Made in PRC: What Does It Mean?

by Stanley

Made in PRC: What Does It Mean?

Made in PRC is a country of origin label used by manufacturers in China. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular compared to the typical ‘made in China’ tag. However, it raises lots of questions among merchants and consumers globally.

What does it mean when a product is ‘made in PRC’? Why is the label interchangeable with ‘made in China’? Is there a distinction between these labels?

We would not want you to be led astray by all the misinformation and assumptions around this matter. So, in this guide, we offer factual answers to all the whats and whys of ‘made in PRC’ labels. 

Let’s get to learning.

Made in PRC

What Does Made in PRC Mean?

In most countries, it is a legal requirement that every imported product have a label stating its country of origin.

Entrepreneurs and consumers also look out for these labels because they associate products from various countries with particular qualities that influence their purchases. 

PRC is an abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China. It is China’s formal name but it is not used as often simply because saying ‘China’ is sufficient. Plus, more people are familiar with the name China than they are with PRC.

Subsequently, ‘Made in PRC’ refers to products manufactured in China. It is the same as ‘Made in China’ and the two can be used interchangeably depending on a manufacturer’s preference. 

Contrary to popular assumption, the quality of a product is not distinguished by whether it is labeled as ‘Made in PRC’ or ‘Made in China’. Product quality is wholly determined by the manufacturer you choose, their workmanship, and the inputs they use.

Why Do Manufacturers Choose to Use ‘Made in PRC’ Labels?

So, if both labels are the same, why all this fuss about ‘Made in PRC’ and ‘Made in China’ labels?

The answer is quite simple, it is a branding strategy. To put this into perspective, let us briefly delve into China’s manufacturing sector.

Made in China vs Made in PRC

For the past decade or more, China has been on a steady climb as a leading global manufacturing hub. So much so that it is often jokingly referred to as the world’s factory. 

Made in PRC vs Made in China

Brands from all sectors and countries outsource their manufacturing to China. The country in itself also has thousands of local brands that manufacture their products locally and export them all over the world. 

Now comes the tricky part. Factories in China produce commodities of different qualities. Some are top-tier durable products while others are low-quality items that may not last too long. 

Most buyers opt for lower-quality items because they are cheaper and look identical to the more authentic top-tier products. In some cases, unscrupulous middlemen and retailers also mislead customers into believing that low-quality knock-offs are the real thing.

As a result of such pitfalls, most consumers around the world have only interacted with low-quality products. ‘Made in China’ has, therefore, become synonymous with cheap poor quality products that buyers do not trust. 

Some consumers also consciously avoid products labeled as made in China as a form of protest. Most of them feel that companies outsourcing manufacturing to China is unpatriotic and a cause of job loss. 

‘Made in PRC’ as a Branding Solution

Made in PRC as a branding strategy

Most consumers do not instantly recognize the label ‘Made in PRC’ to mean that a product is made in China. As such, manufacturers in China began to use it to evade the negative impression that buyers and sellers have towards products made in China. 

This solution gives products that are made in China a fighting chance in the global market. True, customers will likely find out eventually that the products were made in China.

However, at least they will not have written them off at first glance or used them with a preconceived notion that they are of poor quality just because of their country of origin. 

Moreover, maybe this way the world will get a chance to experience the much better quality of the winning products that are available in the Chinese market.  

Is Using ‘Made in PRC’ Legal?

Yes, it is. 

There is no false advertising involved in using ‘Made in PRC’ on the country of origin labels. PRC is, after all, the more accurate and formal way to refer to China.

Further, rebranding is a strategy that is commonly used in the business sector and it is considered fair practice. Perhaps the only difference here is that this is a country’s name and not a company’s name.

How Do I Identify Quality ‘Made in PRC’ Products?

It is evident that the battle between ‘Made in China’ and ‘Made in PRC’ stems from consumers being skeptical about the quality of products from China.

As a dropshipper, you may also be grappling with similar concerns. Can you truly find reliable products in China? Is the price advantage worth losing customers over?

Before you consider shopping elsewhere, here is a brief answer to your questions: yes, you can find outstanding products in China. The challenge lies in finding the right dropshipping suppliers.

Here are some tips to help you with that.

Quality inspection

Quality Inspection

As we mentioned above, the quality of a product is determined by the manufacturer, their skills, and their choice of materials. Consequently, these are the most important factors to consider before you engage a dropshipping supplier.

If you are able to visit China, take a tour to your supplier’s warehouse or factory if they are a manufacturer. Examine their products, the inputs they use, and their production technologies. If you are inspecting finished goods, test them rigorously.

On the other hand, if you are not able to visit China, consider partnering with a dropshipping company or a sourcing agent. More specifically, one that offers quality inspection services. This could help ensure that all the products you order meet your standards.

Choose the Right Manufacturer

At face value, finding a manufacturer in China can seem like a simple process. After all, there are thousands to choose from, right?  Not quite.

The countless factories can make choosing one manufacturer quite difficult. It can be quite tasking to go around vetting different manufacturers before you finally find the right one.

Here too, a dropshipping company or agent would be invaluable. They have a better grasp of the different industries in China and know which manufacturers can be trusted when you need good quality products. 

Their insider knowledge could save you lots of time, money, and disappointment.

Consider Value over Price

Value over price

Low-quality products are cheap and could offer you a large profit margin. Nevertheless, if your consumers have a bad experience with the products that you offer in your dropshipping store, it could ruin your business.

As a general rule of thumb, most consumers are often willing to pay a little more if a product will offer them good value. So, if you would like to keep your customers coming back and referring your store to other people, aim for fairly priced quality items. 

Wrapping It Up

The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing between ‘Made in PRC’ and ‘Made in China’. Manufacturers in China are just doing what they can to overcome the bias that all products made in China are substandard. 

That said, make an effort to choose your dropshipping suppliers carefully, and remember to always test their products before you greenlight them for your online store. 

Alternatively, you could partner with us at NicheDropshipping and let us handle these challenges for you. We: 

To sum it up, our services are curated to ensure that we handle all your sourcing and fulfillment needs so that you can focus on running your dropshipping store. Whether made in PRC or made in China, we will ensure that your customers get quality products.

Contact us to learn more. 

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

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