Taiwan: A storm brewing for the bike industry?

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)
  • Taiwan: A storm brewing for the bike industry?
  • oldnpastit
    Full Member

    When I joined my current employer my first job was helping out on a Foxconn production line in Shanghai. Now, partly thanks to moves by Donald Trump, and partly because we don’t want to find our manufacturing partners on the wrong side of a load of sanctions, we’re increasingly moving production to countries outside mainland China (e.g. Vietnam). China is doing themselves no favours by going down this road.

    mtbfix
    Full Member

    As you say, Hannah, bike manufacture is the least of the world’s problems if hostilities do commence in the Pacific. Having moved into a distribution job last year, the fragility of the global supply network became a bit clearer to me. If people think bikes are expensive now, I dread to think what they’ll cost if all that manufacturing had to move back to Europe and the US.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’m seeing questions from customers asking on our china/Taiwan supply reliance

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    So cynically, given the fact that there’s currently a glut of new unwanted bikes sat in manufacturers warehouses and the prospect of production ceasing there’s never been a better time to go and see your LBS about a new bike.

    Obviously this is playing devils advocate and ignoring the possible plight of the taiwan people if china does invade and the possible loss of life and livelihoods

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    That was a great article, thank you.  I hadn’t appreciated how much better workers rights were in Taiwan.  I’m finding more and more ‘non-forum’ stuff that I’m really enjoying reading

    Greybeard
    Free Member

    What strikes me is that it’s not just bikes & chips, and not just Taiwan. The UK is wholly dependent on the rest of the world, as we have very limited manufacturing capability. If there’s a war, we then become dependent on our allies, both military and economic. Brexit looks even more stupid as the world looks less stable..

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Crap, I’d bette grab one of those discount Commencals from CRC whilst I still can.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Absolutely. Brilliant. Article.

    Coming soon, the Great Hack Part 2. ( though actually the article does avoid any judgements on the rights and wrongs of the coming invasion)

    jekkyl
    Full Member

    I can’t find any verification online that the USA is allied with Taiwan, as stated in the article. It seems to be only non nuclear countries, listed as:
    Eswatini, the Vatican, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Belize, and island states in the Caribbean and Pacific, including St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Nauru.
    In other words…they’re screwed.

    What’s your source for the USA @stwhannah?

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @jekkyl ok, so you’ve highlighted that ‘ally’ has a specific meaning. Have changed it to reflect the official word from USA: https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-taiwan/

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    I’m guessing you’re looking for something like the TRA Jekkyl

    Wikipedia link

    Congress

    It’s a bit different to a formal alliance but it’s pretty much what most people would understand one to be.

    So far as “screwed goes” you’re more likely to find that those countries you list would be screwed if China (or any other reasonable power to be honest) decided to invade. Taiwan has the significant benefit of being not only a major strategic loss to the USA if it’s subsumed but more importantly, a major economic one and you can rest assured you’re more likely to see the west go to war for Donald’s billions than a treaty.

    jekkyl
    Full Member

    It stops short of saying they will actually intervene with escalation of military action.
    ‘The TRA does not guarantee the U.S. will intervene militarily if the PRC attacks or invades Taiwan nor does it relinquish it, as its primary purpose is to ensure the US’s Taiwan policy will not be changed unilaterally by the president and ensure any decision to defend Taiwan will be made with the consent of Congress.’

    Thanks for the education guys. Interesting times.
    Would the Chinese ownership of ports in a time of great sanctions have the possibility to cease or drastically reduce the supply of petrol and other fuels to the UK?

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Would the Chinese ownership of ports in a time of great sanctions have the possibility to cease or drastically reduce the supply of petrol and other fuels to the UK?

    Well the Russian ownership of fuels in a time of great sanctions didn’t stop it* so I’d imagine not.

    *or at least, what was stopped was only stopped because the little people turned out to have some scruples rather than any sort of sanctions which might cost the 1% a bit of money.

    An actual shooting war with China would be a different thing, if the USA engaged, we would too, I can very much imagine the magic money tree would be found down the back of the sofa to keep those ports (and a lot of other things) running, the difficulty of course is ensuring the systems keep running which is more an artifact of design than money, but of course, we wouldn’t have let the Chinese buy ports and set them all up on software and hardware they have a “kill switch” for, that would be silly.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    The US and Taiwan are allies. The Al Jazeera article that I think jekkyl is referring to is wrong – it confuses diplomatic recognition with allyship.

