This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
I live in P.R. China and I have looked. for cheap bikes you will do OK in China, not great; but OK.
For good quality, it probably will not be available in China. If it is, it will cost more than it does outside of China.
If it is a foreign brand, even if it is made in China, it will cost significantly more in China. Foreign branded products are taxed heavily on the mainland, even if they are made here. The logic is that a large amount of the profit leaves the country; so, they are taxed to provide the country with a level of benefit as if they were made by a domestic country. The reality is that it is about favoritism and protecting domestic brands.
Most bikes seem to have Taiwan and China source stickers on them, now.
Brompton an, Exception,
but the product managers have components sourced overseas.
heck even Campagnolo went to Romania to undercut the labor costs of their own
Right, but in the end the brand or foreign reseller provide a quality control. Chinese themselves do not want to buy Chinese products because they expect the worst. In fact, more upscale domestic manufacturers there pretend to be foreign to overcome the disdain for domestic goods. On my own, after bad experiences, I adopted a strict survival policy that I would not get anything in China without an ability of testing the product right there and of return or replacement.
There are also many reasonably priced second-hand Bromptons on UK Ebay. There is also Gumtree, but it requires in practice being there, particularly with the higher chance of the offered bike being stolen.
It seems to me a lot of the Gumtree Brompton ads are scams. People post an add stating 'London' as location but there's no map, i.e. no exact address. When you reply to the message (no phone option) at some stage the seller reveals he's in another part of the country and the London thing was some sort of Gumtree error, he then offers to post the Brompton in exchange for a paypal payment. Seems incredulous to me that anyone would be trusting enough to go along with it but when I was looking for a second-hand Brompton I encountered this a few times and I see that a lot of the ads follow this template. That's before you get to the stolen items.
I had the opportunity to take a short ride this afternoon on a Brompton (the titanium model, no less) and a Birdy. They both seem great folders, and I was surprised at the speed I could go on those 16" wheels.
The salesman told me the Brompton would be a better idea if I had to fold it often, while the Birdy was a better option for longer rides on week-ends and recommended taking a look at the World (comfort or sport) model that came out this year.