The fate of Boeing in the Chinese market has become a mystery after China imposed sanctions against the US company.
On October 26, China announced that it will impose sanctions on a number of US individuals and entities involved in arms sales to Taiwan.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, the companies in question are Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing Defense, Boeing’s arm responsible for Boeing’s defense products and services.
It is still unknown what exactly the measures announced by China will consist of. It is unlikely, however, that sanctions will greatly affect Boeing’s activities, as the number of the company’s military aircraft in China is quite limited.
In an interview, Chinese civil aviation analyst Qi Qi believes that there is a possibility that China will impose tougher sanctions or extend them to Boeing’s commercial activities if the United States continues its collaboration with Taiwan.
The expert considered, however, unlikely that the Asian country will impose sanctions beyond the field of defense.
“There is more harm than benefit in sanctions on Boeing in civil aviation. Everyone knows that Boeing aircraft of various types are used in Civil Aviation in China. Boeing’s entire production chain is involved in keeping these aircraft in good condition: their aviation materials, inspection systems, maintenance, etc. If sanctions are to affect civilian aircraft, then the entire scope of their maintenance will be affected, as the operating costs of these aircraft will increase, and flight safety will be threatened,” Qi Qi said.
However, if tensions between China and Boeing worsened to the point of affecting the company’s commercial projects in the country, some analysts consider that it would be a possibility for China to promote its own aeronautical industry in the domestic market. Qi Qi, for its part, believes that the country still lacks a few steps to do so.
“There are analysts who believe that sanctions against Boeing will clear up market space for Chinese-made aircraft. However, first, we need our C919 aircraft to enter mass production and enter commercial use, but at the moment we do not have a clear timeframe of when this will happen. In addition, many of the key parts of the C919 are manufactured by Boeing, so sanctions could affect C919 production,” Qi Qi said.
The analyst pointed out, however, that Boeing is not the only option for Chinese aviation, as, after all, the country can also go to Airbus. He further considered that the US company has much to lose if its relations with China are broken.
“China is a very important market for Boeing. Boeing’s only final assembly center abroad is located in Zhoushan, China. The company absolutely needs to develop cooperation with China, only a political factor can generate conflicts. In this case, I recommend Boeing convince its government to stop its antics,” Qi Qi concluded.