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

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the one-man's-theft dept.

Transportation 214

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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Human Translated Links and More POVs (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317394)

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:Human Translated Links and More POVs (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317462)

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.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317652)

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.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317832)

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 several thousand years all over the world. And I do expect this will happen in future.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317902)

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".

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318046)

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:Human Translated Links and More POVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318662)

You are assuming the mentioned companies sold their patents with the fine print: 'DO NOT COMPETE AGAINST US'
Big business is blind to long term repercussions when they can get a few million now.
I think that at least some of those companies are guilty of grabbing the payout now without considering they'd make an extra competitor doing so. And now they start barking loud because that competitor turns out to be much better than they thought.

Yes, China has some 'unjust' advantages to 'civilized' countries.
They are rapidly making up for their technology and industry. I expect they will catchup with civil liberties, wages etc too.
It will take time for that and try to judge them on that progress.
Just as it took time for the U.S. to stop using slaves, stop racism, etc ...

Oh, 1 more thing: Most U.S. railroads are built by Chinese labors.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (2, Insightful)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318834)

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 either you underestimated how long it would take them to bring it to market or underestimated how long it would take to recoup your money.

Also, R&D should be continuous. You do your R&D until you have something to bring to market, while that gets put into production and is rolled out, you continue to do R&D to continue to innovate past what you've just come up with. If you don't continue to do R&D then don't complain when someone else improves upon what you've come up with before you do.

It's common knowledge that you can pay someone in China 1/10 of the cost of someone in most anywhere else. You factor this into your decision making. Essentially, as you said, "they play by their rules and if you're not prepared for it, do not engage in business with them" is the point. There is no reason for any of these companies to be complaining because 1) nothing 'illegal' happened here as the Chinese paid for the patents, 2) the companies knew or should have known what they were getting into and dealing with as it is all common knowledge, especially for a business.

Also, you would have to define what you mean by 'responsible IP laws' before I could agree with you that they are a good thing. Though I do agree that pure unbridled capitalism is very devastating.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (5, Interesting)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Human Translated Links and More POVs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318648)

The whole point of the contra patent feeling is that the standards of the patent office for a patent is ridiculously low; such that for software, it's in no perceptible way different from locking up the technology because the claims are obfuscated legalese that leaves out real detail, and that the patent term is disproportionately long for the industry, while the legislature shows no sign of even discussing it seriously.

All this trade secrets crap is the status quo already due to poor documentation and commercial vendors holding source code tightly to their chests.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (2, Insightful)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318582)

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.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317694)

wow somebody that knows something and knows how to say it.

Thanks

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317880)

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.

Maybe because trusting the "official translation" of a despotic tin-pot dictatorship with delusions of world domination just, possibly, might be a bad idea?

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318036)

It's an English translation made by the Chinese government of a press release put out by...the Chinese government. Why would the English translation be any more or less suspect than the original Chinese document? It's not like there aren't any bilingual Chinese/English speakers out there who could translate it independently, so there would be no purpose to making the text different in any meaningful way.

Also, calling China a "tin-pot dictatorship" is silly. A tin-pot dictator is one who, despite delusions of grandeur, is ultimately of little significance to the world at large. However you might choose to characterize China, "of little significance to the world at large" it is not.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318700)

It's an English translation made by the Chinese government of a press release put out by...the Chinese government. Why would the English translation be any more or less suspect than the original Chinese document?

The human factor.
1: Because humans are prone to error, and may by mistake skip an important word or phrase.
2: Because of cultural conditioning. When faced with difficult translations, a human translator might leave something out or write svada rather than putting the wrong words in someone's mouth, or lose face by guessing wrong.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317882)

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.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1, Informative)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318274)

"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:Human Translated Links and More POVs (2, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318630)

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.
 
Combine the aggravation of part 1 with the lack of demand in part 2 and you get the state of mass transit in the USA.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (4, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Human Translated Links and More POVs (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318586)

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.

"going to affect future "technology transfer"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318984)

LMAO, see here -> http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/23/014236/Former-Employee-Stole-Ford-Secrets-Worth-50-Million [slashdot.org] & sometimes? It makes me wonder, & yes, about China!

See - personally, I used to think a LOT higher of their culture in general, and am impressed by they @ times as well, but, they're also the folks that came up with Sun Tzu's stuff (which uses deceits hugely)...

I.E.-> Still, I used to feel they would be more "noble" about doing well, than behaviors such as outlined in the link above I just put up from the news here on /. today no less!

