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May 26, 2010
"Better Educated" in China?
The Boston Globe has an interview with James Foster, the CEO of Charles River Labs, about their acquisition of WuXi. It's an overview of the whole outsourcing/consolidation story in the industry, which will be familiar to readers here. But an e-mail pointed me to one particular quote:
“For some period of time, there’ll be a wage benefit to using Chinese labor,’’ Foster said. “The labor is plentiful, cheaper, and better educated than in the States. It pains me to say so, but it’s true.’’
I assume that it doesn't pain him so much to say that the labor is plentiful and cheaper - rather, it's the "better educated" part. And that pains me, too, to be honest. Is it true? I'm sure that opinions are going to vary widely on that question - I've sent an e-mail to the people at Charles River asking if Foster's willing to go into more detail.
Update: I've heard back from them; through a spokesperson, Foster declines to comment further, citing the demands on his time during the WuXi merger. Good thing the Globe was able to talk to him, I guess!
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