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China loosens foreign investment rules for EVs and hybrids

Starting January, multinationals face easier approval of new factories and subsidiaries

An electric vehicle from Nissan Motor in China. Foreign automakers will now have an easier time setting up joint ventures and factories for green cars in the country.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Looser restrictions on foreign investment in China's automotive industry take effect next month, a change expected to smooth the way for multinationals to build new factories and start electric-vehicle businesses in the world's biggest car market.

Effective Jan. 10, Beijing will let provincial authorities grant approval for foreign automakers to establish joint ventures with Chinese partners in passenger car production or set up electric-vehicle subsidiaries. The central government only needs to be notified of the approval.

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