EU Asked China’s EV Makers for ‘Unprecedented’ Data, Official Says After ‘Snooping’ Report
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  Jun 21 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
EU Asked China’s EV Makers for ‘Unprecedented’ Data, Official Says After ‘Snooping’ Report EU Asked China’s EV Makers for ‘Unprecedented’ Data, Official Says After ‘Snooping’ Report

(Yicai) June 21 -- The European Union sought an “unprecedented” amount of information from China’s electric carmakers as part of its anti-subsidy investigation, a commerce ministry spokesperson said when asked about a report that the EU used the probe to “snoop” on them.

“The type, scope, and quantity of information collected by the European side was unprecedented and far exceeded what is required for a countervailing duties investigation,” He Yadong said at a regular press conference yesterday.

The previous day, a media outlet under Chinese broadcaster CCTV reported that the EU used the investigation to “snoop” on the tech secrets of Chinese auto companies by seeking much more information from them than was necessary. Yuyuantantian cited four Chinese carmakers present at a closed-door meeting with the ministry and six European auto firms on June 18.

The Chinese companies at the meeting reportedly said the European Commission had asked them for the detailed chemical composition and formulas of battery raw materials, including the exact amount of each major raw material, such as lithium ferrous phosphate, graphite, copper, and aluminum. The EC also required information on suppliers and procurement of raw materials, which are considered the lifeblood of the electric vehicle industry, per the report.

Moreover, the EC also requested reports on their five-year production capacity, output, fixed assets, plans for capacity expansions in China, the EU, and other countries, sales models, terms of sales, pricing strategies, as well as names and contact information of all their customers in the EU.

According to the report, Sun Xiaohong, secretary-general of the automotive branch of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said the EC’s behavior reflected the European side’s attempt to spy on and outpace the development of China’s new energy vehicle industry.

The European approach lacks factual and legal basis, disregards World Trade Organization rules, and undermines fair competition, global green transformation objectives, and open cooperation, He said, noting that China firmly opposed this behavior and will take all necessary measures to defend the legitimate rights of Chinese businesses.

At the meeting, some of the Chinese firms also allegedly requested the government to raise tariffs on fossil fuel-powered vehicles imported from Europe to as much as 25 percent from 15 percent, which is still within the WTO rules, according to the report.

Following an anti-subsidy investigation, the EC, the EU’s executive arm, said on June 12 that it had “provisionally concluded” that China’s battery electric value chain benefits from unfair subsidies, causing a threat of economic injury to the EU’s electric automakers. It proceeded to levy additional import duties on Chinese EVs ranging from 17.4 percent to 38.1 percent with effect from July 4.

The EU threatens higher punitive tax rates if the EV makers did not cooperate, the commerce ministry’s He noted.

A 21 percent duty will be imposed on EV makers who cooperated in the investigation but were not sampled, while a 38.1 percent duty will fall on those who did not cooperate, according to the EC.

Editor: Futura Costaglione

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Keywords:   European Commission,Anti-subsidy Investigation,China New Energy Vehicles,secrets,EV,tariffs