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China Defends Its IP Practices, Says 'We Paid Up' 214

Posted by kdawson
from the one-man's-theft dept.
hackingbear writes "Countering accusations that China's high-speed rail technologies are knockoffs, the head of China's Intellectual Property Administration in a conference said (paraphrasing): "We bought technologies from German, Japan, France, and Canada. We paid up. It is perfectly legal. We then innovate on top of them like most other inventions in the world. Why is that pirating?' (Link is to a Google translation; here is the original.) He cited China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed rail in a high mountain area as an example of additional innovation."
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China Defends Its IP Practices, Says 'We Paid Up'

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:44AM (#34317394) Journal
    I don't know why we are relying on a Google translated article when Xinhua News Agency (state run [wikipedia.org]) offers their own English translations [peopledaily.com.cn] (second copy [beijingnews.net]) of this exact news release. And they're much more readable. Such news sites often offer me periodic enjoyment [beijingnews.net].

    Patent and innovation discourse aside, it should be noted there's an interesting piece comparing the locality of populations [theatlantic.com] in the US vs China. Let's face it, China (and the Southeast Asia region this connects them with [indiatimes.com]) have a higher population density and a greater need for this high speed lengthy rail. It's also going to bring much needed economic development via freight shipments to very poor areas [english.cri.cn] that the United States probably wouldn't experience on a corresponding scale.

    Oh, also, there's some pretty entertaining rail-envy springing up [foxbusiness.com].

    And before you call it outright theft, consider the history of the "technology transfer" [npr.org] program that seeded all this. It sounds like there's going to be lengthy lawsuits lasting a decade or more and that the companies have reason to sue -- good reason. I wonder how this is going to affect future "technology transfer" programs to China. Also, one last bit of praise: NPR's radio coverage of this has been top notch [npr.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khallow (566160)

      It sounds like there's going to be lengthy lawsuits lasting a decade or more and that the companies have reason to sue -- good reason.

      They aren't going to collect. China is a sovereign nation and can as a result do whatever it wants. That trumps justice in this age.

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:03AM (#34317652) Journal

        It sounds like there's going to be lengthy lawsuits lasting a decade or more and that the companies have reason to sue -- good reason.

        They aren't going to collect. China is a sovereign nation and can as a result do whatever it wants. That trumps justice in this age.

        You're right unless you upset another nation's technology on such a level that you jeopardize your status in some special group [wikipedia.org] that gives you benefits with other nations. Also consider this fact (outlined in the above NPR interview): Siemens of Germany, Alstom of France, Bombardier of Canada and Kawasaki of Japan exported technology to China in order to ensure that third world peoples in Asia could benefit from it [wikipedia.org]. Now, they did make money off of that export but those same companies are now are staring down Chinese competition everywhere in the world from Russia to Brazil to the United States! How are they going to compete with lax Chinese labor and pollution? I don't know what the license contracts read but I highly doubt these companies signed away complete rights to their bread and butter for a few hundred million.

        Let me ask you this: if China sends the above companies a big "F U" in response to their desire for justice, what are the chances that any more technology transfer is going to be allowed into China by anybody when four years after you are competing with your own technology plus Chinese improvements? Being a sovereign nation is fine and dandy but if China wants any part in maintaining their image as a just sovereign nation, then they better see this court case through.

        • by cyfer2000 (548592)

          Siemens of Germany, Alstom of France, Bombardier of Canada and Kawasaki of Japan exported technology to China and transferred full IP to China. It was supposed that by the time China fully learned those knowledge, they already came up with some other better solutions than the designs they sold to China. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out this way.

          As for future technology transfer to China, I don't think Chinese need to worry about it. If you look back in history, similar situations have been happening for

        • Just a question, if "four years later you are competing with your own technology plus Chinese improvements", then why haven't you improved it yourself just as well or better? If during those four years, the Chinese improvements are so advanced that you can't compete, then it's your own fault, not "lax Chinese labor and pollution".

          • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:37AM (#34318046) Journal

            Just a question, if "four years later you are competing with your own technology plus Chinese improvements", then why haven't you improved it yourself just as well or better? If during those four years, the Chinese improvements are so advanced that you can't compete, then it's your own fault, not "lax Chinese labor and pollution".

            Okay with this sort of logic, you're not going to see any company willing to invest into R&D more than four years of return from that innovation.

            It's fine if you want to draw the line at four years or four decades or four days, I don't care. But you have to realize that this will severely affect R&D if it's your own fault that you failed to improve past what you just innovated. Justifying someone using your patents to directly compete with you is only unfair when you were granted those patents assuming a longer time to recoup the money you invested into those patents.

            I'm not arguing for or against patents and I'm not arguing to lengthen or shorten the time they are in effect. What I'm trying to do is get you to understand the repercussions of doing any of the above.

            Corruption, lax pollution laws and questionable labor practices make China very difficult to compete with. We've exported so much manufacturing there because of this. Is it a bad thing? Only when you're a company that's facing brutal competition because you engaged in "technology transfer." If you're telling those companies it's "their fault" for not out-innovating the Chinese, I would argue that the Chinese could pay someone 1/10 to manufacture the technology and bribe a local official to ignore that excess acidic precipitate from the mine making the rail and come out underbidding you on any contract the world over. Regardless of whether they improved on your design or not.

            In my opinion, pure unbridled capitalism is a very devastating force and responsible IP laws are a good thing. IP infringement is Chinese culture [slashdot.org]. They play by their rules and if you're not prepared for it, do not engage in business with them.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by zeroshade (1801584)

              I only said 'four years' because that is what you said. The point I was making is just as someone else mentioned, if the companies didn't license their patents with a "Do Not Compete" clause then they cannot complain when the Chinese come back and compete against them. If they've innovated during those four/ten/fifteen years, then why haven't you? It doesn't matter what you assume, if you license your patents to someone, you can expect them to compete against you. If it wasn't a long enough time period then

            • "Corruption, lax pollution laws and questionable labor practices make China very difficult to compete with. We've exported so much manufacturing there because of this. Is it a bad thing?"

              For the US, yes. Who knew that you actually had to make something for your currency to be worth anything. Go figure.

          • by hedwards (940851)
            Bullshit. Yes, and we could also go back and live in mud huts as well. It's certainly possible, it's just not realistic.

            The Chinese government hasn't advanced, they've used the techniques of sweatshops and virtual indentured servitude which have been in place for a really long time, referring to them as advanced is a bit like saying that the steam engine is advanced because if you run out of fuel mid route you have the option of chopping more wood or burning other things to keep you going.
            • referring to them as advanced is a bit like saying that the steam engine is advanced because if you run out of fuel mid route you have the option of chopping more wood or burning other things to keep you going.

              Actually, compared to what came before it, the steam engine was extremely advanced.

              Also, if you could please read what I wrote. I was not saying that the Chinese themselves were advanced, I was specifically talking about the improvements that they made which are being pointed at as a reason they can't compete.

              Yes, sweatshops and virtual indentured servitude are bad. However, you can't say that an invention that results from a Chinese R&D department isn't advanced simply because their manufacturing uses

        • by memyselfandeye (1849868) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:32AM (#34317976)

          To continue this point, SOP with China especially, and Asia in general, is to surrender IP via technology transfer agreements and consulting agreements. This is bad philosophically, but necessary practically as a business can get something for teaching and training, or nothing at all. Either way, you will have your IP stolen so most shops have decided to get what they can while they can. This was all tolerable before, but now that China is competing in primary markets with effectively stolen technology lots of industries are getting pissed, not just train builders.

          The whole point behind patents is to encourage innovation by granting an inventor time-limited monopolies on their ideas so long as they teach their invention to the world. Using trains as en example, Siemens figures out how to build a better flim-flam widget inside the boffin-tube to make the ding-dang wheel spin faster... which somehow improves the Train. By agreeing to tell the world how it all works, they are allowed to prevent others from selling this thing to the world for a two decades. The idea being, Alstom researchers can use that knowledge to make an even smaller flim-flam that leads to an even better train.

