Boeing faces prospect of China’s political wrath thanks to Trump

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Dec. 12, 2016, © Leeham Co.: “China Inc.,” the combined group of airlines and lessors directed or controlled by the government, is Boeing’s largest customer, an

China is Boeing largest single customer. Campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump could prompt the Chinese government to retaliate against Boeing, favoring Airbus for orders instead. Rendering via Google images.

analysis of the company’s’ backlog at Dec. 5 shows.

Boeing’s website lists “China” with 292 orders in backlog. Fifty of these appear to by Unidentified orders. LNC arrived at this figure by viewing the Chinese customers in Boeing’s identified list, which amounts to 242 orders. Some believe the number of Unidentifieds attributable to China may be higher.

The data shows just how much Boeing has at risk with the so-far unpredictable foreign trade policy espoused by President-Elect Donald J. Trump.


  • Boeing’s long history of supplying airliners to China began with President Nixon’s historic trip.
  • China was a reliable customer through global economic downturns.
  • But China doesn’t hesitate to use Boeing (or Airbus) as a pawn in geopolitical politics.
  • Airbus now at parity in China airplane sales.
  • Can Jim McNerney educate Trump?

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