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Can You Compete?

Chinese manufacturers aren't just making your stuff--they're making their own, too.

This story appears in the January 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Five years ago, Bob Cotton, co-founder of Sonic Impact Technologies, a six-employee San Diego iPod accessories company, noticed that Chinese firms were setting up U.S. offices to promote original design manufacturing to big U.S. retailers and corporations. The Chinese, however, miscalculated the U.S. market, starting with the language. "They staffed [their U.S. offices] with people who spoke only Chinese," says Cotton, whose 2007 sales were about $22 million. "They poured a bunch of money into it, and they produced no results."


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