We've learnt something. Chinese English and English is definately not the same.
Good thing a friend of Fatih does speak Chinese. For the company, he's now our official represantative. As he could speak with them in their native language, a lot of things cleared up.
When they were talking about "soon", it didn't mean what we did understand as "soon". "Soon" did mean "as soon as we're finished.". Regardless, how long that will take. So each time they said us "We'll soon have pictures", we assumed they will follow the next few days - which didn't happen.
Another thing we found out is when they said "We're finished and will do some testing injections", they didn't mean they were finished with ALL our changes, but they finished ONE thing on the to-do-list and did a test injection to see if that was fine. That's why we got some shipping dates which never happened - and with us wondering why they didn't tell us. They sent us emails with stuff like "We fixed it all and will do the next samples on Friday". We then thought, okay, the next samples will ship on Friday. However, as we now do know, it meant they finished another step on those days and made an internal testing injection to find out if everything is okay. It wouldn't have made sense to ship us those half-finished cases (it would just have cost a lot of money). And that's the reason why they didn't tell us that they didn't ship... they never planned to ship it ;)
It's really interesting what can happen if business partners do speak completely different languages as native language.
So much for the background "What happened". Now onto the more interesting stuff: What WILL happen?
One thing we did understand correctly was that their goal is to have the mass-produced cased finished and shipped until the chinese new year!
We now do know that they did finish the last tweaks on the case mould, the silkscreen and the keyboard mould (which still had one mis-aligned letter). And with finished, I do mean REALLY finished. Not just another step, but all steps. This does mean they'll ship the final samples within the next days. They are VERY positive they are perfect, so as soon as they shipped out everything, they prepare the mass production. So as soon as we get the samples and approve it, mass production will start. As they can produce 1000 cases a day and we need 4000 for the first batch, this can happen within four days. That should work out just before the chinese new year!
I know it does sound a lot like stuff you already heard before - but this time, we were talking with them in their native language, so I assume it will be much more accurate than anything before!