Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Illustration by Sam Ward Jens Pedersen has long maintained a simple rule of thumb for gauging his company’s position against Chinese competitors: “We can’t compete on anything that can be packed in a 40-foot container.” Pedersen is in the wind business. His company, Welcon, is based in rural Denmark and produces the steel towers that support the nacelle and rotor blades of the modern wind turbine. Often standing over 300-feet tall and weighing 500 metric tons, wind towers do not fit in 40-foot containers. Even when broken down into multiple sections, transporting the enormous steel tubes locally holds its challenges. The roundabouts near Welcon’s offices are sometimes cut in half so that transport trucks carrying towers and turbine blades can drive straight through. Moving the massive constructs across continents is another story altogether. “It just does not make sense to have tower sections shipped around the world,” says Pedersen. Yet China has a way of defying basic logiSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.