Chinese companies are coming under fire for piracy on an impressive scale, after it emerges that their new flagship high-speed rail system, which they proudly claim “utilises 100% Chinese owned intellectual property”, is actually designed by German and French companies (Siemens and Alstom).
China is even apparently exporting trains made with the designs, despite it being licensed for use only in China.
The CEO of Alstom is said to be enraged, and has sharply criticised the companies involved.
The controversy relates to the construction of a modern high-speed railway system around Shanghai, where the group of Chinese companies are procuring 100 of the trains, which are manufactured domestically, but use non-Chinese designs and intellectual property.
The Chinese side now claims the trains are “100%” Chinese designed and manufactured, and seems to think it owns all the technology employed.
The background to the case is huge demand for new railways within China, with some 5 trillion yuan earmarked for much needed infrastructural improvements.
Just importing the trains, or even building them domestically, is not enough however; lately ever increasing proportions of “domestically designed” parts are also being sought in the projects.
Via Record China.
As usual with foreign partnerships in China, the foreign partner is expected to train and equip its future Chinese competitor, and with such weak rule of law there is little recourse for companies not well connected to Party networks when these arrangements go awry.
French, German and Japanese companies will likely be wondering if their deals will have the desired outcome after all with this news…