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Daxing East | Anshun China | Theme Park

Matt N

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Is it only me who's genuinely worried that Golden Horse's B&M knockoffs might put B&M out of business? I'd imagine they're a fair bit cheaper than actual B&Ms, and if they ride as smoothly as actual B&Ms, then I'm not sure if any parks would see a purpose in going for an actual B&M...
 

gavin

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I think it's been discussed years ago but... How is Golden Horse allowed to do this? Do copyright laws not stretch to China? Does it work differently there? I know I'm missing something but I don't understand how Vekoma and B&M aren't suing them or something.
A few reasons. Contrary to popular belief, China DOES have copyright laws, and, while some companies have been told to stop trading because of it - some clothing brands that have imitated Western logos/styles without being direct counterfeits for example - it's largely unenforced. The chances of a Western company taking on a Chinese company in a Chinese court and winning are very slim. Not only would they likely lose, it would mean the end of their business in China. Vekoma and B&M, despite the massive influx of Chinese coasters appearing, are still doing a very brisk trade in China. If they were to rock the boat by trying to sue, that'd be it for them; they'd be f**ked.

More importantly though, it's not an exclusively Chinese thing to copy rides. Yes, Golden Horse's earlier work is a blatant out-and-out copy from Vekoma, but they're moving away from that now in the same way that the Western companies have been ripping each other off for years, with slight tweaks here and there - things like restraint systems etc. - to avoid patent infringements.

Togo didn't sue Intamin/B&M when they started doing stand-ups; Vekoma didn't sue B&M when they copied their SFC design; Arrow didn't sue Vekoma when they flat out STOLE their looping coaster tech; Intamin didn't sue B&M over winged seating; Intamin didn't sue Mack when they copied the Mega-Lite layout; S&S haven't sued any one of countless manufacturers who now offer shot/drop towers. Practically every small comapny offers a spinning mouse model, and some of those are practically identical. Most manufcaturers offer frisbee rides, pirate ships, log flumes, rapids etc... See where I'm going with this? I could go on. It's common in the industry to build your own versions - sometimes practically indistinguishable from your competitors - and none of it gets tarnished with the "knockoff" label that Chinese-built rides do. It's massively hypocritical.

Is it only me who's genuinely worried that Golden Horse's B&M knockoffs might put B&M out of business? I'd imagine they're a fair bit cheaper than actual B&Ms, and if they ride as smoothly as actual B&Ms, then I'm not sure if any parks would see a purpose in going for an actual B&M...
Not a chance. First of all, while they're not the deathtraps that people like to make them out to be, they're often not the smoothest of rides. I obviously haven't done their dive machine yet, but a lot of the other, larger GH coasters aren't too pleasant. As far as the Western market goes, I wouldn't be massively surprised to see smaller GH/Chinese coasters popping up in smaller parks at some point, but I can't see any major park opting for a large-scale ride from any Chinese company.

Plus, even in the domestic Chinese market, the bigger parks generally prefer to go with Western companies for their big coasters, so you'll get the likes of Happy Valley putting in GH mine trains, but still going to B&M for dive machines even though GH have offered them for years. The big parks pride themselves on having "the best, European roller coasters" and it features heavily in their advertising.
 

Matt N

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Thanks guys!

Out of interest @gavin; if you had to compare Golden Horse to any more well-known manufacturer so to speak, which one would you compare it to?

Also, I never knew the larger Chinese theme parks emphasised Western coasters in their advertising!
 

Antinos

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To springboard off of what @gavin stated, copyright and patent laws are complicated no matter what country one is in. To file a patent, one must have a new and unique technology, feature, or process. For example, I can't just go off and submit a patent disclosure for my computer's keyboard because a generic keyboard is dime a dozen. If I modified my keyboard to have sentence prediction built into it, THEN I could file a patent IF somebody else didn't already file a patent for this idea (one must conduct a search first).

