The Global Times, a nationalist Chinese newspaper, has criticized Europe’s probe into cheaper Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), describing it as “excessive.” The newspaper also claimed that China’s superior offerings are the envy of other automakers. The investigation was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in response to concerns raised by European carmakers at the IAA mobility show in Munich. The executives warned that they were facing challenges in producing lower-cost EVs and closing the gap on China’s lead in making affordable and consumer-friendly models.
China’s response to the investigation has been strongly negative, arguing that it is a protectionist measure to shield Europe’s own industry under the guise of fair competition. Chinese officials have warned that the economic ties between the two regions could be adversely affected by such actions. The Global Times highlighted the success of Chinese new energy vehicles at the recent 2023 International Motor Show in Germany and expressed surprise at Europe’s “excessive” response.
Analysts have cautioned that if the EU imposes duties on Chinese EVs after the conclusion of the 13-month probe, China may retaliate by implementing countermeasures that could impact European industries. The Global Times emphasized the importance of fair competition for Europe to establish competitiveness in the EV industry and questioned whether Europe had the confidence and courage to win the market through such means.
The investigation is expected to be a topic of discussion when EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis visits China later this month, as he is likely to renew calls for fair competition.