In Japan business groups are alarmed by China’s efforts to export high-speed railway trains it claims was built with native technology but which have obviously been duplicated from technology developed in Japan.
According to Yomiuri Online , Japan was reluctant to provide this state-of-the-art technology to China. This caused China to adopt a conventional railway rapid-transit system, instead of building a high-speed railway system involving linear motor cars.
In 2004 and 2005, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., and five other domestic companies in cooperation with a Chinese firm jointly produced 960 train cars for 120 trains modeled on Japan’s Hayate (E2 Series) bullet train, and supplied them to China.
China has filed patents for a train that is very similar to the E2 series Hayate. In the case of the CRH2 shown above it is an exact duplicate of the Japanese Hayate E2 Series with a different paint job.
In the words of a Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry official, “[Japanese] people involved in the project feel rather unhappy about this. China copied the technology of the supplied cars and claims it as original technology,”.
On Tuesday, the ministry announced that on Friday it would create a new post equivalent to a bureau director that would be in charge of infrastructure exports. This move is intended to promote Japan’s high-speed railways business overseas and to deal with China’s aggressive patent acquisition moves.
China has joined overseas projects based on high-speed railway technology introduced from Japan, Germany and other nations. It has started building railway tracks in Turkey, and is moving to enter other markets such as the United States, Russia and Brazil, among other countries.
China’s Railways Ministry controls every stage of train manufacturing, from design through to production and operation allowing faster progress than other countries, prices of train cars are about 20 percent cheaper.
China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp. (CSR), a state-owned company, and General Electric Co. of the United States are working together to win a U.S. project. According to the Railways Ministry, GE wants to transfer technology from CSR and has had legal experts examine whether the transfer could become a sticking point due to patents owned by the Chinese company.
According to Yomiuri, Japanese companies remain unsure what to do until they better know what they are up against.
The moral of the story is the Japanese were fools to share the technology and it is far far too late to complain.