Japan's Manufacturing Earthquake: Transformation Faces Severe Challenges
The recent financial fraud scandal exposed by Japan's Toshiba Corporation can be called an earthquake. It not only challenges the integrity system of Japanese companies, but also reflects the severe transformation challenges facing the Japanese manufacturing industry. Before the Toshiba scandal, Japan had experienced the delisting of Sanyo, Sony's 'survival with a broken arm. Since the 1990s, Japanese manufacturing has entered a downward channel. For example, the profitability of the electronics industry has plummeted, and the operating profit margin has fallen from an average of 7% to below 2% in the past 10 years. By the turn of the century, Japan's large electronics manufacturers had rarely made a profit, and the six giants such as Hitachi and Panasonic suffered substantial losses, and the total deficit was as high as nearly 2 trillion yen (about 16.2 billion US dollars). After entering the recession period, Japanese companies have adopted various measures to reform themselves. In the field of semiconductors in the electronics industry, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and others have launched a large-scale industry restructuring in order to get rid of the front and back attacks of Korean and American companies. Due to the incomplete reform, there are no specialized semiconductor design and manufacturing enterprises in Japan. Why did the strategic transformation of Japan's manufacturing industry encounter difficulties? First, due to strategic mistakes, corporate resources were wasted and even lost their traditional competitive advantages. Some companies blindly follow the American model and are eager to transform, leading to 'Learning in Handan'. For example, Sony's performanceist reform only increased the treatment of executives, but caused a large number of technical personnel to leave, resulting in the loss of their technological advantages; Heavy investment in mergers and acquisitions. According to statistics, in the past 10 years, Japanese companies have annexed at least one foreign company every day on average. The large-scale forcible promotion of internationalization will eventually cause 'indigestionToshiba spent US$5.4 billion to acquire Westinghouse Electric Company, which led to insufficient investment in research and development and hindered technological progress. In 2013, its ranking of patent assets fell from second to fifth. Secondly, some Japanese companies made mistakes in judgment due to misunderstandings, which eventually led to failure. For a long time, many Japanese companies believe that they are caught in the paradox of 'high technology and low profitThis is the real reason why Toyota recently disclosed 5,680 patented technologies at once. For the collective decline of Japan's manufacturing industry, the Japanese government is also to blame. Four years ago, Olympus was deeply involved in a financial scandal, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange did not make a decision to force its delisting because of 'little impactThe truth that was exposed afterwards proved to be the result of mediation and pressure from all walks of life in Japan's political and business circles. This makes people have to worry about how the Toshiba scandal will end this time. Since the implementation of 'AbenomicsNot only that, external demand is also an indispensable factor for the success of its economic reform. If Toshiba's financial scandal is not handled properly, it will seriously damage the credit of the Japanese market, which in turn threatens the success or failure of Japan's economic reform. It is worth noting that Japanese component companies such as Murata Electronics have emerged through close cooperation and joint innovation with manufacturers in the United States, China, South Korea and other countries. Breaking through old concepts, conforming to the trend of globalization, and focusing on cross-border and cross-industry joint opening and innovation, this is probably an important way out for Japan's manufacturing industry to get out of the predicament.