China denies responsibility for drywall

In an interesting little article that may have slipped through the cracks for many, the Wall Street Journal discusses claims by Chinese officials that the drywall issue is, potentially, an American myth of sorts. Xu Luoyi, head of the National Building Materials Industrial Technology Supervisory Research Center, notes that the Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Company provided drywall for a variety of projects across the world and that the only complaints emerging are from the US:

“It’s worth considering why this problem has only emerged in the United States,” said Xu. “The U.S. credit crisis has caused the real estate market to collapse, and as a result domestic drywall manufacturers have seen their sales suffer and their product is relatively expensive compared to the Chinese-made drywall, so we should also consider these issues.”

Take it for what it’s worth but Xu does provide interesting claims, including that Knauf’s drywall was used for a wide assortment of projects. Knauf, per Xu,

supplied drywall to 75% of the construction projects for the Beijing Olympics, including the iconic Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, as well as for many other major projects such as Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Theater in Beijing and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Just an interesting set of circumstances that may need further review as lawsuits against Knauf emerge and develop.

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