* To invest $500 mln on R&D, $1.5 bln on tech, financial JVs
* Four energy and rail JVs already signed
* Innovation centers planned for Chengdu, Shenyang, Xi'an
(Adds executive comment, details)
BEIJING, Nov 9 General Electric Co (GE.N) will
invest more than $2 billion in China through 2012 to expand its
research and development and customer support capabilities, the
company's chief executive said on Tuesday.
GE, the largest U.S. conglomerate, will spend $500 million on
R&D and more than $1.5 billion on technology and financial
services joint ventures, CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement
during a visit to Beijing.
"The new joint ventures are in line with our strategy to
build partnerships in China to support our business here and
globally," said Immelt.
China is an increasingly important market for GE as the
country continues to build infrastructure and expands and
upgrades its airports and airline fleets.
GE has already signed four energy and rail joint venture
agreements with Chinese state-owned firms, according to the
Two of the agreements are with units of China's State Grid,
the country's largest power grid operator, one to manufacture and
market grid monitoring and diagnostic products and another to buy
a controlling stake in a Shanghai-based green power distribution
GE also signed agreements with a unit of China South
Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp to develop components for
diesel locomotives and with the Beijing National Railway Research
and Design Institute of Signal and Communication to supply
railway and urban transit signaling systems.
The company also plans to spend $500 million on customer
innovation centers in six cities, said Immelt. The first three of
those are in Chengdu, Shenyang and Xi'an.
GE provided no details about the planned financial services
(Reporting by Terril Jones; Editing by Don Durfee and Ken