I had been under the impression that Red Chinese automaker BYD was a Toyota licensee, though in Autocade I stopped short of making this assertion since I had no proof of it. I did think it was odd that BYD has Mitsubishi-derived engines. It turns out there is no connection with Toyota, but when you see things like the below you have to wonder.
Two years ago, BYD issued this photograph of its upcoming model, the F1. It since renamed the car the F0, because it claimed it didn’t to get into a legal dispute with the Formula 1 people.
Look familiar? While BYD might not want legal trouble with F1, it doesn’t seem to mind legal trouble with Toyota. Here’s a publicity photograph for the Toyota Aygo:
BYD’s general manager, Xia Zhibing, has been quoted as saying, ‘The BYD F1 is a model developed by ourselves and we hold the intellectual property right for it.’
I guess there’s no shame at BYD, and that the ideals of truthfulness in Confucianism haven’t made a return to parts of Red China.
Come on, Mr Xia, the only contribution BYD has made to the 2007 photo is in Adobe Photoshop! If you are going to lie about it, don’t make it so obvious by using someone else’s publicity pic ﬁrst! At least use CAD to generate something new!
Or this could be some form of getting war reparations from Japan, but that Toyota hasn’t been informed. (Remember the Bristol 401?)
And this is the company that Warren Buffett has put money in to. Somehow I think that if any BYD cars ever make it to the US as Mr Buffett intends, Toyota’s going slap a big court order on them, and not a single one will make it on to the market.
If you look at the F3 and F6, BYD’s larger models, the doors look identical to those of the Toyota Corolla E120 and Toyota Camry XV30 respectively, but the front- and rear-end styling has been modiﬁed to resemble some of Honda’s work. I understand the dimensions are slightly different but that an expert should be able to prove objective similarity in the shapes of the doors—or enough to stop BYDs from going on sale in many markets.
The F3 hybrid, the world’s ﬁrst plug-in production car, beating Chevrolet with its Volt, might have an innovative powertrain, but what is the likelihood that has come from somewhere else?
BYD shows how out of touch parts of Red Chinese commerce is with, well, honesty and decency. I’m happy to deal with mainland Chinese ﬁrms, but only those that I am connected to by blood or referred to by family—and governments should not be signing things like free-trade agreements with the Politburo in Beijing till some of these intellectual property issues can be sorted out.
New Zealand, of course, is a triﬂe too naïve, with its free-trade agreement with Red China—but that’s another story. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:41
Aren't you out of date by still using the term 'Red China'? Or are you whiter than the whites? What a shame !!! WOG
# posted by Jimmy: 5/06/2009 01:01:00 PM
No to both questions, Jimmy. At least I didn’t say ‘the occupied part of China’. So you’re telling me it’s not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party?
What 'occupied part of China'. CCP is Chinese. Can Chinese occupy their own country? And you're out of touch there - the term 'Red China' has not been in vogue for a long time. Anyway, I can tell that you are not in sync with the sentiments of most Chinese nowadays.
I think you’ll ﬁnd my stance more common among expatriates, but I agree it’s unlikely to be the prevalent view on the mainland.
I’m happy to debate this with you, as you didn’t resort to personal insults like Jimmy did on his ﬁrst comment.
What I just said was that I didn’t use ‘occupied’.
If you didn’t post out of spite, perhaps you would care to enlighten readers on what are the ‘sentiments of most Chinese nowadays.’ This is an open forum and I welcome a healthy exchange of views.
Frankly, I don’t really care if my usage is ‘in vogue’ or not—if we all expressed ourselves the same way, life would be rather dull. I believe the usage is correct: China is controlled by the Communist Party. I’m not the one reading in any negative meanings to ‘Red’. Besides, it’s a lucky colour!
Ideally, however, it would be nice to return to the main topic of BYD’s ethics rather than be intolerant over semantics. I don’t regard clamping down on another’s usage as particularly Chinese behaviour.
Dear Jack, this was a very informative post. It seems that some detractors have decided to attack your use of the term Red China.
This seems odd. Because, the post was really about Communist China (Red China) stealing the creative work of another country.
I guess your detractors do not want to discuss the merits of your post. Of course, it is obvious that it is hard to defend Communist China in this case, because Communist China (Red China) is obviously stealing the work of others.
It seems that the Communist Chinese are going to approach free-trade agreements like they do everything else. Namely, they are going to violate and violate until it becomes painful for them.
The United States and the EU could can make it painful for them by using trade as a bargaining point.
Since a huge part of Communist China's economy is fueled by trade with the United States and the EU, a change in trade agreements could force the Communist Chinese to abide by international trade agreements.
Until Communist China is put on notice by other countries, they will continue stealing. Stealing the work of others is wrong and China needs to realize this.
You make a good point is saying: "I guess there’s no shame at BYD, and that the ideals of truthfulness in Confucianism haven’t made a return to parts of Red China".
My hat is off to your for shining a bright light on the questionable trade practices of Communist China.
Thanks, Timothy. It was odd—and if they are supporting Red China, and are Chinese, then they are very out of touch with our culture. No Chinese I know would strive so hard to lose face on their ﬁrst comment to a stranger (and I must be a stranger to them because I have always used Red China as a term).Post a Comment
In losing face, they conﬁrm some of the themes in this post: that some traditional values have been lost. On that note I thank them.
I am obviously far prouder of the ingenuity of my people than they are—because I know we can do better than copy. I also know that if China—Red or otherwise—wished to take on the world in the automotive industry, it is capable of doing so, if it would compete at the same level as others.
With the exception of some of the foreigners making cars there (e.g. Honda) and SAIC (which owns MG and its self-conceived brand, Roewe), most Red Chinese manufacturers are creating cars that are a laughing stock outside their domestic market.
My ﬁrst two commenters seem more intent on trying to shoot the messenger on a trivium than care about the fate of China and, in doing so, defend intellectual property theft.
If my term were quaint (and I suggest it isn’t), then so be it! It would be a dull world if we didn’t have our own ways of expressing ourselves—and any Chinese would realize that our own language is ﬁlled with idioms that have come down over millennia.
It’s a tactic that we see in politics: in the vain hope of discrediting the message, the messenger is attacked on something off-topic.
I thank you for seeing the post as it really was: a commentary on BYD’s (and by extension, many Red Chinese companies’) tactics. Countries should indeed use trade as a tactic and ﬁght piracy.
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