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China weighs letting foreign green-car makers go it alone

Joint venture requirement may be loosened in free trade zones as soon as 2018

China may open the door to foreign producers of green vehicles, such as Tesla, operating independently in pilot trade zones.

SHENZHEN -- China may let overseas manufacturers of electric and other green vehicles enter the market via wholly owned enterprises in pilot free trade zones.

At present, foreign automakers must form a joint venture with a Chinese partner to enter the country. The authorities are considering relaxing this rule, paving the way for the likes of Tesla -- the major U.S. electric vehicle maker, which has no production base in China -- to come in on its own.

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