(I.E.-> It's about "Xiang Dong ('Mike') Yu admitted to copying some 4,000 Ford Documents to an external hard drive, including design specifications for key components of Ford automobiles, after surreptitiously taking a job with a China-based competitor in 2006. Yu, who took a job for Beijing Automotive Company in 2008, was arrested during a stopover at Chicago in October, 2009. The FBI seized his Beijing Automotive-issued laptop, and an analysis found 41 stolen Ford specification documents on the hard drive" ).

Now, I have worked with individuals from China in both professional environs, and in academia, in the realm of the computer sciences now for over 20 yrs. total time - & generally? They've been pretty brilliant!

Especially @ mathematics...

Still, that "ONLY" from my experience in contact w/ Chinese nationals & for that length of time...

Which is WHY I question why they even do the type of b.s. being shown in the URL above... imo?? They don't REALLY need to - they have educated & capable individuals, so why the hell steal???

(Yes, yes - good artists COPY, great artists, STEAL... right?? That's being "the Day Tripper" of Beatles' fame - "takin' the easy way out")

APK

P.S.=> Sometimes, I look around the world about me, & start to see some DISGUSTING hypocracies... today has been one of those days!

I also see, while populating a custom HOSTS file for over 17 yrs. now for layered defense, literally, MANY 1000's of sites out of the communist nations mostly, from .su, .ru, and yes, .cn TLD's...

That tell anyone else here anything as well, on the note of outright malicious & unconscionable + reprehensible behaviors going on, & from WHOM?

(Yes, I realize that "ALL SIDES" do this, & it's a real statement about humanity in general - we're full of shit sometimes, & use "Spin-Control" b.s. to try to cover it, or "it's legal" crap as well - do the folks pulling that as well think they fool anyone?)... apk

high speed tail? (2, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317422)

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?

Re:high speed tail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317468)

Welcome to Slashdot editing.

I think they actually insert horrible typos to give us something to rant about while they live off the fat of the advertising land.

Re:high speed tail? (0, Offtopic)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317526)

who's ranting? I'm fapping like a sewing machine thinking about that high speed asian poontang tail......

Re:high speed tail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317642)

sucky sucky, 5 dollah! Same price as a kuro5hin account. coincidence?

Re:high speed tail? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317714)

that's actually something you'd more typically hear in SE asia, not China mountains. Kuro5hin fell apart years ago, quality writers left and nothing but whackjobs, whiners and momma's basement boys there now.

Re:high speed tail? (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317660)

The Slashdot Cybernetics Corporation: Their fundamental flaws are completely hidden by their superficial typos.

Re:high speed tail? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317530)

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

Re:high speed tail? (1, Funny)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317956)

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

(joking)

Re:high speed tail? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317968)

"their" should be they are

This is preemptive grammar nazi deterrence.

Re:high speed tail? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318918)

What.. come on.. should I have said common law husband?

now now ... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318288)

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

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

Re:high speed tail? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317534)

Those mountains are really cold, which is why they've developed way to have really fast quickies, before something freezes off.

Re:high speed tail? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317890)

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!

Innovation? (1, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317440)

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? (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317554)

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.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317724)

You mean where we brought over those German scientists, gave them jobs, citizenship, and a chance to continue their work and research?

Re:Innovation? (1)

jbssm (961115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317772)

Yeah, lot's of Mengele's wannabes went there, that's sure.

Well, nazi "scientists" (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317842)

And it worked so well, the Russians were first. They just tortured them, then killed them. Works a lot better and doesn't rot the soul.

no (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318332)

he means where you brought over those german nazis, who have presided over factories in which slave labor was employed to the point of death, gave them jobs, citizenship, and a chance to ........ well not exactly continue the practice of slave labor, of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun#Slave_labor [wikipedia.org]

just like how you have employed ex gestapo as an anti-eastern bloc spy net during cold war, leading to the impeccable shit cia and similar organizations perpetrated, thanks to their influence in their ranks.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318110)

In many of those cases it was as part of what the allies considered repayment for their debts and losses in WWII due to the war and aggression of Germany. Germany had no money to repay at the time, so the allies took technology as part of the "spoils of war". For their own part, most of the scientists were allowed to continue their research and were given their lives back. Also, I don't recall any historical sources I've read claiming that the technology was invented entirely by the US... they all stated those facts of acquisition.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Guignol (159087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318108)

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* ?

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317444)

Every innovation is based on numerous previous innovations. I must agree with the Chinese here.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (3, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317520)

In my experience with Chinese "innovation", they take a product that is well known to the more developed areas of the world and create a shitty copy and sell them as the original. They get a higher profit margain because consumers believe the goods to be the real thing while the original manufacturer gets screwed over because the junk products are being sold on the market with their company name attached to it.

