ICOM IC7300 – still made in Japan

It looks from the pictures on the MLS site that this new radio is still made in Japan although the fan on the back says “Made in China”. One wonders when one of the big Japanese manufacturers will design in Japan but make the radios in China? This would certainly be less expensive. At some point, the high Japanese manufacturing costs will bankrupt one of the big three. It is a case of who jumps first.

With decent volumes of the same design, the manufacture of Japanese designed radios in China makes some sense. Just wait until we see a quality amateur radio product both designed and made in China. It will happen. Then Kenwood, ICOM and Yaesu will be seriously undercut and worried. Why do so many products say “Made in China”? Manufacturing costs are much lower than Japan.

See www.hamradio.co.uk/amateur-radio-main-equipment-base-station-radio-icom-base-station-radio/icom/icom-ic-7300-hf-50-70mhz-transceiver-deposit-pd-6016.php

This image is located on the MLS website and not on this blog.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

12 Responses to “ICOM IC7300 – still made in Japan”

  • Bill Hefti WI2L:

    Maybe just the fan was made in China.

  • Jeff KE7ACY:

    Most of the Japanese radios are already made in China. I know Kenwood radios have been made in China for at least 10 years if not longer, this is nothing new by any means!

  • Matt (KC4YLV):

    Manufacturing costs aren’t that much lower when you have to have representatives on site 24/7 to monitor and make sure that fake IC’s aren’t being put in, illegal solder isn’t being used, etc. This is what Apple has to do. You’ll notice their phones are more expensive than Samsung’s.

    Chinese ‘manufacturing’ is cheap. Chinese manufacturing to current big3 QC standards is more expensive than keeping it in Japan, most likely.

  • Jan OH2EKO:

    LoL all this came out because someone somewhere did not realise that the fan is a component made in china like most components now days.
    But interesting article non the less i have had some chineese radios and most seems to be just fine quality wish they made some HF radios too thou.
    but so far all handhelds and mobile vhf/uhf/10Mband radios i have used seemed to perform well and handle rough use.
    they should start making Manual tuners too so one could buy something else then MFJ crap that comes with loose knobs and sloppy wiring and arc’s at 100W when rated for 300W

  • Glenn W9IQ:


    No need to speculate.

    If you look carefully at the picture, the “made in China” label is clearly for the fan. Now look to the right for the radio’s serial number, and see the “made in Japan” just above that.

    – Glenn W9IQ

  • jerry w5kaw:

    well I own two icom ic-7200’s and one alinco sr8t and both are made in japan in which anything made in japan is made to a much higher quality than china’s stuff! I like both of these radio’s and they work just fine!!

  • Craig - N7LB:

    Many hams are like Roger. They have never hidden their desire for cheaper radios, and in particular, for cheaper HF radios.

    There are several problems, however, in manufacturing your products in China – the least of which is their quality control, which always needs watched to maintain anything like that we see normally from Japan.

    Another problem (for the Japanese manufacturers at least) is the great tendency for Chinese suppliers to illegally copy any design laid out in front of them (and suddenly some manufacturing hut in the next village that’s owned by a cousin is making a clone of your radio).

    It’s one thing to write off a $25 Baofeng that needs fixed but it’s too expensive (compared to the cost of the radio) to send back to China for repair. It’s another thing entirely different for a much more expensive defective HF radio.

    Add to that nearly zero factory support (even for their dealers) and hams will have to completely reset their customer support expectations a lot lower (than they currently are) for Chinese HF radios to succeed in the market.

  • KK2DOG:

    Once they start being made in China, I think the American hams will start looking elsewhere for radios.

  • Robert VA3AOD:

    I would be curious to know if any of the Chinese radios are made in sweat shops. I would not want to encourage this kind of exploitation of Chinese workers.

  • Roger G3XBM:

    Please don’t get me wrong. I HATE “sweat shop”, “Made in China” on just about everything made these days. All I am saying is that, at some point, China will seriously compete with the big 3 in Japan in the amateur radio market and, as with everything else just about, Japan will not be able to compete. Jeff, I was not aware that Kenwood made radios in China. China is a real threat to all manufacturing in the rest of the world. If YOU can buy an HF radio for half the price of that from Yaesu I bet many in the world will buy the Chinese radio if the quality is the same.

  • David WB4ONA:

    It is getting to the point where electronics manufacturing is so automated these days, the actual cost of building a product should be pretty-much the same wherever you build it. The difference then becomes taxes and regulation. If your country has very high corporate taxes and businesses are over-regulated, the decision to off-shore becomes dead simple.

  • kg7owo, Paul:

    These are the reasons I have been unable to go HF. And why when I can in a few months I am going Elecraft. High quality, American made, good customer service by all reviews and user comments that I have read.

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