From David Dayton’s Silk Road International blog:
One of the things that I’ve learned, the hard way, about doing business in China is that as a (foreign) buyer when there are problems, even if they’re not my fault, I’m going to be asked to pay for them.
Chinese factories have issues with letting others in or letting people know that there is a problem. For some reason there is a deeply ingrained fear of mistakes being made public. If you want to solve the problems (or even know about them) you have to be here [in China] and you have to ask the right questions. If you’re not here to ask, you won’t even know there is a problem until crappy (already paid for) product shows up in your warehouse. But even if you are here, you’ve got to get to the root of the problem before you can solve it.
(Source: Smart China Sourcing)