What Does Made in PRC Means, and How to Import from PRC?

Jan 17, 2024 Chapter 6. Selling

You can find many items that might be stamped as “Made in China.” You can also see Made in PRC on various clothing, fashion, and certain industrial devices including products from the largest manufacturers. Consumers think that it is not China.

So, “what is the meaning of PRC”?



What Does Made in PRC Means?

“Made in PRC” stands for “Made in the People’s Republic of China.” It is simply another way of indicating that a product was manufactured in China.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • PRC: This is the official abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China.
  • Made in PRC Meaning: It doesn’t signify any difference in quality or origin compared to “Made in China.” Both labels indicate the same thing.


  • Possible Reasons for Using PRC:

    1. More formal designation: Some manufacturers might use PRC to sound more official, especially when dealing with international trade.
    2. Avoiding negative perception: While not always the case, some believe “Made in China” carries a negative stigma regarding quality. Using PRC might be seen as a way to subtly avoid that perception.


  • Difference:

  1. No matter if it says, “Made in PRC” or “Made in China,” the product still originates from China.




What Is the Difference Between Made in China and Made in PRC?

what does made in prc means

The essence is the same, the made in PRC means the People’s Republic of China. Therefore, it is the same labeled Made in China or Made in PRC.

There is no difference; just some buyers think the reputation of Made in China is already rotten and consider made in PRC has better-perceived quality.


But does made in PRC means the formal writing in your country?

May be not.




Is Made in PRC Legal?

For Manufacturers:

Generally legal: Labeling individual items as “Made in PRC” is legal for manufacturers within China. It’s not uncommon, especially for international trade, where a more formal designation might be preferred.


For Importers and Exporters:

Legality depends on regulations: When importing or exporting products, some countries have specific regulations about country-of-origin labeling. While “Made in PRC” might be accurate, it might not comply with the importing country’s requirements.

For example:

    • United States: Requires the English name of the country of origin on the product and packaging. “PRC” is not accepted, and “China” should be used instead.
    • Other countries: Similar regulations exist in many countries, so always check the specific requirements before using “Made in PRC” on products for import or export.



Acceptable Abbreviations

made in prc informed compliance

China, Peoples Republic of
The abbreviations “P.R. China,” and “China” are acceptable for country of origin marking purposes for goods manufactured in the People’s Republic of China.

SOURCE: HRL 730578, dated July 10, 1987. See also, HRL 560693, dated March 6, 1998.






Why Manufacturers Switch ‘Made in China’ for ‘Made in PRC’?

In the early 2000s, products made in China began to be written “Made in P.R.C.” instead of “Made in China”. In this way, Chinese goods are disguised as being made in another country.


1. Change a Trademark is to Sell Their Product Better.

For a long time, all Chinese-made products are immediately inferior products. Even a well-known brand name or manufacturing plant name can’t change the board’s impression at the moment.

Once someone stops using a product labeled “Made in China,” it can cause the market to collapse. As a solution, the Chinese supplier decided to replace the label “Made in China” with “Made in PRC”.

This way, people can’t understand where the product is made. The supplier has benefited the most from this step. Many people don’t know what “Made in PRC” means.

Chinese companies are using a clever technique to counter rising anti-Chinese sentiment in India. Several Chinese manufacturers have changed the “Made in China” label on their products to “Made in PRC,” making it more difficult for shoppers to immediately identify the country of origin. 


The change may be small, but it has proven to be very effective. “Customers consciously check the label to see if it says China. But many don’t know the acronym of made in PRC means, so they end up buying Chinese products,”


Mansingh Dhaundiyal, the 35-year-old owner of an electrical appliance store in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, told Quartz.


2.  Change a Trademark: The PRC is an Abbreviation of its Official Name.

You know, China is not an official name. For example, Hong Kong or Macau have different official names. The official name of Hong Kong is “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China” and, if Macao is mentioned, “Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.” Does anyone use these names? Of course not, because this complex name isn’t used in everyday conversations.


“‘China’ is a controversial word in many countries. The “Made in China” route will be a back-alley route until China itself becomes controversial, which will happen soon,” said brand strategy expert Harish Bjurr. “In the current environment, China can’t get away with it.” This change in labeling is not really a new gimmick.


Several Chinese brands have used Chinese labels in the past to channel public sentiment that Chinese products are of inferior quality.

In 2015, the “Made in PRC” label came under the scanner of Japan’s consumer regulator. According to a January 2015 article in the South China Morning Post.

Japan’s consumer regulator says it is powerless to stop Chinese companies from labeling clothing for the Japanese market as “Made in PRC,” even though many local consumers do not understand that the acronym made in PRC means the product is made in China.





Why Are Most Products Made in PRC?

According to data published by the United Nations Statistics Division, China accounted for 28.7 percent of global manufacturing output in 2019.

The reason why China puts the country more than 11 percentage points ahead of the United States, which used to have the world’s largest manufacturing sector until China overtook it in 2010 is: 

  • Cheap Labor

China has been relatively cheap labor because the competition is fierce in China. With the improvement of living standards, labor’s inevitable cost will rise. (Should China Worry about Manufacturing Moving from China to Vietnam?)

  • Logistics is Great

China has many airports, railways, and ports for transporting goods. The pace of China’s infrastructure expansion has begun. With the Belt and Road policy strategy, China seeks to improve its neighbors’ logistics.

  • Political Stability

For at least the past 20 years, companies have been less afraid to invest in China. 

  • Experience and Expertise in Terms of Knowledge

China has experience in producing cheap, low-cost goods.

