No patents = $3,000 cars

by Stephan Kinsella on June 4, 2011

From the P2P Foundation (h/t Kevin Carson), an interesting piece about knock-off cars in China: “In China, you can get Shanzai (‘knock-off brands’, i.e. the illegal but tolerated version of open and shared design) electric cars for about $3,000, less than a tenth of the price of normal ‘IP’-augmented electric cars.”

I think China’s economy is more of a basket case than many do (Don’t Bet on China; Don’t Bet on China: Redux), but the thing they are often criticized for–lax IP enforcement–is one of their strengths. Too bad the West is persuading them to increasingly adopt Western-style IP (Intellectual Property Imperialism).

The Shanzai Electric Car Revolution in China

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
3rd June 2011

 

In China, you can get Shanzai (‘knock-off brands’, i.e. the illegal but tolerated version of open and shared design) electric cars for about $3,000, less than a tenth of the price of normal ‘IP’-augmented electric cars.

Eric Hunting writes:

“Very nice video discussing the explosively growing phenomenon of ‘shanzhai’ electric cars in China. I learned of this recently while shopping on the increasingly popular Alibaba international trade site where I was surprised to find this huge variety of astoundingly low cost electric powered vehicles from largely unknown companies in China. This is a very interesting situation in the context of the impact of what you could call ‘rogue’ manufacturing pushing a larger trend in more environmentally responsible technology and forcing government to scramble to catch-up. “

Fascinating reportage, watch it here.

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