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China Tells U.S. Companies, Including General Motors & Qualcomm, They Are Welcome in its Market

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【Summary】Despite the ongoing trade disputes between the U.S. and Beijing, China welcomes U.S. companies to actively participate in its market and will strive to create a fair and just environment, the industry ministry said on Monday after a meeting it held with firms including Qualcomm Inc and U.S. automaker General Motors.

FutureCar Staff    Oct 20, 2020 7:30 AM PT
China Tells U.S. Companies, Including General Motors & Qualcomm, They Are Welcome in its Market
A Cadillac XT6 SUV on display during media day at the Shanghai auto show on April 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Despite the ongoing trade disputes between the U.S. and Beijing, China welcomes U.S. companies to actively participate in its market and will strive to create a fair and just environment, the industry ministry said on Monday after a meeting it held with firms, including Qualcomm Inc and U.S. automaker General Motors.

According to Reuters, Xiao Yaqing, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, made the comments during a video meeting held with a delegation sent by the U.S.-China Business Council, the ministry said in a statement published on its website.

Executives from the headquarters of companies like General Motors and Qualcomm attended the meeting, alongside the heads of the US-China Business Council, the statement said.

Xiao had also commented on how there were good market prospects in emerging areas such as 5G technology and new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes fully-electric and plug-in hybrid models.

As the world's largest auto market, China is an important market for automaker General Motors who already enjoys a favorable relationship with China. The country has been GM's largest retail sales market since 2012 but a favorable relationship between the U.S. and China is important for maintaining its business relationships within the country. 

GM plans to introduce more than 20 new and refreshed models over the next several years in order to maintain its growth momentum and tap emerging opportunities in new energy vehicles (NEVs). 

In addition to speeding up product launches and the upgrade of its brands to meet diverse demand nationwide, GM is exploring the introduction of new technology such as autonomous driving and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications are part of its vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. 

About half the models being introduced in China will be new nameplates for GM's China portfolio, developed by leveraging GM's global expertise and vehicle design and engineering resources. The V2X technology relies upon speedier 5G networks which are already being deployed throughout China.

Central China's Hunan Province has deployed a total of 13,586 5G base stations since 2019, and the number is expected to hit 22,000 by the end of this year, Chinese state new agency Xinhua reported last month.

Electric automaker Tesla also has a favorable relationship with China. The California company is the first foreign automaker to wholly own and operate an assembly plant in the country after China relaxed rules that prevented U.S. automakers from owning no more than 50% stake in any joint venture partnership with one of China's automakers.

Tesla completed its Shanghai factory with some big help from a group of Chinese banks. The California-based electric automaker secured a $10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) five-year loan to get the new factory up and running.

The loan facility is a credit line that businesses can use to finance various projects. A loan facility can be extended by banks if it's deemed to be creditworthy, which Tesla is as the world's most valuable automaker.

China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank are among the banks which have helped Tesla complete construction and begin operations in Shanghai. The facility was built in just over nine months.

Tesla's new Shanghai factory also allows the company to sell its vehicles built in China without import tariffs, giving Tesla an edge over its rivals.

The meeting with the U.S. companies comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington have escalated in recent weeks particularly over issues of collecting data from U.S. citizens. Among the companies accused of harvesting data are Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, TikTok owner ByteDance and Tencent Holdings.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Saturday that Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings to U.S. government officials that China may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department's prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.

In response to the WSJ report, China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the United States was trying to play victim.

Despite the tensions between the U.S. and China, Chinese consumers still like many American brands, which is a strong incentive for companies to do business there.

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