Tag Archives: China

Will the cost of radios increase for US consumers?

In the past few months, I’ve received a number of questions from our readers in the United States regarding the potential for radio prices to increase.

Why could prices increase?  Keeping in mind, I’m no expert in this field (seriously–!) I understand there are at least three factors that could influence prices:

China

As of today, almost all portable shortwave radios on the market are made in China. In fact, I can’t think of a single portable broadcast receiver that isn’t made in China although I’m sure there are some made in other parts of the world.

Tariffs

This year, the US administration has placed tariffs on a long list of consumer electronics produced in China and elsewhere–the list could grow.  Radio receivers could fall into some of the affected product categories. Click here to read the full current list (PDF). Some ham radio retailers have notified their customers to expect price increases (BridgeCom Systems comes to mind).

Postage

The US plans to withdraw from an international postal treaty that has allowed Chinese companies to ship small packages to the United States at discounted rates. If this withdraw were to happen, it’s my understanding it would primarily affect direct postal shipments that are now prevalent from sellers on eBay, Amazon.com, Alibaba and similar.  This might mean either the end of “free shipping” from China-based retailers who’ve relied on inexpensive ePacket shipments, or product prices might increase to compensate for the added expense. This shouldn’t directly affect the price of parcel carriers like UPS, DHL or FedEx.

So what’s the takeaway?

In general, sure…I would expect radio prices to increase.

I don’t think it’s a time to panic as there are a lot of market forces at play here. I would personally anticipate price increases anywhere from 10 to  25 percent.

If you’ve been considering one of the pricier full-featured portables, you might nudge yourself in the direction of ordering one in the near future rather than later. (Note: Your friendly radio enabler suggests you use this as an excuse to grab another set! Go get it!). 🙂

Again, I’m not panicking. So far, I haven’t noticed any significant changes in pricing at the major online retailers. When price increases hit the streets, I doubt they’ll be steep enough to discourage us from buying the occasional radio.

One more thing…

I’ll admit that I’ve been reluctant to bring up this topic on the SWLing Post as it’s politically-charged. So keep in mind…

This is a website where we celebrate our love of all things radio, not a space for name-calling, trolling, or heated back-and-forth littered with vulgar language. Our moderators do their best to pluck those comments when they manage to make it through our comment filters. If you’re looking for an outlet to do those things, the web is chock-full of sites that will indulge you.

Over the years, many of you have written and thanked me for providing a safe haven from the drama that’s so prevalent on otherwise wonderful websites. You’re most welcome.

Keep in mind: the SWLing Post is my refuge, too, and I’m keeping it that way!

Thank you all for understanding.

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China consolidates three national networks to form the Voice of China

China Radio International will become a part of the new Voice of China.

(Source: CNN Money via Cap Tux)

Beijing has a new propaganda weapon: Voice of China

China is creating a new giant broadcaster to ensure its voice is heard loud and clear around the world.

Voice of China, as the new outlet will be known internationally, will be formed by combining three mammoth state-run national networks: China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio and China Radio International. It will employ more than 14,000 people.

The merger was revealed in a Communist Party document on a sprawling government reorganization program, championed by President Xi Jinping to reinforce the party’s absolute control in all aspects of state governance.

State news agency Xinhua released the document Wednesday after it was approved by China’s rubber-stamp parliament.

With echos of the Voice of America radio service created by the US government during World War II, Voice of China is tasked with “propagating the party’s theories, directions, principles and policies” as well as “telling good China stories,” according to the document.

It will be under the direct control of the party’s central propaganda department.

The new broadcast juggernaut is being formed at a time when Chinese authorities face growing challenges to control their message in the age of the internet and social media. They are making strenuous efforts to maintain strict censorship at home while pouring money into propaganda projects abroad.[…]

Click here to read the full article at CCN Money.

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China’s campaign to eliminate pirate radio

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken Hansen (N2VIP), who shares a link to the following news item on BGR India:

China to crackdown on unauthorised radio broadcasts

Reportedly, in a national campaign aided by more than 30,000 airwave monitors, in over past six months, more than 500 sets of equipment for making unauthorised radio broadcasts were seized in China.[…]

“The broadcast power of pirate radio stations can be 2,500 to 5,000 watts, which is several hundred of times that of commercial radio, and the signal can be received 300 km away,” the China Daily reported citing the department as saying. Pirate radios may also pose a threat to communication between aircraft pilots and ground controllers as their frequency band neighbours that of flight navigation signals and can create interference, the department said.
Under Chinese law, the unauthorised use of radio frequency bands can attract up to seven years in prison.

Click here to read the full story…

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China nears completion of world’s largest radio telescope

FAST radio telescope [Photo/Xinhua: State Council, People's Republic of China]

FAST radio telescope [Photo/Xinhua: State Council, People’s Republic of China]

(Source: BBC News)

China has fitted the final piece on what will be the world’s largest radio telescope, due to begin operations in September, state media report.

The 500m-wide Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is the size of 30 football fields.
The $180m (£135m) satellite project will be used to explore space and help look for extraterrestrial life, Xinhua news agency reported.

Advancing China’s space program remains a key priority for Beijing.[…]

Click here to read the full article and watch the accompanying video. 

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Propaganda from the air

China-y-8gx8

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken Hansen, who (several weeks ago) shared a link to this article from The Daily Beast:

China Now Has A Flying Propaganda Machine

The Chinese military has a new warplane with an unusual purpose: to beam propaganda and disinformation into hostile territory.

In that way, the new, four-engine Y-8GX7 psychological operations plane—also known by its Chinese name, Gaoxin-7—is analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s EC-130J, which it says“conducts military information support operations and civil affairs broadcasts in F.M. radio, television and military communications bands.”

A flying radio outpost might seem rather retro, even quaint, in the internet era. But in many of the world’s worst conflict zones, internet access is limited—and people still get much of their information from radio and television.

EC-130s—which has its own nickname, “Commando Solo”—and similar U.S. aircraft like it have broadcast propaganda in nearly all U.S. conflicts since the Vietnam War. Perhaps most famously, EC-130s flew over Libya during the 2011 international intervention in that country, in one case advising Libyan navy sailors to stop resisting and remain in port.

“If you attempt to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately,” the EC-130J crew warned via radio in English, French, and Arabic. A Dutch ham radio operator overheard and recorded the broadcast.

According to the Air Force, the EC-130Js deployed to the Middle East in 2015. While the flying branch didn’t specify exactly where the psyops planes went or why, it’s likely they supported the U.S.-led war on ISIS, perhaps bombarding militant fighters with warnings similar to those the EC-130J crews broadcast over Libya five years ago.[…]

Click here to read the full article on The Daily Beast.

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