A couple of days after its first road test, China’s Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) was reported by Chinese media to be a mere stunt, used by its creator to collect money.
According to a report by Chinese newspaper Nanfang Metropolis Daily last Friday, an investment company called “Huaying Kailai” has been raising a fund for the TEB since May, three months before the bus’s test run. The fund size is between RMB 50 million to 100 million (USD 7.5 million to 15 million), with an expected annualized return of 12%.
In March, Huaying Kailai was listed by the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce as a “counterfeit company”, a form of scam investment where a company imitates the presentation of an official mainland-based corporation, in order to lure investment.
The president of Huaying Kailai, Bai Zhiming, is also president of TEB Technology, the manufacturer of TEB.
The legal guarantor for Huaying Kailai’s fundraising for the TEB is an enterprise called the “China Build Enterprise Association”. The China Build Enterprise Association was also founded by Bai, and it was declared an illegal association by the Chinese authorities in April.
From the above information, the report by the Nanfang Metropolis Daily concluded that the TEB project seems like a scam to fool investors.
Follow-up reports on Monday seemed to have confirmed this.
Huaying Kailai’s parent company, the Huaying Group, signed an agreement with the port of Zhoukou, a city of central Chinese province Henan, to build a TEB manufacturing base in December 2015. The Huaying Group planned to invest RMB 10 billion, and launch its first TEB in 2017. The construction of the base has not yet even started.
Technologically, the idea of TEB is also difficult to be realized.
“The TEB is apt to turn on its side due to its heavy weight and a high center of gravity; skybridges will be a restriction to the TEB; vehicles underneath the TEB will be at risk when the TEB is turning; and the TEB will be unfit for most crossings in China due to its big turning radius,” said Cheng Shidong, a division director at the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation of the National Development and Reform Commission, Tencent Tech reported on Monday.
In fact, even the first road test of the TEB was a diminished version. According to the agreement between TEB technology and the government of Qinhuangdao, the test track was planned to be one kilometer long. But it was finally reduced to 300 meters because of “unsatisfactory road conditions”.
(Top photo from Epaper.hljnews.cn)