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IMMELT-DOWN: General Electric Moving It’s Health Care Unit to China

General Electric has announced that it will be moving its health care unit to Beijing, China after being based in the U.S. for the past 115 years. China has begun to move its X-ray technology from film and analog to digital/ GE views this as its highest growth market. According to an article on Bloomberg News:

“A handful’’ of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, said Anne LeGrand, general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare. The headquarters will move from Wisconsin amid a broader plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation’’ and development centers.

Though GE makes the claim that no one will lose their job, the moving of operations to China ensures that no American jobs will be added to the market either. Bloomberg notes that “GE Healthcare, also the world’s biggest maker of magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac tomography scanners, got about $1.1 billion of its $16.9 billion in sales from China last year.”

The Wall Street Journal writes that “Last year, GE invested a total of $2 billion in China, $500 million of which was allocated to what it calls customer innovation centers.”

This is just another example of American companies moving their operations from the United States to China to cash in on a growing market and what are often lower wages and less protected workers. The insult to this job-shipping injury, of course, is that GE’s CEO and Chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, is President Obama’s appointed Chairperson of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The move will be complete by year’s end. The unit was previously stationed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, home of the infamous last second vote-finding in the Prosser/Kloppenburg Supreme Court election this year.


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