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22 May 2022, 10:57 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 08:39 
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Icon, not Cirrus. But very interesting.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-investment-in-u-s-plane-maker-draws-fbi-national-security-reviews-11642507206?st=28j060grkgb3qoj&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

"Under review is a Chinese government-backed investment company’s nearly 47% stake—the largest of any shareholder—in Icon Aircraft Inc., a California-based maker of small recreational, amphibious planes. A group of U.S. shareholders has accused the Chinese firm of hollowing out Icon and moving its technology, which the Americans say has possible military applications, to China."

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also initiated a separate probe into possible criminal violations related to the deal and the alleged transfer of technology, according to the people and one of the documents."


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 09:45 
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I certainly don't like the Chinese owning American aviation companies BUT, this is ridiculous. The Icon has zero military applications and I'd much rather see it owned by the Chinese than to not exist at all. This is just another example of someone up high weaponizing our government.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 09:52 
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Amazing how many people will sell their soul to the devil and then are surprised when the devil doesn’t make nice.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 10:57 
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Username Protected wrote:
The Icon has zero military applications.

I will disagree. It can be easily adapted as a OPV or UAV for ISR missions.

It can be easily stored aboard and launched from and recovered by small ships and/or operate in littoral AOR’s.

Low and slow flyers may have an (swarm?) advantage if targeting and fire control systems ignore low & slow ops or swarms.

It is also cheap and could be built and deployed quickly, with minimal support.

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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 11:31 
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Username Protected wrote:
Amazing how many people will sell their soul to the devil and then are surprised when the devil doesn’t make nice.


And the US has never bought any foreign company to get the technology. Obviously.

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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 12:20 
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Username Protected wrote:
And the US has never bought any foreign company to get the technology. Obviously.


In US, government does not own companies or technologies.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 12:33 
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Everything depends on how the technology the company owns is classified.

The State Department and Commerce Department each classify technology that can be exported and the restrictions that may be imposed if export (and re-export) is allowed.

The State Department works under ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Technologies falling under ITAR have military application and therefore must have licenses to be exported.

Commerce, via the Bureau of Industry and Security, (BIS), works under EAR (Export Administration Regulations). Under this regime there are fewer restrictions, but still, there are restrictions.

ITAR trumps EAR.

China is heavily restricted on a number of fronts: Nuclear Proliferation, Biological, and Chemical weapons, and missile technology, to name a few. If ICON can't demonstrate their technologies fall under ITAR or an EAR category, then there's not a lot anyone can do. It's not much different than company A buying company B, merging their operations, then moving everything to company A's facilities.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 12:40 
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All major powers, the US included, engage in various forms of industrial espionage. What I find funny about this story is that I don’t know why the Chinese company would have bought all of Icon to get the technology. It would have cost them a lot less to just buy a few Icons, remove the wings and ship them to China to reverse engineer them. The engines aren’t Icon, they are Rotax. Also easily available. I’m not exactly sure what “technology” is involved in Icon per se … but whatever it is, far cheaper options existed than buying the whole company.

What the Chinese government is good at is looking over what their state-owned and minority-owned companies have in their portfolios and evaluating which of those technologies have military applications then developing them. Because the Chinese defense ministry is vertically integrated with these companies, its a very efficient system internally for this sort of thing. Putting aside actual spying for the moment (which the Chinese do also, of course, as do we and everyone else), this is a pretty intelligent use of economic resources as leverage for their national interest.

In the US, if the CIA goes out and steals some industrial secrets, they have to find someone to build stuff with them unless one of the US government laboratories can do it in prototype form. Which they do - and the USG will license tech to its contractors.

More often, however, I think US defense contractors go out and buy companies and/or technology, then incorporate it into their products, which they then pitch to the USG during their procurement process. Which is a less efficient method; its indirect, takes more time and some good technologies don’t get used by the government because they are embedded in a product that loses a procurement process for some other reason.

Not advocating for or defending the Chinese at all - I still want to send them a bill for this COVID mess! Not to mention human rights issues, espionage, etc. But I do think that without these state-owned Chinese companies, GA as we know it would be in a very bad way.

Very interesting article and we will see what comes of it!

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 12:56 
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Well this makes me feel better. I am so worried the Chinese have purchased a failed overpriced lake toy. I mean after all computer, ballistic missile and gain of function tech is okay but a fancy ultra lite is over the top for national security.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 14:08 
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Well this makes me feel better. I am so worried the Chinese have purchased a failed overpriced lake toy. I mean after all computer, ballistic missile and gain of function tech is okay but a fancy ultra lite is over the top for national security.

Next door is a Sikorsky plant that was used to produce S-76 and S-92 helos. It will close in March.
Some years back a Chinese delegation visited the plant. The delegation visit ultimately led to hacking of United Technologies system through the Sikorsky plant here and shortly afterward a PT-6 clone was produced in China.
UT was fined by the Gov. A shielded visitor room was created with video links to the plant and no longer could guests actually physically visit the plant.

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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 14:14 
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Username Protected wrote:
Well this makes me feel better. I am so worried the Chinese have purchased a failed overpriced lake toy. I mean after all computer, ballistic missile and gain of function tech is okay but a fancy ultra lite is over the top for national security.



This is exactly what Chinese are counting on.

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Ryan Holt CFI

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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 17:40 
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Username Protected wrote:
I certainly don't like the Chinese owning American aviation companies BUT, this is ridiculous. The Icon has zero military applications and I'd much rather see it owned by the Chinese than to not exist at all. This is just another example of someone up high weaponizing our government.


Interestingly, I don't care if there are military applications or not. I am concerned about them buying technology with commercial applications. Economy is the weapon.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 17:44 
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Chinese already own Cirrus. The carbon fiber technology is very important in new military tech. Our new ICBMS have composite technology in them... Hope that is not classified... think it is common knowledge.

The Williams engine used in the SF50 is a variant of the engine used in our cruise missiles. The auto land in the SF50 is probably superior to anything the chinese have. No military application??

I was shocked that the government allowed that, but the loonies are running the asylum.

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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 18:13 
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Username Protected wrote:
What I find funny about this story is that I don’t know why the Chinese company would have bought all of Icon to get the technology. It would have cost them a lot less to just buy a few Icons, remove the wings and ship them to China to reverse engineer them.

Maybe the Chinese didn’t like the purchase agreement Icon tried to use.


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 Post subject: Re: US Investigating Chinese Investment in US Plane Maker
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2022, 19:14 
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Anyone who hasn't heard of the "Belt and Road" initiative has some homework to do. China is not our friend and does not play fair.

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