Electronics manufacturing in China - what to expect?

    Sooner or later, any “electronic” project either dies (as an option - falls into a coma “until better times”) or matures to the stage of “pilot production”. Those. from units assembled “on the knee”, it’s time to switch to the production of hundreds or two, or maybe even thousands of devices. And then it turns out that on the territory of our immense homeland with this all oh how difficult.
    What does a modern electronic device consist of? This is one or more mounted printed circuit boards, the case and accessories (cables, antennas, etc.). What adventures await us on this path?
    1. It is necessary to make a circulation of printed circuit boards.There are usually two problems here: small circulation and manufacturing complexity. Few people want to get in touch with the small circulation (in fact, all roads traditionally lead to Rezonit), and the prices for such runs are usually extremely inhumane. But if your board suddenly falls into the category of “high-tech” (tm), i.e. Since it is multilayer (6 or more layers), and even with tricky micro-holes (for example, HDI), it becomes somehow very difficult to find an artist in Russia.
    2. You need to find components in the required quantities. Well, here everything is as usual - expensive and not always available in principle. For example, we’ve just encountered a certain deficit of white LEDs from Cree of the nominal value we need ... They collected literally 2-3 pieces in different offices.
    3. Surface mounton a circulation of 100-1000 boards. Only the cost of setting up an SMD machine (if anyone really tackles such a “trifle”) makes this process extremely non-budgetary.
    4. The manufacture of the housing. The case is usually plastic - i.e. options are available (in the usual order of increasing unit prices) for printing on a 3D printer, manufacturing on a CNC machine, casting in silicone or conventional casting (under pressure). In any case, the same problems as with printed circuit boards: it is expensive and difficult to find an artist for a small print run.
    Like many others before us, our company at one time came close to solving all these problems. And we began to solve them with the help of Chinese factories. To whom this method of solving some problems and acquiring others is interesting - welcome under cat.

    Cooperation with the Chinese helps to solve some of the problems, but at the same time adds a few others. So let's look at them in order.

    1. Search for artists.

    Here you have three options. Search the Internet, attend an exhibition, or broker services. The first two demonstrate obvious risks, of which the main one is communication problems. It is unlikely that you will communicate with the Chinese in Chinese, the Russian language is practically irrelevant, and English is not native either to you or to them. So it is quite possible misunderstanding, which translates into technical errors. But everyone knows about the features of working with intermediaries. By the way, if on the other side the Chinese speak English - most likely this is the intermediary, only carefully concealing it. Now, if some Chinese girl in Russian is talking to you, it is likely that this is a large factory that specifically hires Russian-speaking (well, as they themselves think) staff.

    2. Contract and money transfer.

    To conclude a contract with the Chinese is, in general, not a problem. Problems begin when the other side does not want to abide by it (well, or you think so, at least). Just think - and what, in fact, can you do if the money is transferred and the goods are not delivered to you or (which is much worse in terms of judicial prospects) delivered, but not the one defective, etc.? In general, we can say that even a competently drawn up and correctly executed contract of a Russian company with a Chinese company does not give any guarantees, alas.
    If the Chinese side is ready to accept money from you through Western Union to a private person, this is a call. This, of course, is not a guaranteed kidalovo, but the chances are great. In addition, WU specifically asks you in the process to confirm that the transfer is non-profit, and cheating is not good. Well-known companies prefer to work according to the T / T scheme (electronic transfer of money to the company account). The bill, of course, is in China, and by no means ruble. So for such a transfer you need at least a legal entity. person, foreign currency account and a properly executed foreign trade contract. But legal transfer carries a minimum amount of costs. Well, just in case: if the amount of deliveries under the contract exceeds 50,000 USD, then you will need to issue a “transaction passport” (it’s okay if you do not forget to do everything on time). In general, all currency transactions must be monitored very carefully,

    3. Quality control.

    It is rare that the first time everything turns out as it should. Immediately prepare yourself for a visual demonstration of the justice of popular wisdom "the first pancake is lumpy." The first contract with this contractor, the first batch of goods, communication problems, the contractor’s weak interest in a small contract - all this simply cannot but lead to serious difficulties. There are only two options to reduce risks: either you fly to China and control the process, or you hire someone else. In China, there is a whole industry of special "independent inspectors", usually usually a couple of dozen stands at their exhibitions.

    4. Delivery to Russia.

    The usual way is by plane. For electronics, and even a small print run - it is something lightweight, compact and quite expensive. Delivery of one kg of cargo from Shenzhen or Hong Kong to Moscow is 5-6 USD (if at least 100 kilograms are gathered, if less - it will be more expensive, of course). If your products are packed in cardboard boxes, then you can fall into volumetric weight (relatively speaking, transporting a box of cubic meter volume, but weighing 1 kg, is by no means like transporting 1 kg). But quickly. 3-4 days - and the cargo is already in Moscow. An alternative is land or sea. The land is also different - by car through Kazakhstan or by rail through Vladivostok, for example. Due to the peculiarities of Russian logistics, a railway is usually more expensive than an airplane (albeit even slower than a car). But there is a special category of cargo,
    A separate line can be mentioned express delivery services. From China to Russia, they work only with Russian legal entities. persons, alas. For sending samples (i.e. up to 5 pieces of one article and the total cost, including delivery, less than 200 euros), the best option is FedEx. Fast and inexpensive. If a “consignment” is collected, i.e. more than 5 pcs. and / or more expensive than 200 euros (but it is highly desirable - no more than 1000 euros so that preferential rates for brokerage services are in effect), then you will have to load the goods. And here we must focus on DHL or UPS, which have their own brokerage services at relatively reasonable prices.

    5. Customs clearance.

    If you carry yourself under your contract - most likely, you will need the services of a broker (if your company itself is engaged in customs clearance of goods - why are you reading this article?). The pleasure is quite expensive, especially when you consider that you will have to customs at the airport. In Sheremetyevo, for example, the usual “fee” is from 1000 USD for one customs declaration, plus overhead (payment for warehouse services, etc.) and, of course, all customs payments. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, the duty on electronics (in the form of assembled printed circuit boards with or without housing) is zero, however, alas, there is also 18% import VAT. To clear the goods - you need to present a bunch of documents, do not forget. It is best to agree on a list before the cargo leaves China. For if some piece of paper is not enough - the cargo will go to the temporary storage warehouse (temporary storage warehouse, very expensive pleasure), and you will get a considerable charge of vivacity. It is especially funny if it suddenly turns out that there is not enough certificate of conformity of the TR TS or FSB notification (these pieces of paper are drawn up for at least two weeks). So be careful.
    If some express delivery service delivers the goods to you, then only one thing changes for you: you do not need a separate contract with a broker. The set of documents remains the same. The cost will also be more or less the same in both cases (if you yourself - then cheap delivery plus an expensive broker, if DHL or UPS - then expensive delivery plus cheap brokerage services).
    Well, of course, there are alternative delivery methods in which you will not need to make customs clearance efforts. I do not recommend such methods to you (what are you, what are you, how can you ?!), but just in case: the cost of delivering electronics by such channels usually varies from 12 to 30 USD / kg, and the timeframe is from a week to a month. Who really wants to - he will find.

    Well, somehow so briefly. I do not pretend to absolute truth, but my experience is quite real. He decided to post the article right now, because the Chinese (finally!) Left their New Year holidays and started to work. Hurrah!

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