Roller coasters are tricky because they're large, complex products. B&M can't really patent a dive machine, nor could they patent a wing coaster's wing over dive element (thinking about the Swarm vs X Flight hullabaloo from years back), but they CAN patent a unique feature or technology. B&M may have filed a patent for the holding brake, where their patent disclosure would have stated something like so:

a roller coaster with a feature comprised of a motorized loop of chain attached to the track system and a hook attached to the rolling stock that acts as a holding feature at the top of a track element
I can't recall if anything has been posted in this thread to confirm if Golden Horse uses the same system, but if they do, and B&M knew that, they would have the option to sue and enforce their patent if they wanted to do so (patent owners are responsible for enforcing their own patents). Golden Horse could then counter by presenting evidence that clearly and explicitly shows that their holding feature is a new and unique technology.

Another point worth adding is that B&M's dive machine product has been in production for almost 30 years. If I remember correctly, patents only last a max of 20 years so there probably isn't much that they can do about this.

Finally, I want to add a reminder that this industry is weird. In some cases, the parks know exactly what they want with their new product and impose a ton of constraints on the manufacturer. In some cases, the parks basically let the manufacturer have free reign of design. We've seen bizarre partnerships, like with Arrow and Vekoma, and we've seen IP sharing. There have been instances where we've seen manufacturers file patents for rides and instances where we've seen parks file patents for rides. Regarding Vekoma's SFC model, it is entirely possible that B&M bought the IP per request of the parks that built the ride, or maybe B&M traded IP in return or helped with consulting on Vekoma's new technologies. I'm not saying all this necessarily happened, but this industry tends to be fairly nimble with regard to contracts and partnerships.
 

gavin

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Thanks guys!

Out of interest @gavin; if you had to compare Golden Horse to any more well-known manufacturer so to speak, which one would you compare it to?

Also, I never knew the larger Chinese theme parks emphasised Western coasters in their advertising!
Hmmmm, I don't think they're directly comparable to any really if you look at what they offer. They started off with small generic kiddy coasters, then moved into spinners which were very similar to Maurer's, then onto Vekoma-style mine trains, SLCs and now tilt coasters, and now onto B&M-style dive machines and wing coasters. Then you've got their water rides and flat rides which range from Intamin to Zamperla style and everything in between. They've pretty much cherry picked from every style of ride out there.

I guess you could compare them to Vekoma in that they've made most of their money so far on cheap clones which have appeared everywhere, but they're now going for more custom designs as well.

With regards to the Chinese parks and Western coasters, "advertising" was maybe too strong of a word, but you see it emphasised quite a lot on websites, park maps, announcements etc. They're very much aware that they'll get more prestige if people know they've brought stuff in from Europe.
 

Matt N

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Hmmmm, I don't think they're directly comparable to any really if you look at what they offer. They started off with small generic kiddy coasters, then moved into spinners which were very similar to Maurer's, then onto Vekoma-style mine trains, SLCs and now tilt coasters, and now onto B&M-style dive machines and wing coasters. Then you've got their water rides and flat rides which range from Intamin to Zamperla style and everything in between. They've pretty much cherry picked from every style of ride out there.

I guess you could compare them to Vekoma in that they've made most of their money so far on cheap clones which have appeared everywhere, but they're now going for more custom designs as well.

With regards to the Chinese parks and Western coasters, "advertising" was maybe too strong of a word, but you see it emphasised quite a lot on websites, park maps, announcements etc. They're very much aware that they'll get more prestige if people know they've brought stuff in from Europe.
Ah right. Thanks @gavin!
 

roomraider

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Can you call a long flat piece of track a transition? :p

To be fair to them it was only a few years ago that MCC had to reprofile an SLC and still came up with this abomination.
img_8242__copy__2.jpg
Through hard work and looking at some Intamin blueprints theyve moved on lightyears. :p
 

CrashCoaster

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They did a pretty good job at knocking off an Intamin 10-looper! Like, it looks very Intamin like even though it has an extra loop.
 

Hixee

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A video of the Dive Machine knock-off with lots of nice shots showing off how far it falls short of the Swiss model. :p


That said, the ejector on the fourth row could be pretty good!
 

gavin

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Apart from the complete stop before the second drop, I don't think it looks too bad.

Loving how the only videos are coming from Golden Horse. The park clearly isn't open yet, but GH want videos to market their rides, so have gone in and shoved people on, probably the park staff since they're sitting around doing f**k all.

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Ethan

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Yeah it looks boring but not awful? I actually reckon the first drop is pretty fab in the fourth row. Even though it's a shallower drop, I bet that being on the extra row would really make you fly over the crest.
 
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