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China launches anti-monopoly review in automotive industry

BEIJING – China has launched an anti-monopoly review in automotive industry, according to a notice published on the website of China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) on June 6.

The notice sent by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is designed to ask CADA to help collect information from its member companies in an anti-trust survey.

The MOFCOM’s review is part of a campaign launched last December targeting practices that hinder free market competition, such as setting up protectionist policies against companies from other cities and provinces, and granting unfair subsidies.

China’s Vice Premier Ma Kai in March called on local governments to eradicate local protectionism and promote fair competition around EVs.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) responded that it plans to take measures against “regional protectionist policies” on May 25.

At the moment, only Beijing and Shanghai have official catalogues of NEVs licensed for production. According to analysts, these two cities have both set up barriers to market entry for non-local companies.

Shanghai, before February, only subsidized EVs satisfying criteria such as the ability to reach 50 km/hour in 6 seconds, met only by models from Shanghai-based SAIC and Shanghai Zhongke Lifan Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd.

In Beijing, the inability to obtain license plates for EVs prior to February meant the BAIC E150 of local maker BAIC Motor came up against limited competition.

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