Tags: China | faa | airplane boarding bridges | jetway systems | cimc-tianda

Chinese Company That Stole Airport Intel Aims to Make US Comeback

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(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 June 2020 10:55 AM

A Chinese company that was found guilty of stealing information from an American company is trying to make its way back into U.S. projects, Politico reports.

CIMC-Tianda, which manufactures airplane boarding bridges, is bidding on several projects at U.S. airports. The company is a subsidiary of state-owned China International Marine Containers, which raises concerns for several Republican lawmakers, who are critical of China’s influence, according to Politico.

The manufacturer was found guilty in a U.S. district court in Houston in 1998 of stealing intellectual property of Jetway Systems, which also produces jet bridges. The Chinese company used the stolen information to win contracts. The company was banned from selling designs other than its own for 10 years. Now, it is aiming to win contracts to carry out work in American airports again, according to Politico.

The company’s reemergence into the U.S. has some lawmakers working to stop their efforts.

To prevent the company from winning any contracts, some lawmakers have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to tell airport authorities to reject the company’s bids.

China hawks also have introduced a bill that would tell the FAA to make a list of any state-owned companies that have been “determined by a Federal court to have misappropriated intellectual property or trade secrets” from U.S. organizations. Those companies would then be prohibited from working on federally-funded contracts for passenger boarding bridges, which would essentially ban Tianda from jet bridge projects.

In a statement, the FAA said it has started working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Justice Department on identifying companies that have misappropriated intellectual property or trade secrets.

The company looks like it may win a contract at Miami International Airport to build 12 jet bridges. Politico reports it is the lowest bidder for the project. Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio urged the airport's CEO to reject the bid. 

Other airports are putting measures in place that prevent the company from winning any contracts. Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, put a clause in its request for bids that states it will not consider bidders “who have been found guilty by any court in the United States of crimes pertaining to industrial espionage or intellectual property theft.”

A spokesperson for Boston Logan International Airport told Politico Tianda was not selected to complete a project. The company also lost a bid in Orlando last year, even though it submitted the lowest offer.

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A Chinese company that was found guilty of stealing information from an American company is trying to make its way back into U.S. projects, Politico reports.
faa, airplane boarding bridges, jetway systems, cimc-tianda
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2020-55-16
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 10:55 AM
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