German Firms Mull Selling Transrapid Technology to China | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 22.10.2004
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German Firms Mull Selling Transrapid Technology to China

German engineering giants Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, developers of the Transrapid high-speed magnetic levitation train, might sell the technology to China if they cannot build a Transrapid line in Germany, business daily Handelsblatt reported Friday. However, a spokesman for the Transrapid International consortium rejected the report. "It's absolutely imperative that the Munich line be built, otherwise there is a danger that Germany will lose the technology. But Siemens and ThyssenKrupp will not quit the consortium," the spokesman told AFP. Handelsblatt said that if financing could not be agreed for the construction of a Transrapid route between Munich city center and Munich airport, Siemens and ThyssenKrupp might quit the Transrapid International consortium and sell out to China, which already uses the train on a commercial basis. The newspaper quoted sources close to the consortium. A commercial Transrapid service already operates on a 38-kilometer route between Shanghai and Pudong. "The further technological development of the Transrapid, which is necessary for cost reasons alone, can only be safeguarded if the technology can be tried and tested in day-to-day use," a consortium spokesman told Handelsblatt. The high-tech Transrapid has encountered a number of big setbacks in its home country, with none of the original projects to use it on a commercial basis in Germany coming to fruition. The Munich project, too, is under threat from a dispute over financing. (AFP)