The End of Chinese Quality Products?

I've written several posts about the end of the "China Price," which was the price that undercut old-line American producers by 30 percent or so.  (here, here and here).

Now I'm pondering whether we're also seeing the end of Chinese quality.  This seems odd, given the various scandals about lead and melamine in various products.  We all (or at least I alone) expected China to work on improving quality.  But Dan Harris over at China Law Blog has a couple of stories about companies receiving sub-standard products from Chinese vendors they've done business with for years.  Perhaps the economic downturn is leading many Chinese producers to cut corners.

Dan's legal interpretation: in a booming economy you can get away with some careless business practices, but they will come back to haunt you when times turn hard.

(By the way, I don't have a lick of interest in Chinese law, but I find China Law Blog the best-written blog about the Chinese economy.)