Injection molding is still the king in mass production, while 3D printing is very good in prototyping. The advantage of 3D printing to manufacturers is that it will reduce the time to market considerably.
3D Printing is quite primitive as it is implemented now, and anyone can do it. The current technology and process is nothing more than an automated software driven version of the manufacturing used over the last 50 years.
However, when a certain expertise is achieved with wielding the 3D printing process, you can then add advanced technology into the mix. China DOES NOT have the capability to form shapes out of carbon nano tube fibers... the US will be there a decade before anyone else, and that is all it will take for manufacturing dominance.
"Chinese culture values self-discipline, hard work and respect for authority"...
I don't think that Chinese culture values a "respect" for authority. Fear would be a better term. Its hard to say that one of the most corrupt cultures/countries on Earth is respectful of authority. I guess time will tell if they are able to crack down on intellectual property infringement.
At this point in time, 3D printers will have almost no impact on mass manufacturing.
The injection molding process produces almost no waste, and its extremely fast compared to a 3d printer. Also uses far less energy. No matter how good 3d printers get, it probalby will never replace injection molding for simple items.
For prototyping, 3d printers rule. Even tho they have been used for this purpose for about 25 years now, the price coming down will make them much more prolific for this purpose.
For customization, 3d printers will rule. But this is a niche industry, not mass market.
3d printers hold a lot of promise, but they are still a long way off for being a game changer for the common person.