To develop good cars in the shortest time possible, Chinese auto manufacturer BYD spends tens of millions of yuan every year buying and then dismantling the newest models built by manufacturers around the world. Last May, the city of Xian started switching its taxi fleet to the BYD F3 car, which at first glance could be confused with a Toyota Corolla. The F3 is an inside-outside copy of the Japanese manufacturer's small car but costs only half as much. In fact, BYD has overtaken Japan's Sanyo to become the world's largest supplier of Ni-Cd batteries.
Western Europe has a large amount of financial interests in the Eastern Bloc: Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania. These countries were financially on the brink last year when Hungary and Latvia turned to the IMF for rescue packages. Any major problems with any of these countries during a topping out of equity markets will exaggerate downward moves in global markets.