          What China is encouraging is businesses to no longer patent certain processes and methods, instead opting for the trade-secret route. While the /. population in general probably feels less patents are good, it isn't. Instead of teaching the world about flim-flams and boffin-tubes, Alstrom and Siemens will lock up their technology inside a vault as "Trade Secrets" [wikimedia.org], jealously guard it from outsiders and even insiders who don't need to know. Innovations stumbles and we all suffer as a whole.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by khallow (566160)

            What China is encouraging is businesses to no longer patent certain processes and methods, instead opting for the trade-secret route. While the /. population in general probably feels less patents are good, it isn't. Instead of teaching the world about flim-flams and boffin-tubes, Alstrom and Siemens will lock up their technology inside a vault as "Trade Secrets", jealously guard it from outsiders and even insiders who don't need to know. Innovations stumbles and we all suffer as a whole.

            I don't buy it. There's two things to consider here. First, if the technology gets used, then it can be reverse engineered. And if valuable technology is locked up and not used, then it provides a huge incentive to the people who developed the technology to leave the business for one that will develop the technology. This sort of environment favors companies which can quickly turn a concept into product.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by sjames (1099)

            What China is encouraging is businesses to no longer patent certain processes and methods, instead opting for the trade-secret route. While the /. population in general probably feels less patents are good, it isn't. Instead of teaching the world about flim-flams and boffin-tubes, Alstrom and Siemens will lock up their technology inside a vault as "Trade Secrets" [wikimedia.org], jealously guard it from outsiders and even insiders who don't need to know. Innovations stumbles and we all suffer as a whole.

            Actually, it would be a preferable state of affairs at this point. It's been a while since patents actually served their intended purpose anyway. There's an entire legal specialty dedicated to producing over-broad patents that at the same time don't ACTUALLY provide the information needed to reproduce the technology. Likewise, they're far too good at the game of interlocking patents to make sure that even when the first expires there is a thicket of newer patents to make sure nobody can use the supposedly u

        • by straponego (521991) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @03:23PM (#34321590)
          "what are the chances that any more technology transfer is going to be allowed into China by anybody when four years after you are competing with your own technology plus Chinese improvements?"

          I would say very near 100%. Corporate executives are compensated based on quarterly performance. They got to where they are by being sociopaths, and power makes people more sociopathic. They don't give a rip about destroying their company two years from now; they can move on to their next victim, with a nice golden parachute on the way out-- see Carly Fiorina or Jonathan Miller.

          We could mitigate this by requiring that most executive bonuses be deferred and scaled to performance of the company over, say, three years. This would have some nice side effects-- companies would have to reconsider layoffs and offshoring, for example.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        They aren't going to collect. China is a sovereign nation and can as a result do whatever it wants. That trumps justice in this age.
        This age? I missed that time the Senate of Rome and the Council of Carthage got together in a court preceeding overseen by the Parthians to solve their land dispute over territory that is now called Spain. Oh right, b/c that never happened, in every age force will trump justice.
      • It sounds like there's going to be lengthy lawsuits lasting a decade or more and that the companies have reason to sue -- good reason.

        They aren't going to collect. China is a sovereign nation and can as a result do whatever it wants. That trumps justice in this age.

        I'm not sure in which age it did not.

    • by durrr (1316311)
      This is the essence of IP. You're big, in the case of china: really fucking huge. So you take all IP you need, and give the IP owners the fingers.
      Now of course, if you're magnitudes smaller than the guy owning the IP, you're fucked over if he notices.

      It's the same old story, the big trying to set up the system so status quo is maintained if it goes against them and ignored if it benefits them.
      • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:58PM (#34319470)
        And as they start to do that, the costs of labor are going to start to seem exorbitant. Between the US and China the cost of labor is shockingly close in price to the point that we're starting to see companies pulling out of China because the savings they were promised aren't there. The firms they're doing business with decide they want to renegotiate the terms of the contract as soon as you've set up shop and the quality and productivity of the labor is crap.

