[ MarketWatch ] The Chinese have more skilled workers, more than in the U.S., more than in Germany, according to Tim Cook, in an interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes. Here’s Cook:
The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.
China has more than 1.3 billion people. The U.S. has a bit less than 320 million. China has more than quadruple the number of people than the United States. Like Cook explained, China has been building up its manufacturing infrastructure while the U.S. has been doing the opposite for quite some time. So I can understand there are more skilled laborers — as in quantity, as in the number of skilled laborers — in China than in the U.S. But what about the quality of those skilled laborers? Are Chinese laborers more skilled than those in the U.S.? Germany? Japan? South Korea? I don’t think Cook answered Rose’s question; Rose’s question was of quality and Cook answered as if the question was of quantity.
Let’s consider a hypothetical: China has the infrastructure to manufacture iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks at the quantity and quality levels Apple wants. But not price. Do you think Apple would be building their stuff in China?
This is what I think: The U.S., Germany, Japan, and South Korea have highly stilled laborers, but Apple builds in China because China has the infrastructure to build the products at the quality, quantity, and price Apple wants.