  • High Relocation Cost

Even if other countries offer production costs and tax advantages, the re-location costs will not be completely cheap.




Is It Safe to Buy Made in PRC Products?

made in China products qualityChina produces products in many parts of the world.

 In China, virtually every high-quality product can be produced according to price.

There is a perception that products produced in China are of poor quality due to low price expectations for imported products.


Does Made in PRC Means Bad Quality?

Over the years, goods made in China have received negative total value. For some reason, most consumers equate Chinese-made products with inferior ones. Others even consider these items to be a health hazard.


Made in PRC Branding

The “Made in China” brand was historically challenged by the US Cold War media campaigns that reported negatively on the brand and publicized hearings on the security of Chinese products in the United States Congress.


Despite some facts, the truth is that Chinese manufacturers produce most of the high-quality products worldwide.

Today, there is no need to pay special attention to the original producing countries. It’s best to choose a product with the brand products because well-known companies won’t risk selling inferior quality products even if labeled “Made in PRC”.

To correct Chinese products’ indication, the marketer decided to change the label to “Made in PRC”. You can see this label on high-quality products from many brands such as Bosch, Makata, and Shima. They are made in factories in China, but their quality is no different from the European market.

Also, You must have noted that China and Taiwan’s high-quality goods are also labeled the “Made in PRC” label.


Why People Mistakenly Think Made in PRC Means Poor Quality?

You can find many products of the same style in this country, but prices can vary by 2-10 times. The main reason is that manufacturing materials or important internal parts are completely different.

made in prc means poor quality


Made in PRC is not always of poor quality. But some of the reasons why quality can be poor are:

1. Suppliers are reluctant to pay for high-quality raw materials, produce and produce high-quality materials, while mass-produced materials are cheaper.

2. Suppliers are not clear about quality requirements or are not fully aware of them.

3. Some manufacturers ignore quality.

4. Some manufacturers do not have the skills required to manufacture quality expectations. Or lack of machinery/equipment that meets the standards.

5. There is time pressure to deliver high-quality products.

6. The profit margin is too low. They are ousted by profit over quality.

7. Not all manufacturers care about quality for your business.



Since 2014, China has effectively become a world leader in exports and several technological achievements. Over the past 30 years, many production companies have moved from Europe or the United States and Japan to China to reduce raw goods’ costs.

This includes most Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Dell, Nike, Nestle, Siemens, Sony…But, Over the last ten years, manufacturers have been deeply involved in discussions regarding the migration of their production operations from China to Vietnam.



How to Buy from “Made in PRC” Products?

If you want to import from China, you can purchase products directly from manufacturers on Alibaba. Anyone can contact and buy directly from the manufacturer.

There is No Magic Formula for how to find a manufacturer in China. There is a way to do this, but it’s not an easy and straightforward. Following the right process will most likely take you from “no supplier” to “right supplier”. First, you need to do is identify a right made in PRC supplier. 




1. Choose the Right Made in PRC Manufacturers Size

Here’s my general advice on the topic of Chinese vendor sizing:

  • If your order is very small, you may need to work with a trading company that will place your order in a tier 1 factory and (hopefully) keep a close eye on production.
  • If your order is large enough to work directly with the manufacturer but not large enough to interest a large factory, choose level 2 (approximately 250-800 workers).
  • Tier 3 is good for you if your order is considered large and you find that big companies are aggressively vying for your business.
3 level made in prc suppliers size



Common Misconceptions in Sourcing from China:

    1. Cheapest price is always the best – Balance price and quality; consider all associated costs.
    2. All Chinese suppliers are the same – Research, assess experience, certifications, and customer feedback.
    3. Price negotiation is the only way – Prioritize long-term relationships for better service and pricing.
    4. Quality control is the supplier’s sole responsibility – Be proactive and consider third-party inspections.
    5. Communication with Chinese suppliers is challenging – Set clear requirements and use effective communication tools.
    6. Import process is too complex – Simplify with professional sourcing agents or freight forwarders.



2. Do Production Inspection Before Shipment.

Made in PRC is legit and safe, but, in ISO compliance, regular monitoring of the raw materials being imported needs to be done, check-ins during the production phases and after the goods have been manufactured.


Understand Made in PRC Quality Control Inspection Services

The main task of Product quality control inspection services is to identify problems and defects early to provide authentic products to consumers.

The following are the general types of inspection services are most buyers choose when they place a order from made in PRC.

Because of an overseas supplier, you don’t know, and you can’t go there, you may want to contact an inspection agency to do the quality control inspection of your products. But you need to tell them when to go to the factory and what to check.




Buying from P.R.C with Sourcing Agent:

So, buying made in PRC products is a complex challenge. The best advice is to find a reliable product sourcing company in China. They can help you differentiate your products’ quality and help you quickly bring your products to your country. The truth is, not all made in PRC means poor quality! 

Many products that originate in the P.R.C (Peoples’ Republic of China) do not have the best reputation in a country that expects a high degree of quality, but consumers are increasingly looking to pay less.



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How Is It Safe to Buy from China?- Basic Knowledge Overview - Supplyia
3 years ago

[…] 1. Rumors and misunderstandings about Made in China […]

2 years ago

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Last edited 1 year ago by jay zhao
2 years ago

hi there

2 years ago

Made in PRC = Made in the People’s Republic of China = Made in China= Made in P.R.O.C.

2 years ago

Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!  

Andi Duferense
Andi Duferense
2 years ago

Thanks for the info

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1 year ago

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