You quite possibly returned a much better unit. You know those minimum wage assembly workers in Texas putting the compressors together are using the parts shipped from the same plant in China?
This is the real skinny, Sanden Japan opened a brand new state of the art factory in China together with Hella and Behr. They produce compressors in house using their own properly trained workers and a high level of QC, even the packing is tops.
Workers who work for these factories are much better paid and the jobs they hold are coveted, they work hard and pay a lot of attention to QC, fit and finish.
The problem as it exist is not Chinese goods quality when produced by brand names in their country, its the outsourcing.
There is a mega difference in a product being made by a manufacturer in their own plant under their own name and one sourced for someone and relabelled.
Hey I am a Made in USA/Euro person but you cant be a dink and call good stuff trash when it isn't, some of this stuff is excellent.
I installed a SBH A/C compressor in a VW and it is without a doubt the quietest unit I have ever installed. It works every bit as good as OE and is even quieter, you don't even hear the clutch engage at idle but looking at it its engaged and cold air comes.
Car companies are investing heavily in the worlds largest and most profitable car market, they are building cars there from scratch so it only makes sense they produce the parts there.