Sep 22, 2020 - World

Czech billionaire saves piano company threatened by Chinese retaliation

person moving pianos

A worker moves a new piano at the Klaviry Petrof company in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, February 2009. Photo: Milan Jaros/AFP via Getty Images

Back in February, I wrote about how the classic Czech piano company Klaviry Petrof, founded in 1864, could face losses after China threatened retaliation on Czech companies after a Czech politician planned to visit Taiwan, which the Chinese government views as part of its territory.

  • After a second Czech official visited Taiwan in August, China made good on that threat — a Chinese company suspended a $23.8 million order of the Czech-made pianos.
  • But Karel Komárek, a Czech entrepreneur and billionaire, stepped in and bought the 11 pianos originally intended for China.

What he's saying: "My wife and I agreed that our foundation would immediately dedicate them to Czech schools. We would like the 11 instruments to become a symbol of Czech pride and cohesion," said Komárek.

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