To Conquer Wind Power, China Writes the Rules

The New York Times reports on the challenges faced by trying to enter the Chinese wind turbine industry:

With their government-bestowed blessings, Chinese companies have flourished and now control almost half of the $45 billion global market for wind turbines. The biggest of those players are now taking aim at foreign markets, particularly the United States, where General Electric has long been the leader.

The story of Gamesa in China follows an industrial arc traced in other businesses, like desktop computers and solar panels. Chinese companies acquire the latest Western technology by various means and then take advantage of government policies to become the world’s dominant, low-cost suppliers. It is a pattern that many economists say could be repeated in other fields, like high-speed trains and nuclear reactors, unless China changes the way it plays the technology development game — or is forced to by its global trading partners.

Companies like Gamesa have been so eager to enter the Chinese market that they not only bow to Beijing’s dictates but have declined to complain to their own governments, even when they see China violating international trade agreements.

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