customers would be more willing to pay for the 2nd hand products.

Due to the rapid development and innovation of technology in countries like Japan and America, e-waste in these countries could be regarded as 2nd products in developing countries like China. Therefore, we assumed that the policy of importing e-waste have sustained environmental issues in China (as China does not have to deal with imported e-waste), but reusing electronics from other countries would benefit the Chinese customers as they get to pay lower price for the product which could be consider as ‘new’ to them. More importantly, this would also benefit the world’s environmental situation in the long run.

Further research: For the next field trip on e-waste, we plan to find out more about how the Chinese government is involved in managing the local e-waste, how could e-waste be managed more efficiently and the labour condition e-waste industry.


Field Trip on Creative Industry in Ningbo

Posted: April 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: creative industries | No Comments »

On Friday 2nd April 2010, Ned Rossiter and all the Urban-Media Networks students visited the Ningbo Industrial Design and Creative Centre (Hefeng), located in downtown Ningbo. The purpose of our visit was to find out more about Hefeng and the current situation in creative industry and creative centre in China, specifically in Ningbo.

From the interview which Ned did with one of the staff at Hefeng, the purposes of Hefeng creative centre are to invest more on Ningbo creative industry, create more jobs for the local people and young graduates. Also, it would like to attract foreign investment, which will give local people the chance to work in diversed working environment and improved working condition.

As every location in China has its own attractive points for business area, Ningbo has the advantage of specialising in manufacturing middle skills electronics. Hefeng creative centre will benefit companies in a way that it offers rent allowance, tax pay-back policy and provide support for creative projects to achieve awards from the government.

The diversed complex has been well-designed and it is expecting a few hundreds companies to invest here.

Further thoughts: From this field trip, I have learned that business strategies should benefit the business in terms of profit making and  it should also satisfy stakeholders’ needs. More importantly, it should also create employment opportunities as this will bring benefit to whole country’s economic growth. Even though the creative centre seemed very attractive and well-organised, but I believe that the success of Hefeng creative centre would highly depend on the economic situation of China and how it could adapt to the economics situation and stakeholders needs in a few years time.

Further research: For anyone who is interested in researching more about Hefeng in the future, it would be interesting to keep on track on the construction of Hefeng creative centre and look at the opportunities and threats which Hefeng is facing in the creative industry.

Further information about Hefeng: http://www.nidccn.com/indexen.asp



Literature Review on “Creative Industries or Wasteful Ones?”

Posted: April 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: waste industries | No Comments »

The success of e-waste management should not be judged only on the efficiency of the recycling process, but more attention should be paid on the labour condition in the e-waste industry. Therefore, it is extremely important for e-waste recycling companies to reflect on the concerns of labour health and safety issues, the amount of wage which the workers are getting, the number of working hours per day and other benefits which they get from the company.

Labour working condition plays a significant role in any operating or manufacturing process. If companies could reach the standard of labour condition, workers would be motivated to perform well at workplace.

Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby (2008a) ‘Creative Industries or Wasteful Ones?’, Urban China 33: 28-29.


Essay Question: SWOT Analysis of How Electronic Waste in Ningbo Should be Governed?

Posted: March 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: waste industries | Tags: | 1 Comment »

With reference to the previous year essays on e-waste and the field trips in the following few weeks, I would be able to identify both the Strengths and Weaknesses of  e-waste industry, and investigate whether the e-waste industry is sagging.

With regards to the set readings and further readings, I will be able recommend on any Opportunities available and suitable for the e-waste industry to be governed and managed more efficiently. Furthermore, I will point out any concerns and Threats which prevents the e-waste industry to achieve its objectives.

The essay will emphasize on the Opportunities and Threats, which means that the main arguments will be provided in these two sections.

If anyone has any suggestions on the content of the essay or on the research, please feel free to let me know.