China jumped on the hyperloop bandwagon, enlisting a US startup to build a test system in a mountainous southwest province of the country. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a California-based enterprise, is setting up a joint venture with a company controlled by the government of Tongren, a city in the Guizhou province. Each will contribute 50 percent of the capital for the venture, the city said in a statement Thursday. The test track will be no longer than 10 kilometers (6.3 miles), and the two parties will seek to expand it for commercial operations based on trial results and regulations.
The country of 1.4 billion people is trying new technologies to improve its transportation network and reduce pollution. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, or HTT, is one of several companies formed to develop hyperloop systems since billionaire Elon Musk in 2013 released a manifesto detailing his idea for moving people at superfast speeds through a tube.
Shares of Chinese companies that could be suppliers for a rail system using magnetic levitation advanced. Hunan Zhongke Electric Co, which produces electromagnetic stirrers and separators, rose by a daily limit of 10 percent in Shenzhen. Yantai Zhenghai Magnetic Material Co, which develops and manufactures neodymium iron boron permanent magnets, closed up 4.9 percent.
HTT has also signed a pact for a Hyperloop route in Abu Dhabi, and has a deal with Brno, the Czech Republic, according too its website. It is also preparing an experiment in Toulouse, France, where it aims to get the system ready within three years.