Pratt & Whitney (P&W) is offering its PW1000G PurePower geared turbofan (GTF) engine to power China's C919 jet.
The new narrowbody type is being developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), with service entry targeted for 2016.
"We are interested in the C919 and have initiated discussions with Comac," confirms a P&W spokesman. "We believe that the PW1000G offers a new airplane such as the C919 considerable market value."
The GTF engine is due to be ready for service in 2013.
In September, P&W's vice-president commercial engines for China, Thomas Nakano, indicated that the engine manufacturer had a preference to provide an International Aero Engines (IAE) powerplant to the C919 programme. However, subsequent negotiations appear to have revealed that Comac favours the GTF option.
"Comac has expressed an interest in the PurePower engine for its proposed new aircraft," says the P&W spokesman. "We see an excellent fit for the PW1000G's game-changing performance and environmental capabilities with the C919, and would be interested in pursuing."
IAE, a joint venture between P&W, Rolls-Royce, MTU and Japanese Aero Engines, remains "the preferred channel to market for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft", but P&W intends to compete with Rolls-Royce both on the C919 and on Russia's MS-21 narrowbody programme, he adds.