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China scraps foreign investment curbs in auto sector

Overseas carmakers can have wholly owned units in the country in 2022

A BMW i4 concept car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. With the foreign investment rules scrapped, BMW aims to raise its stake in a Chinese joint venture.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- The Chinese government has abolished limits on foreign automakers' investments in the passenger vehicle sector, effective next year, sweeping away the last major restriction on global players.

Passenger vehicles will on Jan. 1 come off the so-called negative list restricting investment by foreign corporations, according to Monday's announcement by the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission. Local media characterize the step as China further opening up to the world.

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