The South Korean government will inspect China-supplied cranes following warnings from the US that equipment built by Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) may be used for espionage purposes.
BusinessKorea reported that there are currently 389 domestically produced cranes and 478 Chinese-flagged operating in South Korea.
The US government have contested that Chinese equipment at US ports are able to obtain classified military intelligence such as military supply transport information with its software and sensors.
State-run ZPMC in particular is being keenly monitored, BusinessKorea reported.
ZPMC holds a global market share of which is 70 per cent and makes up over 80 per cent of port cranes in the US.
ZPMC claimed in 2017 that it could monitor every one of its cranes from its Shanghai headquarters.
There are now 876 port cranes operating in South Korea, including 427 ZPMC cranes. South Korea’s largest trading port, Busan, has 298, while Pyeongtaek and Dangjin, where US military supplies are sent, have 21 each.
The government of South Korea also intends to hasten the replacement of imports.
From 2003 to 2008, the global market share of South Korean port cranes providers fell from 8.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent, and it has been near to zero since 2013.
In late November 2022, South Korea’s unionised truckers went on strike in a row with the government over minimum pay.