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June 24, 2017

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General Electric boosts its presence in China

SHANGHAI--As the world's leading technology and infrastructure company, GE has been focusing on aviation, health care and energy in China. In its efforts to speed up expansion in the country, GE has launched a global offshore and marine organization to tap into the marine industry.

"We think globally. The way we like to think about the shipbuilding industry is: we power, we propel and we position," said Mark Hutchinson, president and CEO of GE Greater China.

Although China is the biggest shipbuilder in the world, it is more involved with low-end vessels or freighters, said Hutchinson.

But in the last couple of years, it has been moving up the value chain and started to focus on building high-tech ships, he added.

GE exhibited the three key innovations in its marine business — power, propel and position — at a trade fair in Shanghai in December.

For power, GE designs both diesel engines and gas turbines. Offering low emissions, rapid start-up and fuel flexibility, the gas turbine is widely used in commercial ships. For propulsion, it provides a new control system that is easier to operate. On positioning, it has a dynamic system that is more functional and "mariner friendly." It has also adopted a new human-machine interface with a control panel that is easy to view and understand.

Hutchinson said GE is putting a big emphasis on being a player in the marine industry in China.

"We do a lot of partnerships with local ship owners, the oil companies, and try to figure out how we can innovate together."

The management team at GE has studied China's Five-Year plans and come up with three major focuses for their own plan in the country.

One is aviation, which can help China improve its mass transportation system.

"We do a lot of work with the Chinese airlines, bringing state-of-the-art engine and avionics technology, particularly fuel saving innovation with lower emissions," the CEO said.

The second focus is medical services, especially medical devices.

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