Take care when discussing Chinese Locomotives, due to the financial "flexibilities" offered by the Chinese Government, who is ultimately the seller. Both competing Chinese locomotive manufacturing conglomerates are State organs, so it is a case of apples and oranges, when compared with western builders.
NZ's order straddled 2 governments, and it is the first time that a government purchaser of Chinese locomotives has disclosed true pricing. The NZ order appears to be bribe free!
All prior cases of Chinese supplied locos to third world countries have involved substantial bribes to the political decision makers involved, in the last 5/6 years in the range of US$250/400k per locomotive. These inducements are built into the price of the locomotive.
If you are building substantial kickbacks into the pricing, you can supply shoddy goods, as you know that the purchaser will not complain too loudly.
This philosophy has backfired in Pakistan, as most the current political decision makers were not recipients of the "grease" used to lubricate the Pervez Musharraf regime.http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=240767
For a further insight into the Pakistan purchasing shenanigans and problems with frame cracking referhttp://hunzatimes.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/na-body-opposes-chinese-locomotives-purchase/
Lets face it, Chinese locomotives have a dismal reliability record. Follow the Namibian thread in Railways Africahttp://www.railwaysafrica.com/category/africa-update/sadc/namibia/
"four Chinese locomotives costing about N$36 million which arrived in Namibia five years ago suffered 265 failures between October 2004 and June 2007. After this they were withdrawn from service". Both the chairman and MD were suspended over the purchase, which for Namibia is incredible, as they were both from the same ruling political/tribal faction (the chairman was the Ministers cousin - he must have hung on to most of the grease).
Nigeria has over 40 CKD8A's (from a batch of 50) supplied between 1996 and 1999 parked on the dead track. Their 2009 order went to GE Brazil
Tanzania got the CKD8B, for the Cape gauge TAZARA line to Zambia, again Chinese 12V240ZJD prime movers like the Nigerians. From travellers reports appear little used and spend most of their time in the Dar es Salaam shop.
Malaysia has had continuous reliability problems with their batch of 20 CKD8E purchased in 2005, reputedly only 5 were in service until comparability recently. The Bombardier/GE 26 Class DE-AC33C purchased at the same time have been extremely reliable. Apparently the only reason that Malaysia purchased the CKD8E's, was that the Chinese were prepared to barter for palm oil, Bombardier was not. Bombardier is subject to the governance laws of Canada and the EU, and reliant on Western Banks for export financing.