Japan’s Kawasaki says China copied bullet train technology

Japan’s Kawasaki says China copied bullet train technology : China, home of the world’s largest market for trains, has been busy creating a high-speed train network over the past few years – buying High-Speed Rail (HSR) technology from global train innovators such as Germany, France and Japan to put up what is now the largest HSR network in the world. The failed technology transfer deal with Japanese rail giants Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) was one such deal, an agreement that the Japanese are now regretting as they say that Chinese engineers have allegedly stolen bullet train technology and are about to sell it to the world for cheap.

KHI are the makers of Japan’s legendary bullet train, or shinkansen, one of the world’s fastest, safest, and most efficient high-speed trains. KHI signed a technology transfer contract with CSR Sifang, builders of China’s impressive HSR network, with the agreement that China’s use of the blueprints to develop high-speed railway cars would be limited to domestic applications only. “We didn’t think it was not risky,” KHI’s Harada Takuma, who worked on the Chinese collaboration, said. “But we took on the project because terms and conditions under the tech transfer should have been binding. We had a legal agreement; we felt safe,” Takuma added. But the deal seemed to have backfired on KHI in the worst possible way, as now China is currently poised to make a profit out of the technology. KHI maintains that not only did China copy the technology – they have recently patented remarkably similar high-speed-rail (HSR) tech – CSR Sifang now wants to sell their new trains to the world – claiming it as Chinese.

European and Japanese train-makers are now set to be one-upped by the Chinese, as they will be selling their HSR technology for relatively cheaper. Japan, whose prices would have been the lowest in the market before this, will now be undercut by CSR in selling their trains almost 50% cheaper. Chinese authorities see no problems at all on their end. Beijing claims that China developed its own HSR technology by “digesting” Japanese and German technologies and making it better. In fact, a spokesman of the Ministry of Railways was recently asked if the trains were mere knock-offs. He asserted that China’s HSR was very much superior to Japan’s shinkansen – he said that the two trains “cannot be mentioned in the same breath.”

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Source : japandailypress

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