Is GE Helping China Compete Against Boeing?

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg News - Lin Zuoming, president of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, with Jeffrey R. Immelt, G.E.'s chief, at a 2009 event in Beijing.

Things that make you go hmmmm.

The NY Times recently reported that GE would sign a lucrative joint-venture deal with a state owned Chinese manufacturer to provide the same high-tech avionics technology Boeing uses in their new advanced airliner the 787 Dreamliner.

Considering China’s recent introduction of a stealth fighter, does anyone besides me see this technology share as a bad thing. The technology includes the highly sophisticated computer control and networking system, core to the avionics brain of the Dreamliner. This sounds like a very bad idea to me.

The first customer of this joint-venture is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, also a government owned company. They manufacture the C919 Airliner which is a 200 seater and directly competes with the Boeing 737.

This comes on the tail of Boeing’s recent announcement that a soft aircraft market has pushed them to layoff 1,100 workers across multiple locations.  How many more layoffs will come should Boeing begin losing airliner sales to the Chinese?

Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Boeing, Jim McNerney Jr., was recently overheard musing about the possibility of moving the company to China. McNerney is no stranger to the GE company having spent over 19 years in various GE businesses, including President and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines, President of GE Asia-Pacific, and an Executive VP position at GE Capital.  His GE roots run very deep.  Somewhere in a back office where billion dollar deals are made, the GE/Boeing connection runs to the very top executive levels. You can bet that Boeing’s McNerney and GE CEO Jeff Immelt talk frequently.

Which brings everything back to here.  In Immelt’s own words, he’s “A nut for China. Every business discussion at GE should be including China, China, China, China, China.” The funny thing about that is, I’m struggling to see how helping China build jobs helps the US build jobs at home. (GE Laid off approximately 18,000 US workers in 2008) Jeffrey Immelt is President Obama’s pick to lead the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Here’s another little tidbit. In March of 2010, President Obama appointed Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney, to chair the Export Council, which operates as an advisory committee on international trade. You would think the kind of technology transfer this GE deal contains would have to be signed off on by this council. Hmmmm… coincidence?

If this joint-venture is successful, US Jobs will be lost. And GE does not get into these things to lose. More will be revealed, hopefully before another million US jobs are lost.

Corporations have neither bodies to be punished nor souls to be damned. ~Chinese Proverb

One thought on “Is GE Helping China Compete Against Boeing?

  1. Deborah Winter-Blood

    Unfortunately, it just makes good business sense for corporations to go offshore. I’m not saying I like it, I’m just saying that it’s very plain to see why they do so. American corporations can no longer afford to finance the inflated lifestyles of American workers who (as the foreclosure fiasco has shown) sometimes live in houses they can’t afford, have a car for every driver in the house, pay for 200 channels of cable TV and give their tweens cell phones. It’s insane the way we live. Did anyone really think it could possibly last?

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