Sunday, December 05, 2010

Innovation in China

I was pretty impressed on Saturday morning when I read about China's new high speed train:
Measurements during trial service on the run showed that train CRH380A reached a maximum speed of 486.1 km/h (302 mph), breaking the world operation speed record for unmodified commercial use trains. With this run, the train obliterated its
own previous record speed of 416.6 km/h (259 mph) set a mere two months ago.
I'll admit my bias toward China is it's a great place to buy cheap throw away items. Now it seems they're capable of advanced technology as well.

Good for China. They have the money and economic growth to invest in new technology, and the fact that they have partnered with a strong international company like Siemens is a positive sign that the technology may be transferred to the rest of the world.

There's probably no need to make too big of a deal about the train. It's normal operating speed is 350km/hr which isn't terribly faster than the TGV trains in Europe. Nonetheless, the story offers a welcome challenge to my image of China as a low tech, high pollution economy.


Anonymous said...

This isn't surprising considering China's historical dominance in technology and innovation.

Kursk said...

I wonder from which western country they stole the technology?

As well, its through the sale of those cheap, disposable items that allows China to completely fund their military and all its purchases.

Ain't slave labour grand?

Heather said...

I'm not surprised, China has been always technologically updated, history proves that.

Yes, they focused on quantity rather than quality these last years, but that doesn't mean they've lost the capability to challenge world's best inventions. Hurray for the train!

Patrick O'Neil said...


Siemens is a German company. I'm sure they played a large role in the development.

Anon and Heather,

Clearly you're far more charitable than I.

Regardless I think it's great - the more of the world economy that is focused on invention, the better all of our lives will be. I hope this is a sign of things to come. For a while it seemed that China's main contribution was to drive down the price of labour.