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Chinese bearing giant rides with railway boom

By Dai Tian | | Updated: 2017-01-13 09:25

Chinese bearing giant rides with railway boom

A worker tests a new production line for train bearings in ZWZ Group's factory in Wafangdian, Northeast China's Liaoning province, Jan 12, 2017. [Photo by Dai Tian/]

Chinese industry giant is set to place first home-developed bearings into the country's bullet trains.

With the new production line going through trial run, ZWZ Group will manufacture the first batch and conduct on board test in the second half of this year, said Meng Wei, the company's chairman, on Thursday.

"Such a move will end an era of high-speed train makers in China relying on importing the crucial part," Meng told China Daily.

Headquartered in Wafangdian, Northeast China's Liaoning province, ZWZ is the country's number one bearing company. It reported 5.5 billion yuan revenue and 100 million yuan net profit in 2016.

The company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the country's train manufacturer CRRC Corp last July. Train and automobile bearings now account for 20 percent of its sales, said Meng.

He added that the ZWZ Group has also teamed up with ultra-precision technological giant Taylor Hobson in opening a joint quality inspection lab.

"The two sides have committed 20 million yuan on equipment purchase, and experts of Taylor Hobson will help with our employees' training," said Meng.

The moves come as the 79-year-old State-owned enterprise (SOE) seeks to upscale and optimize its business structure, coinciding with an overall effort to revitalize northeast economy.

Once known as the country's "eldest son" since its founding, Liaoning was an industrial bastion in the 1950s and 1960s, before losing its steam due to inefficient State driven economy and an exodus of young talent.

"Difficulty in attracting top tier talent remains the company's biggest problem," said Meng,"We need to play catchup on promoting soft environment."

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