        If they then have to deal with a substantial loss in IP that would be a very, very serious blow to the Chinese government's efforts to draw in foreign investment as they're cheap, but they're not that cheap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by xednieht (1117791)
      "United States probably wouldn't experience on a corresponding scale" Pure horse shit. The only reason the United States doesn't do more with mass transit including rail is the government is a sell out to to auto and airline industries. America's corporate lobby from the industrial age is relegating the United States to third world status in the digital age.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by magarity (164372)

        The only reason the United States doesn't do more with mass transit including rail is the government is a sell out to to auto and airline industries.

        More likely a combination of several other factors:

        1. The central government in China just says 'build a rail line there' and construction starts next month. In the USA it would take five years of environmental impact studies, lawsuits from Friends of the Little Frogs Who Live in the Way of the Proposed Rail Line, lawsuits from people who don't want their land condemned and/or a big loud train rumbling through the neighborhood.
        2. Americans want the convenience of personal transportation.

        Comb

        • by magarity (164372) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:20PM (#34318724)

          Oh, and I forgot:
          3.China's population density is many times that in the USA. Most people in China live in the strip of land along the coastline and there are 1,600,000,000 of them. The subway in Beijing for example runs 6 car trains every 2 minutes during rush hour and it is standing room only. The light rail here in Denver is a 3 car train every 15 minutes and you can usually sit. (yes, I've ridden both) One of these public transportation systems pays its own way on ticket sales and one of them is HEAVILY subsidized by taxpayers. Your guess which one is a sensible public mass transit system and which one exists mainly to make people feel good about some abstract idealized notion of public transportation.

        • 2. Americans want the convenience of personal transportation.

          Yes, that's why they are willing to suffer being groped by the Testicle Scrutinizing Authority - so that they could enjoy the very personal transportation in a flying rabbit hutch.

          • by magarity (164372)

            Yes, that's why they are willing to suffer being groped by the Testicle Scrutinizing Authority - so that they could enjoy the very personal transportation in a flying rabbit hutch.

            Airlines are public access transportation, not public mass transportation. Public mass transportation even in the form of high speed rail, will not compete with airlines except in a few cases so this isn't a valid comparison. One can take 5 hour trip on the new Beijing to Shanghai high speed rail versus a three hour flight and this makes the train a valid competitor. China has a LOT of large cities that are this distance or less between for high speed rail and that makes it more worth their time. How ma

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Actually, mass transit is mostly done on a local basis. If your local area isn't doing it, it's up to the voters to make it happen. Or you're living in a rural area with low population density. As it is Amtrak handles all the passenger service between major cities with a few minor exceptions. The cost is roughly what it would cost you to fly, the main advantage right now is that it doesn't come with a mandatory groping.

        And the reason why the feds took over Amtrak was because the train companies were goin
    • by arth1 (260657)

      I don't know why we are relying on a Google translated article when Xinhua News Agency (state run [wikipedia.org]) offers their own English translations [peopledaily.com.cn] (second copy [beijingnews.net]) of this exact news release. And they're much more readable. Such news sites often offer me periodic enjoyment [beijingnews.net].

      Because Google offer a literal translation, i.e. not one that may have pieces missing that the human translator thought unimportant or didn't know how to translate.
      The price for this is, of course, that literal translations can be quite hard to read and understand. But when you want everything that was said, it's usually a safer bet.

  • From TFS: "He cited China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed tail in high mountain area as an example of additional innovation."

    Where can I find some of this high-speed tail? Or, are Chinese girls in the mountains just desperate?

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:55AM (#34317530) Journal

      ANY girl in a remote area is desperate.
      No need to visit China - just to Appalachia (like west virginia).

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Cwix (1671282)

        Naw.. the girls in West Virginia already have boyfriends, usually their related but thats not the point.

