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Beijing turns to deregulation to spur automaking innovation

Plan to scrap foreign ownership cap has domestic players bracing for competition

BEIJING -- China is gearing up to push its domestic automakers out of the nest by unleashing foreign competition at home. The government sees the move as essential for reinvigorating a slowing market, but for companies, it is a do-or-die moment.

In the early days, Beijing was keen to nurture its auto industry by encouraging technology transfers from global giants. Now, China is the world's No. 1 auto market and has been for eight straight years, with sales 60% higher than those of the U.S.

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