Workers in an automobile factory in Beijing, China. Photo: iStock
Factories in China have been closed since before the Lunar New Year holiday in January. Photo: iStock

The National Development and Reform Commission has released the timetable for relaxing restrictions on the proportion of foreign shares in the auto industry, aiming to fully open the sector to foreign investors in five years, The Paper reported.

According to the current policy, in a car manufacturing joint venture for automobile, special-purpose vehicles, agricultural transport vehicles and motorcycles, the proportion of shares held by Chinese investors shall be no less than 50%.

NDRC expects to remove all the restrictions through a five-year transition period.

For special-purpose vehicles and new energy vehicles manufacturers, the ratio restriction of foreign shares will be canceled in 2018. While the restriction for commercial vehicles and passenger cars will be removed in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

Meanwhile, the rule that foreign car makers shall have at most two joint venture partners when they enter the Chinese market, is also expected to be removed by 2022.