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China Electric Car Policy Seen As Western Technology Grab

Car manufacturers are increasingly worried that China’s plans for electric cars could force foreign companies to hand over expensively developed technology in exchange for market access, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In an article from Beijing, the Wall Street Journal said China’s 10-year plan to become the world’s leader in developing and making battery-powered cars and hybrids might compel foreign auto makers who want to produce electric vehicles in China to share key technologies by forcing them to enter joint ventures in which they are limited to a minority stake.

China wants to develop three to five of its own companies into global leaders in battery only or hybrid manufacturers by 2020, and the development of two to three suppliers of batteries and motors.

“(this is) tantamount to China strong-arming foreign auto makers to give up battery, electric motor, and control technology in exchange for market access. We don’t like it,” said an unnamed senior executive at a foreign car maker, according to the Journal.

Neil Winton – September 29, 2010 

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