        (joking)

      • No need to visit China - just to Appalachia (like west virginia).

        your example is way too specific. it sounds like a first hand experience.

    • Those mountains are really cold, which is why they've developed way to have really fast quickies, before something freezes off.
    • Where can I find some of this high-speed tail? Or, are Chinese girls in the mountains just desperate?

      Forget about it. I've been getting high-speed tail for 20 years - and I have the patent!

      • Where can I find some of this high-speed tail? Or, are Chinese girls in the mountains just desperate?

        Forget about it. I've been getting high-speed tail for 20 years - and I have the patent!

        In that case, your patent has recently expired. Let the belated sexual revolution begin!

  • Innovation? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nidi62 (1525137)
    I'm sure China has done just as much innovation on those rails as the Soviets did with the Tu-4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4)
    • Re:Innovation? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:56AM (#34317554) Homepage Journal

      I'm sure China has done just as much innovation on those rails as the Soviets did with the Tu-4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4)

      We could also cite how USA and Russia innovated rocket technology, thanks to the Germans. I am not saying this is any better or worse, what I am saying is that if you comb through history then you will probably see many more cases of technology ending up in other countries without some sort of 'due' being paid. While it is only fair to compensate the original inventor or innovator, there are limits to doing so.

    • by Guignol (159087)
      But in other places it is common theft, err innovation practice to do something well known *on a computer* or *over the internet*
      Why wouldn't we accept to extend that concept to do things *in the mountains* ?
  • I agree with the spokesman that it's not theft if they bought the designs legally.

    • Aye. Information wants to be free. ...

      that's an odd mixture of sarcasm and irony and non-sarcasm btw.

      I'm tired of getting ripped off by corporations where I pay $20 for a product sold for $2.50 in china and then that laborer (with 1/8th lower costs for anything not at the "world price") turns around and competes with me. And I'm legally forbidden from buying it for $2.50 in china and reimporting it for $3.00.

      I'm for capitalism- but this isn't capitalism.

      • That was random but you raise a good point. US and EU factories are being shipped to China/India because their labor works for 1/10th as much.

        But then we can't buy direct from those countries because of artificial barriers, so instead we have to pay the inflated US/EU prices. NOT a free market. - Therefore we should require all Chinese/Indian workers to have safety standards comparable (but not equal) to US and EU workers, else we will block those goods from "bad" factories entering our shores.

        Yes that


  • China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed tail in high mountain area

    Time to book a flight to China's mountains.
    • China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed tail in high mountain area Time to book a flight to China's mountains.

      Nah, the low speed, High quality, Swedish made tail is the way to go.

  • No surprise. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkDust (239124) <marc@darkdust.net> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:52AM (#34317490) Homepage
    When the deal regarding the Transrapid was announced in Germany most people didn't take notice that the deal involved China wanting to eventually build the trains themselves which of course means licensing the technology and transferring a lot of know-how. So people who now accuse China of stealing obviously didn't pay attention back then because at least to me and a few of my friends it was immediately obvious that eventually we would get cut out of the picture. So what, we've got the Transrapid for over 20 years now and all we have in Germany is a test course. In Shanghai, at least it's really transporting people even if in the long run it won't be our technology any more. Better than not making use of it at all.
  • you own the means of production in a limited and short term fashion. pretty soon, your claim and your basis for ownership evaporate

    if you own the factory, you actually own the means of production, and therefore you actually are in power

    the usa has moved all of its production to china, retaining the intellectual property "keys". these keys will rapidly become useless and unenforceable, and all the purple faced tirades about piracy will be met with a shrug. and the usa will find itself locked out of those factories, and without power

    the pursuit of profit has resulted in a very short sighted situation where all the means of production are being moved to an autocracy that does not share our values. it will take a number of years, but this will not end well. and it is all because the captains of industry want fractionally higher stock market returns, and joe six pack wants more cheap plastic crap at walmart. for these empty goals, the common man and the man in power in the usa are selling their country's soul

