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Old June 5th, 2006, 07:39 AM   #61
didu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazabi
good decision, no good deal to play the trump card too early.
and you can't deny that chinese are copycats, just compare

opel frontera
with
jianling landwind

a certain similarity isn't there?

Where is the similarity, other than that they are both 4-wheel drives?
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Old June 5th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Cars look quite similar around the world, whether they are Japanese, American, or European. The basic structure is the same, and the aerodynamic requirements are quite consistent throughout the world.

It's like the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

What the West cannot do is to emulate the Chinese cost and pricing models.
Oh comeon, this has to be one of the lamest excuses I have read. There are obviously original Chinese designs, they are more than capable. But models are sometimes copied almost exactly, and even brand names chosen to sound alike.

Or is "Chery" supposed to sound nothing like "Chevy?"

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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #63
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The Germans are likely to concede eventually because China is the most promising customer for maglev technology at the moment. If they want to break into this huge market and use this intercity line prove the technology, then they may be able to score more deals elsewhere.

well, the problem for the germans concerning selling maglev to china is, that it wont be a big business.

They already broke into the market with the 2001 maglev deal for the first line in shanghai.
But now they slowly figure out, that they wont earn much money, because in the upcoming extensions, the chinese want to do everything on their own.

So why the hell should they share any maglev technology for the future.

A siemens representative said, they want to stick with the conditions for the shanghai line, except the fact, that the chinese also build the car-bodies.
That would mean that about 80-90 % would be produced in china.
Only the control systems and magnetic levitation core systems would be produced in germany completely by siemens and thyssen krupp.

And obviously, the chinese also want to have that one. So for the next maglev extension, after shanghai-hangzhou, you wont see siemens and thyssen-krupp at al.

Why should they give the technology out of their hands, as long as they are not forced to....if they are not making any money with it....
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #64
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maglev(transrapid system from germany) construction cost:

about 30mio€ per kilometer if you set up a completely new line.(including maintanenece areas, train stations and all equipment)

Its possible to reduce the cost to some 20-25 mio per kilometer.

So the maglev line in munich for example is 38 km long, doulbe track, 5 trains( with 3 cars each) will run at 350 km/h and will cost 1.85 billion !!!!! €
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Old June 5th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pflo777
maglev(transrapid system from germany) construction cost:

about 30mio€ per kilometer if you set up a completely new line.(including maintanenece areas, train stations and all equipment)

Its possible to reduce the cost to some 20-25 mio per kilometer.

So the maglev line in munich for example is 38 km long, doulbe track, 5 trains( with 3 cars each) will run at 350 km/h and will cost 1.85 billion !!!!! €
The current estimations for the shanghai extension is 27 miillion US$ per km double track, INCLUDING all station buildings. That brings us to maybe 23 million US$ per km guideway construction costs.

That is about the same prize like for a conventional high speed train (TGV, Shinkansen, Acela, ICE, ....).

I think it is important to be aware that the advantage of maglev is not construction options, but the significantly reduced maintenance costs when running the system!



More detailled info about this you might find here: IMB Forum


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Old June 5th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #66
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there have been studies about the maglev in na:
http://www.transrapid.de/cgi-tdb/en/...484115b&a_no=7
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Old June 5th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQui
Oh comeon, this has to be one of the lamest excuses I have read. There are obviously original Chinese designs, they are more than capable. But models are sometimes copied almost exactly, and even brand names chosen to sound alike.

Or is "Chery" supposed to sound nothing like "Chevy?"

Corporate espionage isn't equivalent to technology transfer. I doubt someone trying to steal the techology, such as maglev, would ask to do so beforehand. Technology transfer is a far more amicable relationship.

The PT Cruiser is a copy of the London cab. These things happen all the time.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #68
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check these videos

inside Shanghai Maglev (max speed 400 km/h)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-aBF...&search=maglev

german maglev flyby
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5oRr...&search=maglev

japanese maglev (inside and also flyby video)... reaches 500 km/h, constant fast aceleration on internal spedometer... very cool and long video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDmH7...&search=maglev
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Old June 5th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
The Wright Brothers were hopeless romantics at one point too. I'm not only a romantic, but I'm stubborn too
being stubborn can have it's merits..................sometimes

The problem with maglevs is capacity, meaning it has too much capacity. You ever heard the joke:
an optimist says the glass is half full
a pessimist says the glass is half empty
an engineer says the glass has twice the capacity that's needed

The only way the capacity of maglevs could be fully utilized would be if there was a "Revolution" in ground transportation. Imagine a future world where traveling 200 miles is as "normal" as traveling 40 miles today. Imagine living 200 miles away from where you work and commuting everyday. Imagine traveling 200 miles somewhere with your girlfriend to go on a date for the weekend. That's the only way the capacity of maglevs could be fully utilized.
The only way that could happen would be if the cost of a 200 mile trip maglev ticket was cheap enough that the average person could buy one everyday.

