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UPDATE 1-China to scrap foreign auto ownership limits by 2022

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will scrap foreign ownership caps on local auto companies by 2022 and will remove restrictions on new-energy vehicle ventures this year, a major shift that will open the market wider to carmakers from Nissan (7201.T) to Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

The country will scrap the limits on firms making fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018, commercial vehicle firms in 2020 and lift restrictions on the wider passenger vehicle market by 2022, China state planner said in a statement.

The moves signals the end of a long-standing rule in the worlds largest auto market where foreign carmakers can currently only own a 50 percent share of any local venture, a policy put in place to help support domestic carmakers compete against more advance international rivals.

The move also comes after President Xi Jinping said last week the country would scrap ownership limits as soon as possible, encouraging global auto brands even as a fierce standoff over trade intensifies between Beijing and Washington.

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