That is the Chinese innovation that I know.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317698)

mod up, that is exactly the problem. If they took the damned trademarks off the products and put them under their own shitchinasells(tm) brand, consumers would know they are getting the chinese knockoff. And people will buy knockoffs regardless.

The real problem is that these are hocked as the real thing on eBay and thousands of chinese operated ecommerce sites, and who foots the bill for the support costs? The IP owner.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318706)

I don't think anyone really believes they are originals, I think they're perfectly happy paying less for a knock off.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318340)

original manufacturer gets screwed over because the junk products are being sold on the market with their company name attached to it.

Which is different from this Slashdot story, where they are trying to sell stuff with Chinese company names attached to it, and claim they have paid up for the IP.

And come on, who really thought that China was willing to spend lots of money just to "build a railway between a few locations", especially when the contract has "technology transfer" written in it.

For some perspective from "the other side":
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/22/131520776/china-s-technology-transfer-draws-ire [npr.org]

Mr. SHIROUZU: Well, starting in 2004, four foreign companies - Siemens of Germany, Alstom of France, Bombardier of Canada and Kawasaki of Japan - they agreed with China to transfer technology so that China can come up with the high speed trains. China spent money for that. In Kawasaki's case, China spent close to $760 million to come up with a train that goes as fast as 155 miles per hour.

And over the last five to six years, China's train companies learn quickly, enough so that they started adding technology, innovation to the original technology. And they believe they've done enough re-innovating that trains that they came up with are their own technology.

BLOCK: You talk in one of your reports for the journal with folks at one of China's high speed rail companies, CSR, and a spokesman says, look, this is nothing like Kawasaki's bullet train. He has this great quote, we attained our achievements in high speed train technology by standing on the shoulders of past pioneers.

Mr. SHIROUZU: Yes. That's what they say. They don't deny the fact that their latest trains are based on foreign technology. They don't deny that. Foreign companies are saying that you haven't made enough additional innovation. There's no way you can call this your own technology.

But, China says, no, no, no. You know, we made enough additional innovation that we're calling these trains the result of our effort. So they feel that they can export these trains to places like U.S., Brazil, Russia maybe, and foreign companies feel that that is in violation of their contract.

So looks like a contract dispute to me. If the foreign companies made mistakes in "legal" in their haste to seal the deal or "gain a foothold", then too bad so sad.

Everyone with a clue already knew what China wanted. It's been known for years what's going on, see what the US Bureau of Industry and Security says:
http://www.bis.doc.gov/defenseindustrialbaseprograms/osies/defmarketresearchrpts/techtransfer2prc.html [doc.gov]

Most US and other foreign investors in China thus far seem willing to pay the price of technology transfers - even "state-of-the-art technologies - in order to "gain a foothold" or to "establish a beachhead" in China with the expectation that the country's enormous market potential eventually will be realized. A primary motivation for investing in China at this time and despite the difficulties and risks involved, is in order to beat foreign and domestic competitors to the China market.
Numerous US high-tech firms have agreed to commercial offset or technology transfer agreements in exchange for joint ventures and limited market access in China. An increasingly frequent type of commercial offset is the establishment of a training or R&D center, institute, or lab, typically with one of China's premier universities or research institutes located in Beijing or Shanghai.

If you play with fire don't act surprised if you get burned.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317546)

no, back in time there must have been some original innovations by individuals with truly unique minds on which most other things were built.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318000)

Except that all of those "original innovations" were built upon many previous smaller innovations. It's just how things work.

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318228)

Except that all of those "original innovations" were built upon many previous smaller innovations. It's just how things work.

But was there a Prime Innovator [wikipedia.org] , or an infinite sequence of infinitely small innovations?

Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317672)

right, you invest tons of time and money into research and development to design and build mag levs and they just buy one and copy and build their own ?

Proofreading! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317456)

German isn't a country, and it's "rail" not "tail"...

Proofreading?

Who is accusing China of stealing trains? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317460)

I agree with the spokesman that it's not theft if they bought the designs legally.

Re:Who is accusing China of stealing trains? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317822)

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.

Re:Who is accusing China of stealing trains? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317986)

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 means iPhone (from Foxconn) would not be allowed to enter. Or most other cellphones.
They can either increase their standards to protect their workers from harm, or else not sell product.

Going to expedia now.... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317466)


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.

Re:Going to expedia now.... (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317804)

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.

