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China launches weapons procurement website

2015-01-05 08:50 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

China launched an official military weapons procurement website on Sunday in an effort to better guarantee transparency in arms procurement and break down barriers for private companies seeking to enter the market, analysts said.

Under the General Armament Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the website, www.weain.mil.cn, provides information on the country's weapon and armament needs, relevant policies, procurement notices, enterprise lists and technology.

A total of 350 items to be procured have been listed on the website, with wheeled 4G base stations and composite materials the top two most-read as of press time.

According to a notice issued by the website on Sunday, procurement information will be released on the first working day of every January and July.

Private enterprises, military procurement departments, and military industry groups and personnel can all register on the website.

Qin Zhen, an executive editor with the Beijing-based magazine Ordnance Knowledge, told the Global Times that the site excludes information on major weapons platforms, such as jet fighters and main tanks, as well as crucial accessories.

"Unlike foreign countries, our private enterprises still lack capacity and experience in major weaponry manufacturing. But they may exceed major military industry groups in less important accessories, including computer chips, and be able to offer the military products with a high performance-price ratio," Qin explained.

The new platform is meant to cement military-civilian integration, accelerate arms procurement reform, break procurement barriers, improve competitiveness and promote efficiency, according to the PLA General Armament Department.

"Procurement information used to be confidential. The website can now make the whole procurement process more transparent, which is an opportunity for private enterprises to present their products but also one way to reduce [the effect of] personal influence on weapons procurement," Qin said.

Since 2014, a series of policies have been issued to improve military and civilian integration, market access, information exchange, supervision, and security.

In May 2014, China's first "military-civilian integration forum" put out procurement notices for approximately 200 items. The forum attracted more than 100 private businesses and saw scores of cooperation agreements signed.

Xinhua contributed to the story

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