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High-speed rail network, a 'calling card' for China

(People's Daily Online)    08:54, April 09, 2015
A new type of locomotive to be delivered by CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd. (Xinhua Photo)

From selling equipment to selling technology, from one-shot deals to winning repeat customers, CSR Corporation Limited is presenting the new image of "Made in China" to the world.

CSR Corp Chairman Zheng Changhong said Premier Li Keqiang has played the role of salesman for the high-speed train sector. Whenever he makes an overseas visit, he takes a model of the CHR 380A with him, a high-speed, multiple-unit train manufactured by CSR Qingdao Sifang Co. Nearly half of the high-speed trains in China are manufactured by Sifang. Premier Li has sold them to 12 countries. High-speed trains have become a "calling card" for China.

From selling equipment to selling technology, CSR's "going global" program has stepped up a level. CSR won a $1 billion contract to provide an intercity train to Argentina in 2013. The first 54 cars have already gone into service in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. Last month, Sifang dispatched more than 30 staff to Argentina, where it is providing technical support and training under the terms of the contract. It shows the company's 'going global' program has moved from providing only products to providing a combination of products, services and technologies.

CSR won $3.76 billion in overseas orders in 2014, up 68.6 percent from the previous year. The Thai railway project and a high-speed project linking Singapore and Malaysia are in progress. On March 14, China and Thailand signed an agreement relating to building a railway linking the two countries.

In March 2015, 95 locomotives produced with CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive technology rolled off the assembly line in South Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma said CSR had made a significant contribution to success in local production and procurement, technology transfer, training of local staff, and other related areas.

Compared with international competitors, Chinese train producers have a clear advantage in terms of cost, delivery time, manufacturing capacity, and a complete product portfolio.

In 2014, South Africa CSR Zhuzhou signed a deal with South Africa for 359 locomotives, compared with a deal for 240 locomotives from Bombardier.

Innovation is the basis for brand development. Where there is no innovation in technology and services, there is no viable brand, said Ding Rongjun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. CSR can no longer be considered to have mastery only of fragmented rail technology, but of the entire technology system. This represents the start of the CSR brand, according to Ding Rongjun.  

This article was edited and translated from 《中国南车 轨道上的“国家形象”》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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