    The UK recognises and has diplomatic relations with North Korea, but it is not an ally of North Korea. The US does not recognise the Republic of China (~Taiwan) as a country (it recognises the People’s Republic of China with Beijing as its capital), but is an ally in every practical sense. The US has quasi-diplomatic relations with Taiwan ROC via representative offices etc that act exactly like embassies.

    tinytim
    Full Member

    Thankyou Hannah: informative, interesting, thought provoking and relevant journalism. Much appreciated and worth holding on to my subscription a little longer for

    Kuco
    Full Member

    I can’t find any verification online that the USA is allied with Taiwan,

    It stops short of saying they will actually intervene with escalation of military action

    Bearing in mind Joe Biden has actually stated US forces would defend Taiwan from Chinese attack, the first time he said it was on 60 minutes.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Something like 90% of all high tech semiconductors are made in Taiwan, and there aren’t any fabs anywhere else to replace them. If China does invade and the TSMC fabs get damaged, there will be an almighty global recession for decades – no new high tech products (inc cars) for 10+ years…..

    bigrich
    Full Member

    I bet there’s some complex plans to seize and protect key manufacturing sites

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Remind me again how many energy infrastructure projects the Chinese are involved in globally and the UK?
    Seems they’ve built leverage.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    Neat article. The history of Taiwan, the USA, and China is a complex one for sure. I’d not been aware that from ~post WWII to the 70s that the USA recognised Taiwan as the ‘real’ China and avoided communist continental China. That turned up in a Behind the B£&@#%^s podcast on Kissinger or Nixon.

    U. Columbia has a short article gotten through lazy googling.

    Any more on the We are One bikes? They look smart.

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @prettygreenparrot https://singletrackworld.com/2022/04/we-are-one-composites-carbon-arrival-made-in-kamloops/

    Saw them at Sea Otter last year. Definitely interesting stuff, I liked the angular look.

    keefmac
    Full Member

    Great article Hannah, keep ’em coming.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Nuclear armageddon? A storm brewing for the bike industry?

    Remember WW2 and the disruption that caused for cyclists? Or how Covid killed loads of potential cyclists before they could buy a bike? Well, whisper it quietly, but a global nuclear war could be bad new for the bike industry, both by destroying its consumer base in one fell swoop, irradiating materials needing to build new bikes and, potentially disrupting supply lines and logistics in a way that could be almost as bad as ‘when that ship got jammed in the Suez’.

    Not only could hundreds of millions of people perish, but the bike industry could be significantly impacted leading to a short of bikes and spares for centuries to come.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    This seems like a good opportunity for Hope. I’ve always wondered why, if their components are as good as folk on here like to make out, we don’t see them very often outside of the UK. Pricing movement and actions to improve their availability might give them their day in the sun.

    defblade
    Free Member

    a global nuclear war could be bad new for the bike industry, both by destroying its consumer base in one fell swoop, irradiating materials needing to build new bikes and, potentially disrupting supply lines and logistics

    On the …ummm… bright side, if your whole bike’s glowing, no need to keep recharging your lights. And you’ll be very visible to any traffic that survived the EMP.

    cerakote_up_north
    Full Member

    Research and development of bicycle components is always good but you can use a bike without the latest suspension that talks to satellites and gears that change with electric motors.

    Maybe the bike industry could just take a breather and re-evaluate what is actually important to 99% of the biking world whilst supporting the development of European manufacturers for the quality components, Hope may not want to capitalise on the issues foreign suppliers and manufacturers face but at the end of the day it won’t of been an easy ride for Hope to survive in a world of “cheaper is better” but they have through quality and determination and U.K. customers and the press especially should support them and shout from the rooftops about them. The U.K. has alot to offer, the prices of bikes is ridiculous only because they pass through so many people before the end user gets the product so make the bikes and parts closer to home and we all get better products at a reasonable price whilst supporting U.K. companies.

    No one needs an E-bike, no one needs suspension that talks to gps biking is about getting out on trails and biking

    LAT
    Full Member

    @prettygreenparrot

    they are amazing looking bikes and by all accounts amazing to ride.

    i saw one hanging off of the back of a tesla in a car park near some trails and got a good look. a very interesting looking bike. they are not cheap, but no more expensive than similar bikes made in china.

    sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    Thanks for that. Appreciate the exploration of corners of the biking world we don’t think about. Really enjoying your writing.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    prices of bikes is ridiculous only because they pass through so many people before the end user gets the product so make the bikes and parts closer to home and we all get better products at a reasonable price whilst supporting U.K. companies

    Are they ridiculous? It takes either a ton of money (in machinery etc) or a ton of expert time to make a bike. Handmade bikes are expensive – which may be fair enough. But the price of bikes that most people ride (outside enthusiasts) is pretty cheap for what it is, isnt it?

    thols2
    Full Member

     but a global nuclear war could be bad new for the bike industry

    Great synergy for some brands though.

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)

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