SEARCH BLOG: CHINA
Recently, I posted some thoughts about the "relationship" between China and the U.S.
Mattel apologizes to ChinaSuch are the benefits of dealing with an unethical economic and political competitor. But, hey, China is subsidizing us. Yeah, just like al Qaeda is just offering low-cost demolition services.
Mattel Inc. tried to save face Friday with Chinese officials, taking the blame for the recent recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys as it strives to mend a strained relationship with the nation that makes most of its toys and fattens its profit.
The world's largest toy maker sent a top executive to personally apologize to China's product safety chief, Li Changjang, as reporters and company lawyers looked on.
"Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys," Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, told Li.
The unusual move reflects how invested El Segundo-based Mattel has become in China.
"Mattel certainly must have been facing some pressure to do that, because you can't imagine why they would be trying to push this story along any further," said Eric Johnson, a professor of operations management at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Peter Navarro, a business professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of "The Coming China Wars," also suggested Mattel was trying to avoid punitive measures.
"Mattel is worried that the Chinese government is going to make it difficult for them to produce, put their costs up and hurt their stock price," Navarro said.
Mattel did not immediately respond to a call seeking further comment. Mattel ordered three high-profile recalls this summer.