This situation, regrettably, still occurs all the time in China’s car industry. One might wonder why FAW would risk canceling the joint venture and blatantly continuing production, stealing the production capability without even paying a license fee for each future 323 (excuse me -Haima Familiy II) car produced, considering that FAW and Mazda have their other joint venture building the Mazda6. It’s a mixture of politics and business in China. Mazda knew they couldn’t change the outcome, and still has a chance to profit in China at the Mazda6 joint venture, and with Changan. .
There are over 10 companies in China producing light trucks that appears to be Isuzu NPRs. Did they all pay license fees? No. Only one did. The others are all copies, so-called reverse-engineering. Great Wall’s Safe SUV looks like an early 90’s Toyota 4-Runner (not to mention their pickups), but the company never had any cooperation with Toyota. Only in China can companies get away with this. The cental and provincial governments protect the companies, because the companies create profit and necessary jobs. Compared to US and European car makers, the Japanese are less likely to complain, because as they are focused on the business aspect, they see the vast potential of the Chinese market, and are well aware of the anti-Japanese sentiment still strong among China’s people owing to World War II atrocities, such as the Nanjing massacre and germ warfare Unit 731.