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SAIC denies it stole S. Korean tech

SHANGHAI Automotive Industry Corp yesterday dismissed allegations that it stole technology from its South Korean auto-making affiliate, claiming the "technology exchange" was a normal commercial activity.

"The accusation is totally baseless," said SAIC spokesman Zhu Xiangjun.

SAIC, China's biggest car maker, holds 51 percent of South Korea's Ssangyong Motor Co.

Zhu said that all the technology transfers between the two companies were based on contracts that complied with international practices.

Ssangyong labor union leaders held a rally at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on Tuesday. The protestors, chanting slogans and waving placards, accused SAIC of stealing technology from the company and violating cooperation promises.

"SAIC and Ssangyong focus on different technologies," Zhu said. "The Ssangyong labor union accused us of stealing their technology for a hybrid diesel engine, but SAIC's research field is a hybrid gasoline engine. Meanwhile, Ssangyong's technology is in the concept phase while the hybrid power-sedan developed by SAIC will be mass-produced in one year."

Ssangyong labor union leaders also said SAIC had failed to fulfill its promise to invest US$1 billion in Ssangyong .

"We have never made such a promise," Zhu said.


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