Fast women? (-1, Redundant)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317474)

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

Re:Fast women? (1, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317936)

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

Wham, Bam, Thank You Tram.

In Crony Capitalist China... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317482)

...High speed tail in high mountain area wags you!

No surprise. (4, Insightful)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317490)

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.

Bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318444)

in the bank-ridden white rat countries, banks do scientists in the ass. In china, they reward scientists, by bringing their visions to fruition.

In scaly, old stagnant inbred canal backwater Europe, it's no surprise to me that nothing's changing. I just wish it wasn't so..

We have a proud history and tradition, but we have our heads in the past too much. We need to embrace both paradigms. History and tradition and conservatism should ground us in wisdom, not hold us back from the future.

Re:No surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318794)

not sure the Shanghai airport train counts as much more than test track. maglev speeds are interesting over large distances, not core-to-airport shuttles. i think we can safely say that the Chinese have looked at it and decided that their needs in the short-to-medium term are better served by wheels-on-rails tech

If you "own" intellectual property (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317492)

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

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317634)

I agree, though what you say applies to more nations than just the US.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317776)

I agree, though what you say applies to more nations than just the US.

No other nation relies on IP so much as the USA does.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317836)

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 happier citizens. but it is also more expensive to produce things, since where workers have rights they agitate for better treatment

i used to be against protectionism. but now, i think we need protectionism more than ever. globalism only works when it is between nations that play fairly. and by that, i mean treat their citizens with respect. denmark shouldn't have any protectionism with australia which shouldn't have any protectionism with brazil. but all 3 should stop trading with china

currently, in the blind pursuit of greed, democratic capitalism is giving away its means of production to a country which does not share the same values. in the interest of the well-being of the workers of democracies, democracies should not trade with a nation that does not view its citizens as deserving of the reigns of power

of course, no one is going to listen to this: it hurts the bottom line. therefore, it will take many years before enough see the threat looming

there will be a day of reckoning years from now when, after all that pursuit of profit winds up creating a chinese autocratic colossus, the democracies of the world will be playing defense. all of their factories will be in china. all of their corporations will be bought out and headquartered in beijing. china is in this way becoming the ultimate expression of pure capitalistic power: no citizens rights, all pursuit of coin

at which point, the conflict will be taken to the interior of democracies, between capitalist forces controlled by china (buying off politicians, for instance), and the principles of democratic respect for the common man. the problem being, at that point too much power will be in chinese hands, and the fight might be lost. china, the autocracy, will take over the world without firing a single shot, because the corporations who are taking advantage of cheap labor in china now, in the future, after the buyouts, will simply be agents of beijing to enforce the flow of capital into china, by subduing democratic instincts in their former home countries

i'm not a xenophobe, i have nothing against china or chinese people. but i do have a burning fear and hatred of autocracy. if china would go democratic, i would not have a problem with the rise of china in the world. but as an autocracy, i must do all i can to sound the alarm and fight the rise of china, the autocracy (i would not fight china, the democracy, which would the greatest thing to come to pass, if it ever does)

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318238)

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:If you "own" intellectual property (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317656)

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.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317706)

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.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317710)

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."

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318162)

Before leaving China, destroy the machines and product blueprints.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318612)

Or better yet have someone else do it, rather than end up in jail. It is an appropriate and justified response to OP's issue.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (2, Interesting)

homer_s (799572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318440)

"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 creates wealth.The borders of a city or state or country do not change this fundamental fact.

Re:If you "own" intellectual property (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318930)

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?

Quote from that guy on The Runway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317552)

Oh.. Here come Hell go!

Not us! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not us! (0, Troll)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318460)

I have never met nor heard of a more dishonest group than Chinese. They cheat in all of my classes and get away with it because most of us do not speak Chinese. My professors have caught a couple different groups of them copying eachothers work on several occasions. Homework and tests that is. Pair this with how often you hear lies and obfuscation of truth from their ruling class, and how often Chinese manufacturers come over here and steal American ideas at trade shows (as happened to my father) or through corporate espionage, and how often they totally ignore international copyright laws, and how they actually manipulate financial markets like pegging their money to ours to gain an unfair advantage. I don't think all Chinese are bad, but their actions are certainly shady. I think they probably are more honest and fair when amongst their own people but they show contempt for the rest of us.

