China can manufacture any level of product quality foreign buyers want. Foreign buyers want products that they can sell profitably in their market. If the buyer’s customers want cheap goods, then the buyers will purchase cheap goods. If they want high quality, they will purchase high quality goods.
Sometimes retail buyers don’t have a clue about what it takes or how to manufacture quality products so they demand the lowest possible price from the factories without specifying their quality requirements. The factory wants to meet the buyer’s price requirements so they substitute cheap components or inferior materials.
If you want to buy quality products from China, make your requirements extremely clear. Choose factories that meet international manufacturing standards. Make sure the manufacturing process they use complies with UL, CE, TUV, Mil-spec, ISO, SAE, QS, or any of the other certification companies and systems available. Specify a bill of materials (BOM), and specific components you want to be used. Be specific. Get involved in the quality control process during every step of the manufacturing process. Check inbound components, check during the various stages of the manufacturing process, check the final product, check the packaging materials and printing quality, it will cost you a little more, but would you rather pay a few percent now, or deal with customer returns, loss of company reputation, and extra expenses later?
There was an old ad for FRAMM oil filters back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in the USA. The message was, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later” and that applies to all types of quality issues.