“Airbus on rail" : Interesting debate underlining how states work to support, protect and grow their industrial champions - EU Explores Ways to Counter China’s State-Backed Capitalism
EU Explores Ways to Counter China's State-Backed Capitalism
January 15, 2018 - Valentina Pop in Strasbourg and Ruth Bender in Berlin for The Wall Street Journal
Concerns about China's state-backed capitalism are prompting the European Union to reassess its competition rules with an eye to allowing large mergers or a more muscular response to foreign competitors.
The bloc is reviewing its merger rules as concerns increase in the West about Chinese economic might
The rethink—the subject of an unusual debate among senior officials Tuesday—has been prompted by the proposed merger of Europe's two rail giants. Siemens AG of Germany and Alstom SA of France in 2017 announced plans to merge to better compete with Chinese rail behemoth CRRC Corp., the world's largest rail supplier. Several European governments have objected to the linkup because it would limit competition within Europe.
The debate comes as concerns are increasing in the West about Chinese economic might and the tight links between many Chinese companies and the Chinese government. Polish authorities on Friday arrested two men on charges of spying for China and calls are growing in many capitals to ban telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. and other Chinese suppliers.
In a rare move, members of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, on Tuesday debated the merits of blocking the Siemens-Alstom merger on antitrust grounds. French President Emmanuel Macron has championed the linkup as a potential “Airbus on rail," referring to Europe's aviation giant.