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China to open new-energy vehicle sector wider to foreign investment

BYD Co Ltd, China’s new-energy vehicle maker, plans to launch new product with German carmaker Daimler.

China's new-energy vehicle sector will continue to open wider to foreign investment, the Ministry of Commerce said today.

"The Ministry of Commerce will work on policy measures to reduce foreign investment restrictions in the new-energy vehicle manufacturing sector," said Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said during a press conference today.

The ministry said it will work jointly with other departments under the State Council on policy measures to promote the further opening-up of the new-energy vehicle industry.

Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, has said that "we shall insist on further opening-up and enhancing competitiveness" of the automobile industry,

In June the ministry issued an official catalogue which eases restrictions on foreign investment in industries including electric vehicle and batteries needed for new-energy vehicles as China is actively promoting the development of the industry.

The news cheered BYD Co Ltd, China’s new-energy vehicle maker, which said today it planned to launch new product with German carmaker Daimler, without disclosing details about the new product.

"We are discussing to further expand collaboration with each other and possible further investment," said Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD Co Ltd, as Chinese news portal Sina.com reported.

Wang also said China is expected to shift to all electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2030, adding that "we are confident about the time table of eliminating fossil fuel cars (and use of new-energy vehicles), and we think it may happen earlier than expected."

Earlier this month, Xin said "the ministry has begun studying when to eliminate the production and sales of cars using fossil fuels."

China is the world’s largest market for new-energy vehicles. In the first eight months of this year, 320,000 new-energy vehicles were sold in the country, a jump of 30.2 percent year on year.

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