Er, well, I hope that doesn't come across as being argumentative. Oops if so.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm still seeing a difference with stoves built by non Chinese companies (even if manufactured in China) vs. those designed and built in China. The Jetboil for example is made in China and seems quite well made but is not a Chinese company or a Chinese design.
It's the Fire Maple, Bulin, etc. stoves that seem a little less polished than their non-Chinese counterparts, at least from photos and my personal observation. For example, there's a photo of the 117's sister stove, the FMS-118 on a thread in the Gear forum:
I see a certain crudeness in the machining. Of course I may be a bit of a stove snob. :) Then again, the FMS-118 is having problems when used in inverted mode because the bore of the fuel line is too large, allowing unvaporized fuel to get to the burner. There was also a Chinese stove whose fuel line was made of a material that flaked off small bits, clogging the jet; it was reported here on BPL by Tony Beasley a year or two ago. There have been numerous Euro zone Chinese stove recalls due to safety hazards.
It's certainly true that much of manufacturing is going to Asia, and the Chinese are no dummies. They've clearly identified strong selling characteristics: ultralight upright canister stoves, ultralight remote canister stoves, and remote canister stoves with pre-heat loops all of which will appeal to slightly different market segments. My noting that Chinese stoves aren't quite yet up to their non-Chinese counterparts standards of design and manufacture doesn't mean that the Chinese aren't making great strides forward. Were I a non-Chinese stove company, I'd be quaking in my boots right now as I look to the future.
Finally, I hope that the introduction of some very lightweight remote canister stoves will force the non-Chinese stove companies to come out with designs of their own. There's no reason for a remote canister stove to weigh 2.5 times more than an upright canister stove.
Adventures in Stoving