Yep, it’s overstated now.
It used to be the case.
I started dealing with Chinese furniture factories in 2003. I didn’t want to import stuff, but I had to, to compete with my opposition.
As time went on, the labour force became better skilled, and as they did, they wanted more money. By the time I finished with my stores in 2012, the factories couldn’t get any staff to work in them! In a country of 1.3b people.
The staff get up-skilled and move up to better jobs. The unskilled labourers didn’t want to leave their villages 100s of miles away. So there were big delays as the factory couldn’t make enough furniture.
Exactly the same thing happened in Malaysia before that. That used to be a cheap place to build furniture, not any more.
Back in 2004 when I went to Shanghai for thwas first time, the dudes were spraying bedroom furniture with car laquer in a big shed, no mask, nothing. 5 years later they had to have proper booths installed.
I always remember back in 2004 seeing a dude with a push bike, with like 6 queen size mattresses on the large carrier at the back, riding them down the road. Looked like a recipe for disaster ...