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Boeing needs China to approve the 737 Max. But that won't end its epic sales drought

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

HANGZHOU, CHINA - OCTOBER 12, 2020 - Boeing 737-300 aircraft parked in Zhejiang communications vocational and technical college, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China, October 12, 2020.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Boeing is finally close to getting its 737 Max back into the air again in the United States. But the company still faces challenges in the critical aviation market of China, where its business woes go way beyond the troubled aircraft.

The CAAC said last month that it has its own criteria that Boeing (BA) needs to meet before China will be satisfied with the plane again, including assurances that changes to its design are "safe and reliable. "

But the company hasn't sold any passenger planes to China in the past two years for reasons "everyone knows," Sherry Carbary, president of Boeing China, said late last year, according to the state-owned Shanghai Observer.

"Boeing remains compelled to grow its footprint in the China civil aviation market for economic and strategic reasons, alone," said Alex Capri, research fellow at Hinrich Foundation and visiting senior fellow at National University of Singapore.

Last year, weeks after China grounded Boeing 737 Max, Airbus announced a deal to sell 300 passenger jets to Chinese airlines.

"As for [Boeing] losing market share to Comac, there's no certainty when this might happen," Capri said, adding that China has been trying unsuccessfully to build cutting edge jet engines and other tech for decades.

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