The transfer of energy technologies from the United States to China will help
the world's two biggest energy consumers reduce their impacts on the global
environment, a Harvard professor in Beijing said yesterday.
Nuclear, wind and solar energy technologies are being transferred, and US
enterprises are playing a major role in the process, but worries about
intellectual property rights are hindering their actions, Richard Vietor the
senior associate dean of Harvard Business School (HBS) told China Daily in an
exclusive interview yesterday.
He was in Beijing as part of the HBS' China Immersion Experience program at
Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management.
The professor of environmental management noted that the US-based
Westinghouse Electric Company had recently signed a deal to help China build
five nuclear reactors. Other US companies, like General Electric and Chevron,
have also had commercial success in transferring solar and wind power and also
coal gasification technologies to China.
In the future, hydrogen technologies, which the US is researching, could also
be transferred, he said.
In the energy sector, the US Government bars only the transfer of
defense-related technologies to China, he said.
"I can't think of an area where we (the two countries) compete more than we
cooperate," he said in reference to energy technology.
The two countries must cooperate because they are the world's largest energy
consumers and importers, and also pump the most carbon dioxide into the air, he
The biggest problem to emerge for the American side has been intellectual
property rights, he said.
"I have talked with a lot of American companies that are not willing to
invest here because they are afraid that their technologies will be stolen.
"I have also talked with firms here that are organizing their production so
that their core technology is only accessible to a non-Chinese employee," he
said. "It shouldn't have happened, but just imagine how terrible things can be
if you have some great technology and it shows up at another company two blocks
The greatest fear of US companies has been the possibility that senior
Chinese employees who understand the core technology could take their knowledge
over to a competitor, he said.
(China Daily 01/05/2007 page3)