You’ve ordered new PC hardware, a headset or a keyboard and your new product is emblazoned with the words Made in PRC? You don’t have the faintest idea what this abbreviation means and therefore don’t know where the product comes from? We’ll tell you what the three letters stand for!

What does Made in PRC mean?

The abbreviation PRC stands for People’s Republic of China. This refers to the country that is commonly referred to as China for short. The abbreviation Made in PRC therefore means that the product bearing it was manufactured in China.

The designation of the People’s Republic or People’s Republic emerged after the end of World War II in many states that saw themselves as socialist and wanted to clearly distinguish themselves from Western states in their designation. The term is intended to make clear that the state in question is in a transitional stage on the way to communism, in the sense of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx and Engels describe a three-step process in this regard. Existing capitalist systems are first transformed by a revolution into a dictatorship of the proletariat, which finally leads to a classless communist society. People’s republics, by their very nature, are in the middle of the three stages, socialism.

Although according to the political theory of Marx and Engels, to which the corresponding regimes refer, rule is supposed to come from the proletariat and thus from the largest part of the population, people’s republics are usually classical dictatorships, as is the case with the People’s Republic of China.

Why Made in PRC?

In addition to these rather abstract ones, very practical questions also arise for you as a consumer in connection with the abbreviation Made in PRC. Probably the most pressing one aims at the reason for using this abbreviation. In fact, it seems reasonable to assume that companies deliberately use Made in PRC to avoid the clearly negative connotation of Made in China, which has the same meaning.

To be sure, this cannot be substantiated. However, the fact that some companies whose products tend to be in the upper price segment have begun to use the new designation of origin suggests that this is the case. Among these companies is Philips, for example.

Is Made in China a quality judgment?

The change is by no means necessary, since Made in China or Made in PRC is not a judgement of quality. The reputation of Chinese production is poor in the West – and often justifiably so. However, this is due to the fact that there are countless companies in China that produce the cheapest goods under the worst conditions and ship them abroad en masse. But not because Chinese production is in principle inferior. Thus also numerous enterprises, which are well-known for very high-quality products, let manufacture in China. Apple, for example, can be cited as an example here. Products that bear the label Made in China or Made in PRC are therefore not necessarily of low quality. Products sold in Germany must also meet the EU quality criteria and have CE certification.

However, anyone who buys these products should be aware that they are at least indirectly supporting a dictatorship and ethically highly questionable working conditions. Labor protection laws exist in China, but are not enforced. As a result, a large proportion of workers are exploited – which succeeds due to the widespread poverty in the country.