Can a trade war now defer the day when China makes competitive wide-body jets?

One of the stated aims of the Trump trade sanctions is to get China to respect US intellectual property protection.

Many U.S. firms have been willing to transfer technology in return for access to China’s labor and consumer markets.

US sanctions did hurt ZTE.

Most companies are not as protective as SpaceX about innovation and are not making as much innovation

In 2012, Elon Musk said SpaceX did not have any interest in holding patents.>A “We have essentially no patents in SpaceX,” Musk told Wired . “Our primary long-term competition is in China-if we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.”

US and Europe have competitive passenger jets

Since both Europe and the US both have competitive passenger jets, it seems that China and Russia know exactly where they need to improve in engines and materials to make a competitive passenger jet.

Europe was able to catch up to Boeing with the Airbus project so there it seems reasonable that China and Russia will succeed with their $20 billion project to develop competitive passenger jets.

China and Russia have $20 billion project to crack the passenger jet market

China, Russia and some western suppliers are teaming up on a $20 billion project to replicate the success of Airbus and achieve a major breakthrough into the passenger jet market.

The China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation Limited (CRAIC) 50-50 joint venture was launched on May 22, 2017 in Shanghai, targeting a 2025-2028 maiden flight and first delivery. It aims to take 10% of a market dominated by Boeing and Airbus of 9,100 widebodies over 20 years through 2035, with a plane 10-15% cheaper to run. Based in Shanghai where the assembly line will be located, CRAIC will oversee the programme : technology development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, customer services, and programme management. The fuselage will be aluminum, total investment will be $13-20 billion.

Airbus is a European joint venture which took billions in funding to capture about 10-20% of the passenger jet market over the first twenty years before breaking through to get about 50% of the market.

For 2023–45, UAC and Comac forecast a 7,000 widebodies demand for $1.5 trillion – an average of $214 million, their goal for first delivery is 2027. The 280 passengers capacity over 12,000 km is comparable to the Airbus A330-900 but with a nine-abreast economy seating, the shrink would seat 230 while the stretch 320.