No offense but that sounds more like a techno-geek's wet dream who has been reading one to many "popular mechanics/ science" magazines. There's no place on this miserable planet with rapidly diminishing resources that even has a demand for such capacity. The closest thing would be the Tokaido line (Tokyo to Osaka) but even a maglev would have twice the capacity as necessary. (depending on whose stats you wish to believe).
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Old June 5th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #70
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but thats exactly what happens!

look at al those low cost carriers...people (even students) fly to paris for a weekend....

and wherer there is high speed rail, for example between hamburg and berlin, people travel some 200 km just to go to another opera....

Thats what happens when you reduce travel time a lot.

And maglev will strengthen this effect....
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Old June 5th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #71
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MagLev is still in it's infancy. There is so much room for innovation and change that there is no way you can accurately predict whether it will succeed or fail yet. There isn't even one standard of levitation and propulsion yet - there are many different schemes out there. Give it time to get up to speed and build in standards and weed out the good and bad theories. Then we can start talking about whether it is feasible or not.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #72
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Ah, they ARE the same car!

Opel = GM's major brand name in Europe.
Chevy = one of GM's brand in the US. They share vehicles back and forth a ton.

Getting into the Chinease car market is hard, but what many companies do is to find a local company that will resell their cars. Usually the rebadge them, at least, so I amnot sure if that is the true model or not.

Anyway, back to teh issue at hand - don't forget that Transrapid is only one MAgLev technology. It is perhaps the furthest along for high-speed, but there are others out there. However, with all the focus on China in the next few years with the Olympics and World's Fair, they need image fast, so they want the already developed Transrapid as a showpiece. This is just political maneuvering.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 02:45 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pit.pit
I think it is important to be aware that the advantage of maglev is not construction options, but the significantly reduced maintenance costs when running the system!



More detailled info about this you might find here: IMB Forum


pit
Finally, someone mentions this at the end of the first page.
This point is particularly vital. This can revolutionize transportation at the local level as well as regional levels, as conventional rail and subways are monsters when it comes to maintenance as friction systems suceptable to mechanical wear.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #74
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/\ I think the jap maglev tech is faster... their trains (which even have a shape much more akin to a Concorde than to a subway car) can reach 500, even 600 km/h!
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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:08 AM   #75
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The Chinese stole the technology outright. They even had engineers breaking in to the Transrapid depot late at night to take measurements - all captured on security camera video:



Nabbing Know-How in China
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/inte...402464,00.html

It used to be jeans and Adidas. Now, though, China is becoming adept at stealing much more technologically advanced products -- like passenger jets and magnetic railway systems. Is this the beginning of an economy based on thievery?



EPA/DPA
A poster in China advertising the Transrapid magnetic railway in 2002.



When German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited China on Wednesday, he had more on his agenda than the usual diplomatic niceties. Freedom of the press? Human rights? Those are important issues, of course, but Steinmeier isn't traveling alone in China. He'll be accompanied by a business delegation including representatives from a dozen German companies. They're interested in a completely different issue, one that could gradually threaten the very existence of many a small to mid-sized German company.

Politely put, these business executives are concerned about what some would call the German-Chinese technology transfer. But to be blunt, they're really incensed about China's growing large-scale theft of ideas and patents, trademark and product piracy. And Steinmeier on Wednesday managed to voice his disapproval even within the constraints of diplo-speak. "We have to discuss the Chinese government's attitude on this question," the German foreign minister said.

Never before have the Chinese robbed the West of so much and such sensitive merchandise. Fully 70 percent of all illegal copycat products come from Asia, and most of that comes from China, in what has mushroomed into a $300 billion market. And the issue is no longer just a pair of poorly copied Adidas running shoes or a plastic version of a Gucci watch. More recently, the Chinese and others have taken to pirating expensive, high-tech knowledge, allowing them to duplicate entire machines and systems.

