The Chinese Commerce Ministry has expressed its protest against the European Union's decision to investigate exports of Chinese electric vehicles. The ministry claimed that this move is a "protectionist" act aimed at distorting the supply chain and creating an unfair market environment.
EU Investigates Government Subsidies
The European Union announced on Wednesday that it will probe the government subsidies provided to Chinese automakers, which the EU argues keep electric vehicle prices artificially low. China has invested billions in subsidies, propelling it to become the largest electric vehicle market globally. Automakers such as BYD and Geely have gained significant market share by introducing electric vehicles to Japan and Europe.
China Condemns Protectionist Behavior
Commerce Ministry spokesperson, He Yadong, stated that the EU's investigation measure is an attempt to protect its industry under the guise of fair competition. He labeled it as "naked protectionist behavior" that will disrupt and distort the global automotive industrial chain and supply chain, impacting China-EU economic and trade relations negatively. The ministry urged the EU to establish a "fair, non-discriminatory, and predictable" market environment.
Chinese Prices and Statement from Industry Representative
In China, electric vehicle prices start as low as 100,000 yuan ($14,500) for a compact SUV with a 400-kilometer (250-mile) range on a single charge. Cui Dongshu, head of the China Passenger Car Association, voiced opposition to the EU investigation, citing the highly competitive nature of China's industrial chain. He emphasized that China had phased out new energy subsidies in 2022 and urged the EU to take an objective view of China's electric vehicle industry's development instead of using economic and trade tools to increase costs for Chinese electric vehicles in Europe.