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China to ease restrictions on foreign ownership of carmakers

17 April, 2018, 20:33 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Kim Jong Un North Korea China

The country will end shareholding limits for new energy vehicle firms such as those that produce electric cars this year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC).

The GDP growth rate has stayed within the range of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent for 11 quarters, with the jobless rate and inflation remaining stable, he said.

"After a five-year transition period, the auto sector will lift all restrictions", the NRDC said.

One vehicle company likely to gain is electric auto giant Tesla led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who this year had asked US President Donald Trump for help on the market access issue, alluding to the troubles his firm has faced producing in China.

The slowdown in retail spending growth was particularly noticeable in the rural areas where consumer spending expanded by 10.9 per cent to 1.32 trillion yuan in the first quarter, compared with a growth of 11.9 per cent last year, while the growth in the urban areas was unchanged from last year at 9.7 per cent, with sales reaching 7.70 trillion yuan. "The demand for electric cars is very small in other countries", he said.

Xi's announcement was among a raft of measures that were seen as potential concessions to US President Donald Trump as they face a potential trade war.

"We will support Chinese and foreign companies in achieving common development on a level playing field", the commission pledged.

The highly symbolic moves in autos come after President Xi Jinping said last week China would scrap ownership limits "as soon as possible".

Earlier this month, the Chinese commerce ministry threatened to impose a 25% duty on USA agricultural products, including soybeans, wheat, and beef, in response to the U.S. proposal to levy duties on Chinese high-tech goods.

Restrictions would also be lifted on foreign ownership of aircraft manufacturing firms this year, including companies involved in the production of large-body commercial airliners, regional jets, helicopters, drones and blimps.

According to the NDRC, the new negative lists will be rolled out in the first half of this year and cover opening-up measures effective in 2018 and the next few years.

China on Tuesday ordered importers of US sorghum to pay deposits for possible higher tariffs in an anti-dumping investigation, adding to growing trade conflict with Washington.

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