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Suppliers chosen for jumbo jet
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China's jumbo jet maker has selected the first group of domestic suppliers to help it build its 150-seat jumbo jets.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China selected nine suppliers from 50 candidates and signed memorandums of understanding with them on Tuesday to produce undercarriages, doors and wings, the company said in a statement on its Website.

Names of suppliers were not released, but Zhejiang-based Xizi United Holding Corp, which produces elevators and Metro screen doors, was thought to be the only private company among the suppliers. It is expected to produce doors for the jets.

Zhang Qingwei, chairman of the jet producer, said it will select system suppliers and begin seeking overseas suppliers by the end of this year.

China will invest 200 billion yuan (US$29 billion) in developing the 150-seat jet, called the C919.

All stages of the process - from design to sourcing and production - will be done in China, with aims to reduce the country's reliance on overseas firms such as Boeing and Airbus.

An initial design of the jet has been completed. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight in 2014 and is to be delivered to customers by 2016.

The Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country's largest aircraft maker and parent of the jumbo jet producer, said on Tuesday it is seeking a group listing abroad for its newly built unit.

China Aviation Technology International Holding Co was inaugurated on Tuesday as a trade and logistics platform for the AVIC. It has total assets exceeding 50 billion yuan, accounting for 16.67 percent of the AVIC.

Its parent will seek strategic investors, according to Lin Zuoming, president of AVIC.

(Shanghai Daily May 29, 2009)

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