    • I agree, though what you say applies to more nations than just the US.
      • you're correct, i should have said "western world", or some better term, not just the usa

        europe, canada, australia, india, brazil: the threat is the same. when an autocracy is married to capitalism in such a way that they can treat their citizens as slaves: no right to choose their own leaders, free range abuse and no means of recourse, then in this autocratic capitalism can outcompete democratic capitalism. nominally, democratic capitalism is superior to autocratic capitalism because it is more stable with

      • Entertainment is a very large export for the United States. While likely not the largest (which is food), I wouldn't be surprised if it's number 2 or 3.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On the other hand, without outsourcing production and the resulting enormous price-drops, the equally enormous developments in all kinds of areas, like smartphones, probably wouldn't have happened.

    • by cyfer2000 (548592)
      If you have a factory, but you don't know what to make, how to make, where to buy raw materials, where to sell your products, how to sell your products, how to ship your products to the market, you have nothing but useless junk. It is the "system" that makes profit in the long run. As long as the US is controlling the "system", it gonna be just fine to move production to some other places. BTW, you can not make every body happy. A government is not here to make everybody happy.
      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, the topic of this discussion proves that the U.S. will NOT control the "system" in any meaningful way. Evidently, China had little difficulty figuring out how to make, where to buy materials, where to sell, and how to sell. Otherwise there wouldn't BE a story here at all.

        They're not stupid!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      I'm sorry, but while I agree with you, this is actually old news. This has been a chief complaint of many Japanese and other nations who have shifted their manufacturing to China and neighboring countries.

      Your "predictions" are actually already happening and has been happening for quite some time. Quite often, it would be a factory "owned" by another nation's company and is shut down and seized by the Chinese government who "never actually gave up their rights to ownership."

    • well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:59AM (#34318364) Homepage Journal
      you have lived off of others' souls, while maintaining that american dream of yours, thanks to the colonial empire you built over blood.

      http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/US_ThirdWorld/dictators.html [thirdworldtraveler.com]
      • so it's about revenge? ok

        revenge excuses crimes by one party, because they are done in retribution against the crimes of another party? ok

        but it doesn't really work that way in real life. for example, china is committing plenty of crimes in africa now, and south america, and against its own people

        so then in some future world, some jackwad like you will post on a chinese bulletin board to the powers in beijing as they lose their grasp on power: "you have lived off of others' souls, while maintaining that chi

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by homer_s (799572)
      "joe six pack wants more cheap plastic crap at walmart"

      We all want cheap things (or rather, things made more affordable) - that is how wealth is created.
      Insisting that all things be produced by 'ourselves' (whether as a family, city, county, state or nation) make us poorer - think of all the things you are using now and think about how hard it would be for all of it to be made by yourself. Or your family. Or with just people in your town. Or with just people in your state.

      Division of labour is what
      • by sjames (1099)

        Division of labor is great. Shipping all jobs to the lowest common denominator country to get cheap labor that has no rights while leaving others unemployed is NOT division of labor.

        Joe Sixpack NEEDS cheap plastic crap at Walmart because he had to find a new job and it doesn't pay very well.

        Too bad the new job is also being offshored.

    • by grumpyman (849537)
      Interesting you point out that China is a "autocracy". I'd argue that if they have the similar kind of democratic system, profit-driven captialism and market freedom, they'll probably ended up like us (i.e. outsource to other countries and owning IP). Do we have a problem with our political/economic system?
    • This is worth looking at: Manufacturing in the United States. [wikipedia.org]

      Some important tidbits:

      The United States is the world's largest manufacturer, with a 2007 industrial output of US$2.69 trillion. In 2008, its manufacturing output was greater than that of the manufacturing output of China, India, and Brazil combined, despite manufacturing being a very small portion of the entire US economy as compared to most other countries.

