I think it would go a step further although I have no proof for what I'm about to say common sense and good business would suggest this practice to me anyway
. Giant and any of the other big Asian manufactures make most of the carbon frames that we ride. Some would argue they are the best at it,other high tech companies such as Boeing use the resources in this area as well. Carbon is only made in a few places in the world and to the best of my knowledge they are all in Asia.
Given this do you honestly think a small company (in comparison) Colnago would do heaps of R&D which costs lots and then tell Giant how to build the frame!! I think is goes more like this. Colnago design the style of frame. Giant make the mould. Colnago ask for specific properties built into the frame, Giant design the layup and complete the process. Colnago charge more because they can, its a Colnago. Pretty simple and cheaper than making your own frame which is why Colnago and other companies do just this using the big Asian manufacturers.
Does anyone remember the tour of the Giant Factory in one of the larger magazines a while back?? All the painted Eddy Merckx frames hanging up, made me smile.
Back to the OP The frame you are talking about is (was) the same one re-badged under another name over here in the West. I've seen them being raced at National Elite level and they went just fine. I was told not sure how accurate the information was but never let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially when you are trying to sell something;) The info I was given was that they were from the Merida factory, they are the second largest manufacturer and make Specialized. So cheap frames yes rubbish I'd say no way, they just as good as any other.
At the end of the day frames do ride different to the next one, go ride a heap of them and see which one you like.
One other point to consider Giant and other major manufacturers would have their own propriety manufacturing process that they use on their own frames. In order to get this you would have to pay, the question that needs to asked is do these bikes made under license have this included or are they built to a price??