Quality control is defined as the process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in the production of manufacturing goods, as defined by Wikipedia. ISO 9000 defines quality control as “A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements. In recent years, quality has emerged as a formal management function, with thequality concepts and practices evolving from a reactive and inspection-orientedapproach to a more proactive and strategy-oriented approach for quality management.Firms tend to develop their own quality management systems based on many factors,including their business strategies, external requirements, and internal operatingenvironments. It is no surprise that quality practices vary greatly from one firm toanother even within the same industry.
When the many marvellous achievements of ancient China are considered, rangingfrom architecture, literature, and innovative products, to scientific instruments, it isevident that, throughout the nation’s long history and civilization, high quality hasbeen important.Starting from the late ‘70, the Chinese Government has spent a lot of effort in promoting quality management. Policies and regulations were passed to put pressures on producers to pay more attention to their product quality. Under the pressures of the government, the implementation rate of modern quality management or TQM in China is unexpectedly high, especially in state-owned enterprises. A survey (Yu, Cochran and Spencer 1998) reported that 96% of the state-owned enterprises claimed that they had implemented TQM. At the same time, the fierce competition arising from market economy makes the managers take TQM in their enterprises more voluntarily. Generally speaking, the senior management’s commitment in improving quality is high. However, the quality of products from China is still undesirable.Quality is a concept that takes time to develop. China has started with rules and regulations for managers to follow. But to be really successful, China has to instil the concept to her people at a young age. Education is a key factor. If China starts building in the concept of quality to her education system now, in the not too far future, China can share with Japan the reputation of being a country that guarantee quality products.