Were The Distillery xenophobic, China would be scaring the dickens out of it right now. There is no doubt that China is becoming a dominant player in the world’s markets–military, space exploration, political, economic, and otherwise. That assessment seems very evident when looking at Weichai Power, a manufacturer of diesel engines in China’s Shandong province. One finds an interesting mix of both Oriental and Occidental at its web site.
Although the voice-over is in Chinese, the firm uses images of famous Western scientists–Archimedes, Newton, and Einstein–in an online video promotion. The Distillery finds that interesting considering all of the inventions by the Chinese themselves. (To name only a few–the abacus, paper, Indian ink, gunpowder, and the compass.) Clearly, Weichai Power is looking beyond China’s national borders and out to the larger world market for buyers of its diesel engines. And quite frankly, given labor costs in China, Weichai Power’s engines may well be excellent engines at prices western firms will have difficulty matching.
Even more, it appears the Chinese government is using the firm and their close relationship to tout China’s every-increasing modernization. For example, have a look at this television ad which highlights China’s beautiful new passenger train (powered by Weichai diesel engines), wind farms, construction projects, and modern cities. And quite frankly, that is a bit scary. Is China not doing the same as Japan by closely partnering private enterprise with government? Will that provide China essentially the same advantages enjoyed by Japanese firms with their close government and national banking ties? The likely answer is yes.
Caterpillar, meet Weichai, your newest nemesis–or partner, if you’re smart.
Home page: Weichai Power Co., Ltd.