Re:Not us! (4, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319016)

I've noticed a tendency of most people to define ethics in a way that gives their own group an edge, and using that standard to measure everyone else's behavior. For example, black people 'steal' at a higher rate than white people, but white people actually steal vastly more wealth, they just do it through white collar tricks that they don't consider stealing. For example, they get money for R&D that never pans out, and which they could have known from the outset would never pan out, but they didn't ask the relevant questions because they didn't want to endanger the flow of money. Then they pretend that's just how R&D is. Or, the let their money "work for them" in the stock market, and pretend that they deserve high returns because their money is making the economy more efficient. They ignore the dynamics where they're getting richer because someone else in a less advantageous position is seeing their savings evaporate through inflationary effects that they can't protect themselves against.

So yes, Chinese people are dishonest, and have some other traits that are even worse, as well as virtues that compare favorably to Europeans. But in the graduate school I went to, all the Americans except myself were cheating, and professionally most of the Americans I've worked with have effectively been stealing. So I'm tired of hearing how corrupt other peoples are when our own culture is destroying itself. We are the reason our economy has been going down the shithole, its not the immigrants.

High-speed tail? (-1, Redundant)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317592)

...high-speed tail...

I want some of that.

 

Re:High-speed tail? (0, Redundant)

Yaddoshi (997885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317674)

Very painful, do not recommend.

Re:High-speed tail? (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318496)

...high-speed tail...

I want some of that.

It's available in lots of countries, but only China can provide it in high mountain areas.

High Speed Tail (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317626)

I say any innovation in mass transit that takes cars and trucks off the road is totally fine by me.

Re:High Speed Tail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318390)

Land mines take trucks off the road!

High-Speed Tail? (-1, Redundant)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317630)

Sounds more like a hooker that's double-booked to me.

Re:High-Speed Tail? (0, Redundant)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318086)

actually its work at home, broadband webcam models

Have they ever been caught doing HONEST business? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317734)

In business school when I was younger we were for reasons related to trade history given excerpts of a European trade compendium of sorts, comprising personal and governmental accounts, book-keeping etc. of trading in Europe during the past 5-600 years up until the early 1900s. Many of these accounts cover trade and business with the Chinese. Everything from travelling traders, small business, to governments was to be found in this compendium. When it comes to the accounts for trade with the Chinese, the compendium appears to be filled with one and the same repeated warning coming from the entire spectrum of traders: that the Chinese are dishonest, and that they cannot be trusted in business.

Re:Have they ever been caught doing HONEST busines (1)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318088)

In defense of the Chinese who found themselves trading with 19th century Europeans, that might be expected when you force one party to trade at gunpoint [wikipedia.org] .

Isn't everyone aware this is how it works? (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317958)

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 today, while a new competitor undercutting them tomorrow is someone elses problem.

Re:Isn't everyone aware this is how it works? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318290)

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 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318056)

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

Re:Good for them (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318800)

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. He drove the workers to the point of exhaustion, in the process setting records for laying track and finishing the project seven years ahead of the government's deadline.[35]

Intelectual Property value (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318070)

So how can we express in dollars and cents the value of a certain "intellectual property" asset? Because until we can do that no one can decide if China paid fair price or not on the "technology transfer". Is it "the market value"? If yes, then they sold it at market price ("whatever the buyer can bear"). Or is it that new rule of "as much as we can get by suing for infringements"? RIAA and MPAA have paved the way, but how exactly can you sue the Chinese?

High-Speed Tail (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318230)

high-speed tail

They broke 1,000 wags per minute? :D

Yes. those countries should suck up. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318266)

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 the advent of the 'ip/patent' fad in usa, it all turned upside down ?

well excuse me, you cant just agree to a tech transfer as a part of a contract, and then just chicken out when you feel you should be making even more money by patent trolling with it. in the strictest and most polite of the term ; suck it up.

High-speed tail?... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318270)

"He cited China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed tail in high mountain area as an example of additional innovation." Somehow, I don't think that brothels in the mountains are new or uniquely Chinese. I recently took a road trip through Nevada - and while not very mountainous, there was no shortage of establishments offering high-speed tail right along the highway.

Tail (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318294)

High speed tail is too hard to catch, I go for the slow weak ones.

Hi-larious! (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318656)

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 things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

different standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318734)

it's great they built it in only five years but what about safety standards? how many people died or were maimed in the construction of this train system?
what about quality? is this going to run for another 50 years or need to be rebuilt every five years after some catastrophic derailment? does it break down daily?

the chinese are notorious for cutting every corner possible to keep a few bucks. bridges collapse every few years because they are made of crappy material and they ignored all safeguard measures.

dealing with chinese manufacturers is hell. there is something to be said about legal accountability and quality control, all of which you cant get in china.

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