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Qiu Baoxing: Promoting Craftsmanship by Verifying Quality and Tracking to the Source

Date: 2017-09-22
On September 21, the 2017 National Governance Forum, co-organized by the COSC and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in partnership with Xinhuanet, took place in Beijing, with the theme “Entering the Age of Quality”. Counsellor of the State Council and Former Vice Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Qiu Baoxing made a keynote speech at the Roundtable “Craftsmanship for High Quality”.

Information asymmetry has created “the market for lemons”, said Qiu. The term “market for lemons” was coined by American economist George Akerlof. It means that buyers seek to reduce potential losses brought by information asymmetry by depressin pgrices. Therefore, “bad money drives out good”. The market is flooded with counterfeits. And craftsmanship is not duly respected and recognized on the market.

Qiu proposed to promote craftsmanship by “verifying the quality and tracking to the source”. He believed that there are three advantages of using data to do so. First, it can tackle information asymmetry between buyers and sellers. Second, it can intensify external social constraint and inspire quality-oriented craftsmanship. Third, it can accurately identify those committing fraud and activate the mechanism of “punishing wrongdoers in accordance with law”.

He introduced the six features of the technology for “verifying the quality and tracking to the source”. First, one code for each product. Each code is unique. As the key can be produced indefinitely, the cost is very low. Second, only scanning on mobile phone is needed. One single step can access all the product information. Third, offline verification at any time and any place. Fourth, embedded with the most advanced CCKS which can only be encrypted and produced by the manufacturer and won’t be deciphered or altered. Fifth, it contains a massive amount of information which can be used to verify the quality and track to the source. Through new marketing channels, the value of the brand can be maximized. Sixth, diverse forms. Besides QR code, there are also RFID and the combination of the two to meet the needs of different scenarios and applications.

Qiu said that with improving anti-forgery technologies, CCKS is now used to supervise product quality is all dimensions. A national platform for quality verification and source tracking can bring together government, producers and consumers, establish a dynamic supervision mechanism and promote craftsmanship.

As for entering an age of quality in the new economy, Qiu made three suggestions: first, stigmatize frauding and counterfeiting. Only by showing zero tolerance to counterfeiting can we truly promote craftsmanship. Second, quality verification and source tracking technologies can be employed to verify each product at a low cost and promoted to eliminate the market for lemons caused by information asymmetry. Third, geographical indication trademark, credit and quality record, certification of origin, brand system, quality tracking management and selection of cities of credibility can all be used to promote craftsmanship.

Promoting quality verification and source tracking technologies, enforcing the rule of law and fostering a culture of honesty should be three measures to be adopted to ensure people are proud of high quality and shameful of counterfeiting. Only in the way can we see China becomes strong in quality.