China has eliminated its list of “recommended battery suppliers,” according to the industry ministry. Foreign battery-makers hope this will open up the country’s market for EV batteries.
When the list was first published in 2015, it included only
Chinese firms, a policy designed to aid China’s domestic battery sector. Foreign
battery-builders complained that the list discouraged competition, and was linked
to government subsidies for recommended domestic firms such as Contemporary
Amperex Technology (CATL) and BYD.
More recently, South Korean battery giants LG Chem and
Samsung SDI have been investing substantial sums in China, in expectation that
the policy would eventually change.
“We are relieved that
these lists are going away, but we cannot be certain if the Chinese government
is committed to abolish subsidies until they actually remove all subsidy
policies,” an unnamed official at a foreign battery maker told Reuters.