Some companies discover copies of their own equipment at trade shows, copies that are sometimes almost identical with the original product, down to the very last solder joint and paint color. Others, on the other hand, suffer because the fakes are of such poor quality that they threaten to ruin the real brand's reputation.


A major capital of patent theft

"More than half of the companies affected by patent theft have had these experiences in China," says Heiko Beploat of the German Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing Association. For a country like Germany, which derives much of its economic advantage from innovation and cutting-edge technology, this is a threatening development.

This rising menace facing the West was amplified by two reports that came out shortly before Steinmeier's trip to China. In the first case, European Aeronautic and Space Company (EADS) subsidiary Airbus announced that it plans to build its own plant in China, news that promptly set off a heated debate over the need to protect European aircraft construction secrets. In the second, China announced that it was beginning trial runs of its own magnetic levitation train -- less than two years after the opening of Shanghai's German-designed Transrapid system. It was an announcement that smelled strongly of industrial espionage.

While Airbus still has faith in the East as a land of opportunity, the Transrapid consortium of German industrial giants Siemens and ThyssenKruppp is already experiencing the uglier side of China's economic boom. Both cases ultimately revolve around the same fundamental issue: To what extent should, can or must German, European and Western companies kowtow to the rising economic power in hopes of generating future business? Airbus need only look to Transrapid to see the dangers that may await: the gradual threat of know-how theft.

The history of China's new magnetic levitation rail system is instructive. Whereas Germany's Transrapid has been tested on a stretch of track in the country's northern Emsland region since 1983, the Chinese version -- led by Chinese engineer Wu Xiangming, nicknamed Commander Wu -- only took 22 months to build. The 30-kilometer (18 mile) stretch of magnetic track went up on the perimeter of Shanghai at the behest of the Chinese government. The rapid completion, of course, was made possible because the German companies involved contributed funding, top-notch personnel and expertise. A Sino-German joint-venture company oversaw the project.

But the cooperation turned sour in December 2004, when Chinese engineers broke into the Transrapid maintenance room in the middle of the night and took measurements of the new train. The bizarre incident was even captured on film, and German economic weekly Wirtschaftswoche speculated that it was a case of Transrapid technology theft.


Still lacking key technologies

The story generated a tremendous uproar, but it went away as quickly as it had appeared. The German end of the consortium did its best to limit the damage, especially in light of the fact that Shanghai is its only showcase for its prestigious train. Both ThyssenKrupp and Siemens hope -- at the very least -- to land the contract for construction of an extension of the system to Hangzhou, an industrial city 160 kilometers (about 100 miles) from Shanghai. But ever since the nighttime spying incident, the Chinese members of the consortium have proven expert at subterfuge, camouflage and stalling, until Commander Wu announced the Chinese maglev project last week.

Despite its history, the Chinese project shouldn't really come as a surprise. Engineers at China's Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group have been tinkering with magnetic technology since 1986. In 2001, The Changchun Railway Vehicles unveiled a competing project in northeastern China. And the Transrapid project in China has been designed -- from the selection of the militarily secured production sites to assembly instructions -- in such a way that has allowed Chinese engineers to acquire as much Western knowledge as possible.



The Chinese designed train is being built by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial.


Though the evidence of industrial espionage is hard to ignore, executives at Siemens and ThyssenKrupp continue to play down the incident, claiming that the Chinese still lack key technologies, such as the system's highly complex control software. At least, so goes their thinking, they might be able to earn a bit of money on blueprints and patents -- almost all concrete Transrapid plans have gone up in smoke in recent years.

And who should they sue? ThyssenKrupp is hoping for major steel contracts in China. Siemens is spending billions on new plant construction in the country, where it already manufactures everything from semiconductors to microelectronic components. The last thing it needs is to quarrel with the government. The two companies seem unwilling to risk so much for a technology that, while popular, has failed to generate many customers outside of China.

Transrapid, of course, isn't alone: Many Western companies, from Shell to Volkswagen, are competing for attention from the Chinese government. VW, for example, is helping Chinese engineers at Tongji build a hybrid engine scheduled for completion by the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The Stuttgart-based Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering is helping build China's first wind tunnel. There are many other similar cooperative ventures, and the most important raw material they're bringing into the People's Republic is knowledge.


Jets next?

