In 2016, Saleen entered a joint venture with the government of Rugao, a city in Jiangsu province with a population of roughly 1.4 million. The plan was for Saleen to use his experience, design, engineering and related technologies worth $800 million in the joint venture while maintaining a majority stake in the company with his American partners. Meanwhile, Rugao would bring $500 million in capital and $600 million in subsidized loans over three years to fund manufacturing sites and operations in exchange for a minority stake.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Saleen claims “the deal was a sham.” According to the racing legend, the joint venture applied for 510 Chinese patents based on his designs, technologies, trade secrets and engineering developments. He adds that most of these patent filings didn’t list him as an inventor. The company, known as Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technologies (JSAT), unveiled a range of models 12 months ago.
Saleen asserts that the government of Rugao is attempting to take over the joint venture now that it has his intellectual property and patents. He claims that the director of corporate affairs for JSAT, Grace Yin Xu, has been missing since June 22 when she entered a government building shortly after refusing to lie to local law enforcement who wanted her to state Saleen’s business partner had provided false information and embezzled money. In addition, the company’s vice president of manufacturing, Frank Sterzer, was allegedly detained for six hours by the authorities.
Apparently the company and its IP have been effectively nationalized by the mainland Communist Chinese government.
This story is actually from last week, but seems to have slipped under a lot of radars.
Xi calls on Chinese not to waste food as crop shortage fears grow: State media has gone into overdrive to highlight gastronomic excesses. “State media has gone into overdrive to highlight food wastage and the response by retailers. Broadcaster CCTV pointed to the Daweiwang live streams that show people eating vast amounts of food as an example of encouraging gluttony and food wastage, calling on the public to ‘applaud thriftiness.’”
I predict this will result in — entirely rational — food hoarding in response.
More on China’s likely impending food problems here.