      And:

      Main industries include petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, and mining. A total of 3.2 million – one in six U.S. factory jobs – have disappeared since the start of 2000

      Now, that said, it appears we are still currently trending towards outsourcing just about all manufacturing:

      The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy has experienced substantial job losses over the past several years. In January 2004, the number of such jobs stood at 14.3 million, down by 3.0 million jobs, or 17.5 percent, since July 2000 and about 5.2 million since the historical peak in 1979. Employment in manufacturing was its lowest since July 1950.

      However, it does not appear that it is all gloom and doom at present. In other words, we have the opportunity, still, to maintain our position as the world's leader in manufacturing if we take the time to fix the problem now. I see where you're coming from, but your post reads like an excerpt from Captain Hin [wikipedia.org]

  • Not us! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:58AM (#34317576)

    I knew a fellow that was an engineer working for Siemens in China on HSR and he had some wonderful stories about how their computers grew legs while working in China.

    Apparently, from what I remember, the Siemens folks would return to work in the morning and all of the computer cables (monitor, keyboard, power, etc...) would be disconnected from the machines. Sometimes the computers would just pile into a group inside the office. They changed the locks to the office, locked down cpus, etc... but without fail the machines just moved on their own. Unable to get any useful response from their Chinese contacts they set up a camera and found it was the folks they were working on the project with who were taking the computers. When confronted with the evidence, the response was a merely 'Not Us!' And business continued as if none of this was happening.

  • I say any innovation in mass transit that takes cars and trucks off the road is totally fine by me.
  • You have to be naive, to be under some kind of illusion that this wouldn't happen.

    China desperately want foreign technology and if you want access to their market, you must set up joint ventures and share technology. Once the technology has been captured they will launch their native industry, with your technology, and compete with you.

    This has happened repeatedly, yet our brilliant western capitalists fall for it, over and over. A few quarters of higher stock prices and bigger bonuses to pad their pockets

    • by 517714 (762276)

      You have to be naive, to be under some kind of illusion that this wouldn't happen.

      Naivete and denial are not the same. As for the corporations, neither term applies - if it makes the bottom line look better in the next two quarters, it is a no-brainer. These no-brain decisions have become the staple of American business.

  • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:38AM (#34318056)

    The Chinese built the American rail system, it's only fitting they now build their own. I for one applaud them.

    • by grumpyman (849537)
      Exploitation of cheap labor - what comes around goes around: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_American_history#Transcontinental_railroad [wikipedia.org]

      For the Central Pacific Railroad, hiring Chinese as opposed to whites kept labor costs down by a third, since the company would not pay their board or lodging. This type of steep wage inequality was commonplace at the time.[30] Eventually Crocker overcame shortages of manpower and money by hiring Chinese immigrants to do much of the back-breaking and dangerous labor. H

  • There was a lot of 'know-how' and 'technology transfer' fad, when the cold war ended. Needing markets and clients, a lot of sectors were doing agreements of technology transfer with the client countries, doing some technology transfer and teaching them how to use and develop the technologies that were being employed, in return for getting the contract. In fact, this was the dominant pattern in defense industry in between 1990-2000.

    it was all giddy when they were getting all those contracts, and now, with
  • Have the Chinese demanded back payments for the IP in gunpowder and noodles yet?

    I understand that guy Marco Polo owes them some money, too.

    Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity...
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
    Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
    There is no remembrance of former thi

    • Even more funny; the FBI busted the guy who stole plans from Ford to sell to Beijing Automotive. Innovation? And lest we not forget the many attempts to get nuclear info back to mainland China. China is the greatest Me Too country there is... when they get to the moon they're going to have a huge video blackout while they try to come up with "innovative" ways of explaining why there's already an America Flag there.

      Neither my daughter or I will ever need to learn Chinese. I guarantee this.

  • "11/22/2010 - CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture between General Electric Co (GE - Analyst Report) and French company Snecma, has obtained contracts worth $2.1 billion for supply of engines and services to Air China, China Eastern Airlines and the HNA Group." http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/43662/GE+Wins+China+Aviation+Deals [zacks.com]

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