An influential rail expert at Tongji University complains about the Germans' arrogance in the Transrapid case. He says that the Germans must begin "to understand the Chinese philosophy. If they don't involve us in the technology, we don't feel comfortable." France, he adds, has been far more generous in this respect and, as a result, was promptly awarded the contract for construction of a new high-speed rail system between Beijing and Shanghai.

But how attractive are these types of deals to Western companies when they're being forced to essentially give away costly technology -- or at least look the other way when it's copied by the Chinese? It's a question that's also been on the minds of Airbus executives recently.

The European aviation group plans to benefit from growing air traffic in China. Airbus could sell thousands of its jets there, earning billions in the process. But that would mean giving in to Beijing's demands for the establishment of joint venture companies and the construction of production facilities in China.

Although Airbus has promised to comply, it plans to limit initial production to older and smaller models. In return, Beijing announced late last year that it plans to buy up to 150 of Airbus's A320 models.

At the same time, however, the government announced, as part of its upcoming five-year plan, that it will begin developing its own jet for 150 to 200 passengers in 2010. Given such behavior, and amid fears of industrial espionage, it comes as no surprise that the US government has thus far barred its own aviation giant, Boeing, from building aircraft production plants in China.


New laws aren't much help

Suspicions are also mounting in Europe. European Union Industry Commissioner Günther Verheugen plans to make the issue of patent theft and industrial piracy a focal point of his agenda this year. And if his efforts are unsuccessful, the EU Commission will address these problems at this year's meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Verheugen is well aware that the problem has grown far beyond counterfeit drugs, cigarettes and designer clothing brands, and that the burning issue today is cutting-edge technology. His commission has already received many complaints from the European auto industry, which routinely finds fault with the Chinese' abrasive business practices.



Airbus may also be victimized by technology theft in China.


When an ambitious Chinese company, Chery, simply copied the Spark, a small car designed by General Motors, the US company took the Chinese to court, and a settlement was reached in November. Even a giant like GM, it appears, has no interest in destroying good relations with the Chinese Communist Party leadership by embarking on lengthy lawsuits.

Beijing did increase it penalties for product piracy last year, and all Western standards, such as trademarks, patents, design patents and utility models can now be protected in China. But the more recent Chinese legislation was more likely passed because Chinese companies are now accusing one another of piracy. Although companies like Starbuck's and Ferrero have experienced some success in the courts in recent months, there is still a wide gap between legal theory and economic reality.

German small and mid-sized companies, in particular, are often "taken to the cleaners" in China, says attorney Thomas Pattloch, who recently helped a German eyeglass manufacturer win a legal battle.

Rainer Hundsdörfer is all too familiar with the problem. "Dozens of Chinese manufacturers are shamelessly copying our machines," says Hundsdörfer, the CEO of Weinig AG, a German company that's been manufacturing machine tools for the Chinese market in its plant in the People's Republic since 1997. Hundsdörfer is constantly discovering copies of his company's products at trade shows. "And when I point this out to the Chinese in their booths, they're not even embarrassed. On the contrary. They're proud of the quality of their copies and want to know how they can improve them even further," he says, half outraged and half amused.


"Incredibly bold"

The Chinese are "incredibly bold," he says, especially when it comes to smaller foreign companies. In fact, they even used photos taken directly from Weinig brochures in their own product catalogs.

The giants are just as likely to be affected by Chinese industrial practices. About ten years ago, Siemens was still shipping entire fossil fuel power plants to China. In return, the company was required to turn over its expertise to its local partners. Nowadays, Chinese companies are producing many different types of power plants without outside help, treating Western firms as little more than suppliers. "Of course, it's a bitter pill for us to swallow," says one Siemens executive. But, like many others, his company finds itself in a dilemma.

On the one hand, China is Germany's second-most-important export market outside Europe. Each year German companies ship goods worth €20 billion to the East, and machinery and equipment are at the top of the Chinese shopping lists.

On the other hand, the Chinese remain deficient in many respects, lacking media openness, human rights and an awareness of injustice. Despite the country's shift toward capitalism, property ownership is still ideological virgin territory for the Chinese regime. According to a German industry association dealing with product and trademark piracy, the statistics on confiscated goods show that the People's Republic is the world's number one copycat economy.

Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua recently suggested that the Chinese "must acquire as many key technologies as possible, as well as more intellectual property." What he didn't mention is whether China plans to pay for its acquisitions.

