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Business

Deutsche Bahn eyes shopping spree in China

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has said it's considering buying trains and spare parts from Chinese producers in a couple of years. German suppliers such as Siemens will not be amused by the announcement.

German rail giant Deutsche Bahn said it was mulling the option of buying trains and spare parts from China medium-term.

"In three to five years from now, Asia and China in particular can assume a key role in supplying Deutsche Bahn with trains and spare parts," board member Heike Hanagarth said in an interview for Tuesday's edition of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung."

She mentioned that the company would most likely open a purchasing office in Beijing as early as this coming fall.

Looking for alternatives

"It's our objective to cooperate with Chinese train makers CSR and CNR," Hanagarth added. The two companies are in the process of merging right now to be in a better position to win more orders from abroad.

The combined entity would have future capacities able to cover half of the global demand for trains, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" estimated.

Hanagarth told the newspaper that Deutsche Bahn wanted to "show current suppliers like ICE trainmaker Siemens that it was taking a closer look at the offers made by competitors. She also said the Chinese government was highly interested in getting a deal with Deutsche Bahn.

The manager emphasized that the days were long gone when the two words "China" and "quality" were a contradiction.

hg/pad (AFP, Reuters)

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