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EU warned against anti-subsidy probe

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-05-20 09:28
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China will have no choice but to take retaliatory measures against the European Union if the bloc continues its anti-subsidy investigations targeting Chinese companies, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to the EU says.

The CCCEU, which represents thousands of Chinese companies in the bloc, said on Saturday that China has "sufficient countermeasures at its disposal", citing insider sources on the issue.

The message came after several Chinese companies withdrew from public procurement bids in the EU because of what are said to be unfairly targeted investigations under the EU's Foreign Subsidies Regulation, which took effect last year.

The EU is investigating Chinese companies involved in wind turbines and has conducted unannounced raids against those in the security equipment sector. At the same time, an anti-subsidy investigation relating to Chinese-made electric vehicles is awaiting preliminary results in the coming weeks, the CCCEU said.

The CCCEU quoted a blog article on Saturday by Yuyuan Tantian, which is run by the China Media Group, as saying, "The Chinese side has prepared ample countermeasures."

The article said that given substantial subsidies in EU agriculture, European wine and dairy products may find themselves caught in the crossfire.

The CCCEU said it considers the message "significant" and "feels compelled to share it with the press".

"We urge the EU to refrain from implementing discriminatory measures in subsidy-related probes and to ensure that Chinese enterprises are provided with a fair business environment."

Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said accusations by the EU against China of overcapacity are "unjust and unfair", and that demand for new energy vehicles in China and the world is growing rapidly.

Call for solution

"The two sides could find a reasonable solution to the issue in order to avoid a lose-lose scenario, such as a trade war, even though that solution may not seem optimal."

On X, formerly Twitter,, an account that focuses on China-EU related news, described the Chinese message as a "smart move and timing", given that EU elections are being held next month.

Last week two companies investigated by the European Commission under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation withdrew from public bidding for the construction of a solar farm in Romania.

One of the companies is a consortium between Enevo Group of Romania and Longi Solar Technologie GmbH, a German subsidiary of the Chinese solar panel maker Longi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd, and the other is composed of two subsidiaries of Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd.

The European Commission said last week that it took note of the withdrawal of the two companies and would close its in-depth investigation as a result.

China's Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said in Paris last month that China will support its EV makers in defending their rights and interests, adding that China's EV industry has helped greatly in global efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a green and low-carbon world.

Shi Yonghong, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, visited Brussels and other European capitals last month on behalf of Chinese EV makers.

He said the European Commission's anti-subsidy probe into Chinese EV makers is "unfair, amounts to double standards and violates World Trade Organization rules".

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