By Dinah Deckstein, Markus Dettmer, Frank Dohmen, Sebastian Ramspeck, and Wieland Wagner

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan
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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:12 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcesHigh
/\ I think the jap maglev tech is faster... their trains (which even have a shape much more akin to a Concorde than to a subway car) can reach 500, even 600 km/h!
Transrapid Maglev can go 500km/h on a longer track. It is limited to 430km/h in Shanghai simply because the track is only 30km long.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:29 AM   #77
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Miamicanes, I was listening to your argument until you spun off onto such an unbelievably absurd tangent I am writing you off as a crackpot instead of the other way around.

Only an idiot would build a single-track line in this day and age anyway.
That's certainly your perogative, but I happen to think it's a fairly accurate prediction of the likely development of maglev in the United States... launched by a well-funded private company who cuts every corner they can without openly sacrificing safety (just robustness and reliability... the things they can't get sued for...), concentrating their capital on expanding the system's reach rather than improving its capacity and reliability to tap as many new premium-fare markets as possible... then having the dead hand of government come lumbering in at some point, hemmorhaging fistfulls of money everywhere, and turning it into nasty, dirty, public transportation (like air travel has become).

If availability and reliability don't matter to the company as much as extending reach and saving money, then yes, they will build huge swaths as single-track. Hell, just about all of the railroads in America are single-track anyway... and a horrifying percentage of them were actually single-tracked (at least over expensive bridges) during the golden age of rail a century ago (to the endless horror and criticism of Europeans, and plenty of Americans, who viewed the American railroad industry as reckless, suicidal, greedy, or all the above).

With computer control and intricate scheduling, a single-track line with well-placed passing zones could work VERY efficiently, and save the maglev company a shitload of cash up front, keeping it profitable and enabling it to aggressively expand into new markets. The only problem is that such a system will be vulnerable to service disruptions at least once or twice a year... if not more. But on the other 363 days, it'll be making money hand over fist. And to Wall Street, that's all that matters. I'm not saying that's necessarily good... just acknowledging that in the US, that's how things are, have always been, and will always be.

Now, in Canada or Europe, you're right. A single-tracked line would never happen. It would be considered insane. But that's part of the reason why there will probably be maglev service between L.A., Miami, and New York at least a decade or two before there's direct maglev service between Vancouver and Toronto. In America, it'll get built the moment someone can find a way to do it cheap and make money (or at least convince Wall Street they can). In Canada, it won't get done until they can afford to do it "right" and "responsibly."

Last edited by miamicanes; June 6th, 2006 at 04:21 AM.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:42 AM   #78
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/\ as far as I know, the japanese track is also 30km long, and the train arrives 500 km/h. So the difference is not speed, but aceleration?
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Old June 6th, 2006, 05:06 AM   #79
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The relationship goes both ways. China will not let the West come in and have the whole market to themselves, profit from it, and run away. That's the whole purpose of the joint venture concept and the subsequent technology transfer. What the West is learning is that in order to reap the profits of having access to such a big market, they have to give out some of the technology. That's why Boeing and Airbus are thinking of opening assembly lines in China and broadening the technology transfer relationship - in order to gain more market share.

What the West has to realize is that China will not be forever subordinate to them, and the West should expect competition from the home-grown Chinese companies to give them a run for the money. They can complain all they want, but if they don't improve the technology themselves over time, it's inevitable that China will close the technology gap and even overtake the West.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 05:16 AM   #80
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^ I think Chinese demands for technology transfer are unreasonable. I think Western firms should learn their lesson and refuse to enter the Chinese market on such bad terms. It's no good entering into some joint venture whereby the local (Chinese) partner just steals all the technology and then breaks the venture and goes off to make the goods at a fraction of the price. What's in that for Western firms? It's just a recipe for their future destruction. China's market may be tempting but if it comes at that kind of cost then it's just not worth it. You need to be able to trust your business partners and too many Western firms have found that they cannot do so. They have had their fingers burnt. In my opinion Transrapid should focus on selling Maglev in western countries. Car manufacturers should set up assembly plants in countries that do not so blatently rip them off. If China can produce comparable goods using its own technological advances then good for them but I think Western firms should be very cautious about transfering their technologies to Chinese partners if this is the way they behave. Perhaps Western firms would be better off investing their efforts in other expanding markets such as SE Asia or India.
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