Chinese HSR Producers Accused of Copying Technology

Japanese and European train producers are having to compete with Chinese firms they alledge stole their blueprints during joint ventures years earlier.
December 11, 2010, 1pm PST | George Haugh
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Chinese rail companies that were once junior partners with the likes of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Siemens AG, Alstom SA and Bombardier Inc. are vying against them in the burgeoning global market for super-fast train systems. From the U.S. to Saudi Arabia to Brazil and in China itself, Chinese companies are selling trains that in most cases are faster than those offered by their foreign rivals.

The progression of China's high speed rail business is reflected in Gov. Schwarzenegger's announcement that California may seek Chinese help in construction of its own high speed rail network.

China acknowledges that the trains its own companies are now selling were developed using foreign technology. But officials say domestic companies like China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corp., or CSR, added their own innovations that make the final product Chinese. "China's railway industry produced this new generation of high-speed train sets by learning and systematically compiling and re-innovating foreign high-speed train technology," the Railways Ministry said in a faxed response to questions.

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Published on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in The Wall Street Journal
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