Any time China announces they’re interested in getting into a market, people perk up and listen. I guess having over 1 billion people will do that for you.
So when China said they wanted to get into the commercial aircraft manufacturing business, I would assume Boeing and Airbus started drawing up battle plans. It may sound crazy now, but think back to the 1970s for a little perspective. At the time, Airbus was just getting started with their first plane, the A300. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and Lockheed all scoffed at their attempt. Fast forward and you know the rest of the story. Lockheed pulled out of the commercial market and McDonnell Douglas was swallowed by Boeing. Now the company that was laughed at in the 1970s has proven to be Boeing’s only true competitor.
There’s no reason that same thing can’t happen with China. The country has a very large sphere of influence and could likely sell aircraft through Asia, Africa, and South America with just a little political pressure. If they create a truly impressive plane, low prices and financing deals could make this take off very quickly. The idea of flying on a Chinese-made plane may sound funny now, but let’s see how it sounds in 20 years.