Bloomberg Business is reporting that Chinese tank manufacturer Norinco is using social media to lob taunts at its Russian rival’s most advanced tank, the T-14 Armata. Using popular messaging service WeChat, Norinco took aim at a widely reported and embarrassing incident involving the T-14 Armata, in which one of the vehicles ground to an abrupt halt on Red Square during rehearsals for the 70th anniversary celebrations of World War II victory. According to the article, the Norinco WeChat post said “The T-14’s transmission is not well-developed, as we saw through a malfunction taking place during a rehearsal before the May 9 parade. The VT-4 has never encountered such problems so far. Our tanks also have world-class fire-control systems, which the Russians are still trying to catch up with.”
Norinco’s sales have expanded faster than any other major defense company over the past five years, surpassing Lockheed Martin Corp., maker of the F-35 fighter, and General Dynamics Corp. The Chinese armaments maker’s $62 billion in revenue as of 2013 and more than 275,000 employees embody the clout of China’s defense industry, which the U.S. Pentagon recently warned in an annual report “has the potential to reduce core U.S. military technological advantages.” With foreign sales of $7.4 billion over the five years through 2013, China overtook France to become the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.