Toy Soldiers

Thankfully, I’ve never experienced anything short of supreme hospitality at China manufacturing plants. But, as this account of a New York Times’ reporter who wanted to learn about a Chinese manufacturer details, not all the press are welcome there. In search of information on the factory accused of building thousands of now-recalled Thomas the Tank Engine toys, he found himself detained by company security, over which even local police and government officials had no sway.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow