Volkswagen's Bora and Jetta models are displayed outside its dealer shop in Beijing. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Volkswagen's Bora and Jetta models are displayed outside its dealer shop in Beijing. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Chinese policy makers revealed over the weekend that authorities are considering a ban on fossil fuel powered cars at some point, following announcements of similar plans from France and Germany, reports Xinhua:

With the global auto industry leaning toward intelligent and electric vehicles, work has begun on a timetable to ban manufacture and sales of traditional energy cars, according to Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology.

He told a forum in Tianjin that auto-makers should have a thorough understanding of the situation and readjust their strategies.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will work out the timetable, Xin said.

The focus on promoting electric vehicles in China continues to attract attention from global automakers, who are eager to take advantage of the growing market, regardless of possible risks.

Keith Bradsher writes for the New York Times that a growing chorus of voices is accusing carmakers of selling out their future for short-term gains:

Some business groups and lawmakers — and increasingly, members of President Trump’s administration — say company executives give away valuable trade secrets for the sake of short-term gains.

“Multinational firms are already starting to cave in to China’s policies, putting in jeopardy the future of this sector and countless jobs and economic benefits,” said Michael Wessel, a commissioner of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was set up by Congress to monitor the bilateral relationship.

Still, companies argue that entering the China market is a win-win situation.

“We have no concerns relative to the amount of I.P. that has to be shared,” said Matt Tsien, the president of G.M.’s China operations, referring to intellectual property… We have a philosophy, from an overall perspective, that we build where we sell,” Mr. Tsien said…

“We are in a learning process with them together,” said Jochem Heizmann, the chief executive of Volkswagen’s China operations. “That process is much faster than we are used to doing these things. In our normal processes, it would not be possible to come to the market next year.”