Iconic Brands Actually Owned By China

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Made In China

Companies loved to cut corners and make money. So in recent years lots of American companies have decided to move their production or brands to other countries like China.

Many people know these famous companies and probably have a lot of it in their homes. But they probably aren’t as American as you’d think.

Tesla

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Tesla is a well-grounded electric car company based in California.

But a large part of the production was moved to Shanghai resulting in around half of their parts being made in the US and half made there.

Nike

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Everyone knows Nike and many people own a pair. The company starting in Beaverton County, Oregon.

But like a lot of other companies they decided to move production to China. This resulting in more forced labor.

Converse

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Here’s another shoe company that was originally based out of Massachusetts but sold its business to Nike in 2003.

And after that many knock-offs started appearing around the world. Most notably from China.

Lays Chips

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A lot of cultures may want local flavors for their snacks.

So Lay’s was bought by a Chinese company so that they could locally make culture-relevant flavors. Things like grilled squid, cucumber, and seaweed is all the rave over there.

Dirt Devil

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Everyone wants a reliant vacuum cleaner and it’s the one thing you don’t want to but cheap.

Royal Appliance made reliable vacuums out of North Carolina for a while before they were bought in 2013 by TTI. The price is still the same but the quality is up for debate.

Smithfield Cooked Ham

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Smithfield Foods were bought out by a Chinese company for nearly $5 billion! Nowadays the company sends its pork to China where almost half of the world’s supply is produced.

The pigs are slaughtered and then sent to China in shipments of three. Once in China the pork if processed.

i-phones

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Even I-Pads are manufactured solely in China since 2004. This was to pay less and make more money.

Sadly is Apple ever moves out of the country to cut costs further they’ll probably never return back to the US.

LL Bean

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Here’s a company that is synonymous with the outdoors and camping. They are a company based out of Freeport, Maine.

But now a whopping 90% of all things branded “LL Bean” are made out of America. Their ads never mention this tiny detail.

Smithfield Boneless Ham Steak

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This one is so strange. The company faced backlash after they said they would change their operations by 1. Raising the pigs in the States 2. Shipping them to China for slaughter and packaging 3. Shipped back to the US.

The fury and windfall didn’t phase stockholders, who just sold it outright.

American Girl Dolls

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These were flying off the shelves at one point – another toy in a long line of “must-haves.”

But even though the name makes people think of red, white, and blue, Mattel would rather see more green. Everything is made in China like the rest of their toys. This includes the clothing sets. Want American? Sew your own.

Green Giant

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Green Giant vegetables are sourced from many countries including China.

A shopper posted her examination of frozen vegetables she purchased and wrote: “The first package was Birdseye Mixed Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, baby potatoes, baby cob corn, and red diced bell peppers. It said ‘Product of U.S.A., Mexico, and Vietnam’.

UBER

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UBER wanted so desperately to stay independent.

But when you’re working against a multi-billion-dollar Chinese, government-controlled taxi company (Didi) that is determined to put you out of business, there’s not much chance of survival. The ended up selling to avoid losing over 1 billion a year.

Gillette Razors

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“Made in Boston” – at least that’s what the big campaign ads say.

What most people don’t know is that it’s not 100% accurate. Some of the parts are made in the US. Others are outsourced to China, Mexico, and Poland – particularly the handles and batteries.

Fisher-Price Toys

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Even if you don’t have kids, you’ll know the uber-famous toy brand. they are subject to Chinese manufacturing like the rest of the umbrella holder, Mattel.

Things went south fast when there were mass recalls over many years because cheap materials contained dangerous amounts of lead. They’re now scrambling to regain public trust.

Harley Davidson

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Nothing says rough and rowdy America like a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, brand has been around since 1903 and evoked clubs that embrace free living. Even though the plants are in the US, most of the electrical parts are … you guess it. MiC =Made in China.

Barbies

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It will be hard to find a house that doesn’t have a Barbie, or some rip-off of one.

They’re classic, iconic, and ever evolving. Instead of fashion models girls and boys can play with doctors and scientists. But they were never American. The factories started in Japan then moved to other countries.

Craftsmen

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If you remember Sears (or still happen to have one by some miracle), you’ll know this line of hardware tools and lawn equipment.

But in 2017 they were bought by Black and Decker (and logical purchase). But this meant that the manufacturing got moved outside of the US.

Calvin Klein

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CK brand was born in New York in 1968. The young designer took a chance and spent $10,000 to open his first store in a NY hotel.

From there it exploded into provocative underwear ads and famous jeans. Now, although the leather parts come from Italy, the rest of it is outsourced.

Smithfield Bacon

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Although Smithfield’s website says: “Smithfield has not, does not, and will not import any products from China to the United States. No Smithfield products come from animals raised, processed, or packaged in China. All our U.S. products are made in one of our nearly 50 facilities across America,” the statement is a bit of a loophole.

While their pigs are not raised in China, the carcasses are shipped there to be processed before returning to the US.

Levi Strauss & Co.

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The durable jeans that are in the heart of Levi’s line are a bit of a mishmash in construction.

A few designs are made exclusively in the States – because the denim is sourced in North Carolina. But many other items (like shoes and other clothes) are made in Mexico, Vietnam, China, etc.

Melissa & Doug Toys

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Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, the toys certainly will.

Think of those wooden playthings that seem out of the 50s or 60s, bright puzzles, early learning toys, and those food sets that allowed kids to play at grocery shopping. M&D got into trouble when their Chinese factories were caught using excess barium in their paints.

Ray-Bans

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These sunglasses are not only one of the most recognizable names in the field, but their design is also known throughout the world.

Bausch + Lomb sold the brand to an Italian company, who in turn, produces some of them in China. If you want American, you’ll have to get the vintage ones.

Adidas

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This one wasn’t even American to begin with. The Nike competitor resides in Germany but has very firm grip on the Us sports market.

There are workshops all over the world – including Cambodia, Pakistan, Korea, Japan, and India (and many more). About 30% of the factories are spread across China.

New Balance

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Although the well-known athletic shoe brand claims to be an American company, the shoes are actually made overseas.

New Balance materials are mostly sourced from overseas, including their outer soles, which are manufactured in China. However, the shoes are labeled “made in the USA”. Sneaky!

Motorola

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Motorola began as an American company owned by Google, but that was to change in 2014. That year, Lenovo, a Chinese smartphone producer, bought the company.

While Motorola’s headquarters are at least still in Midwestern America (Chicago, Illinois), like so many other products, their manufacturing takes place in Chinese factories.

Segway Inc

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Segway, the futuristic-looking self-balancing electric scooter, was first released in 2002. Segway is still based in New Hampshire but unfortunately struggled in the American market.

Because of the struggles, the company was passed through several owners until it was sold in 2015 to Ninebot, a Shanghai-based tech company that produces short-distance motorized transport devices.

Oakley Sunglasses

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Oakley sunglasses contain a “Made in the USA” label, but the brand has created some controversy about where their goods are actually manufactured.

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Oakley was bought by Luxottica in 2007, which moved some of their production to a Chinese factory.

Spotify

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Spotify allows users access to millions of songs and albums as well as customized channels to suit individual tastes — all within the comfort of their own smartphone.

But in 2013, Tech Crunch noted that the music platform announced a share swap with China-based company, Tencent Music Entertainment. This means that Spotify is now partially owned by China.

Forbes

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Forbes Media has had a tremendous influence on its American viewers through its digital media, print, and television outlets. The media giant reportedly reaches 75 million people each month.

Forbes was sold to a Hong Kong investment group (Integrated Whale Media) in 2014, though their headquarters are still in New York and Steve Forbes remains the editor-in-chief.