China’s Auto Industry Urged to Deepen Ties with European Peers Amid Trade Conflicts

In the midst of trade conflicts, a policy adviser in China has suggested that the country’s auto industry should focus on strengthening ties with European partners through technology partnerships. Dong Yang, vice Chairman at China’s top EV think tank China EV100, believes that by doing so, the industry can find solutions to these conflicts and foster win-win relationships with local companies. Dong also emphasized the importance of Chinese battery suppliers building a local battery supply chain in Europe and collaborating with European companies.

On the other hand, European automakers can leverage China’s EV technologies to accelerate their transition to electrification. This sentiment was echoed by various industry leaders, including policy adviser Wan Gang and heads of carmakers and battery giant, at the recent Munich IAA conference. They called for stronger global cooperation and standardization in policy to hasten the technological transition.

This call for increased collaboration comes after the European Commission initiated a probe into China’s electric vehicle subsidies. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused China of flooding global markets with electric cars at artificially low prices due to substantial state subsidies. This investigation could potentially lead to punitive tariffs.

Chinese EV manufacturers, such as Xpeng, have already begun partnering with European counterparts to jointly develop electric vehicle models. Battery makers like CATL and CALB are also expanding their operations in Europe, with CATL establishing a new plant in Germany and CALB localizing its supply chains by supporting local firms and encouraging Chinese suppliers to set up facilities in Europe.

By deepening ties with European peers through technology partnerships and collaboration, China’s auto industry can overcome trade conflicts and foster mutually beneficial relationships. This will also enable European automakers to leverage China’s EV technologies, facilitating their transition to electrification.


  • Electric vehicle subsidies: Financial incentives provided by governments to encourage the adoption and production of electric vehicles.
  • EV think tank: An organization dedicated to researching and providing expertise on electric vehicles.
  • Battery supply chain: The process and components involved in the production, distribution, and maintenance of batteries.
  • Technological transition: The shift from traditional technologies to new or improved technologies.

– Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh. Reuters.