Home>Media Center>CCCEU News

​Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao meets with CCCEU, Chinese EV& battery companies in EU, urging Europe to revise perception of global competitiveness of China's new energy vehicles

CCCEU| Updated: Apr 8, 2024

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao meets with CCCEU, Chinese EV& battery companies in EU, urging Europe to revise perception of global competitiveness of China's new energy vehicles

 April 8, Brussels

On April 7 in Paris, the visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao underscored that China's new energy vehicle enterprises' competitive edge stems from sustained investments in innovation and fierce market competition, rather than being reliant on subsidies or deemed a byproduct of "overcapacity." He urged European counterparts to revise their perceptions of the international competitiveness of China's new energy vehicles accordingly.

He made the remarks during a roundtable conference with the CCCEU and business executives from over a dozen prominent Chinese electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturers, including BYD, Geely, SAIC Motor, NIO, and CATL. The gathering served as an insightful platform for in-depth discussions spanning various aspects, including the status and outlook of Chinese EVs in Europe as well as the EU's current business environment. The Chinese Ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, was also present.

Minister Wang Wentao engaged in a comprehensive dialogue, commencing with insights from the CCCEU and relevant enterprise representatives on the EU's anti-subsidy probe into China's EVs. The discussion then transitioned into interactive exchanges, focusing on the access barriers faced by Chinese enterprises in the EV and battery industry within the EU market.

The minister highlighted the protectionist nature of the EU's anti-subsidy investigation into China's EVs. He underscored the significance of recognising that in recent years, China's burgeoning enterprises in the emerging EV, battery, and solar photovoltaic sectors, dubbed the "New Trio," have been steadily augmenting investment, fostering continuous innovation, and strategically navigating intense market competition to amass a robust global competitive edge.

He highlighted that the narrative pushed by the West concerning China's alleged "overcapacity" in the green economy lacks substantiation. Minister Wang Wentao urged the European side to avoid misinterpreting standard export activities resulting from globalisation and the diverse supply chain locations as indicative of "overcapacity." Otherwise, by this reasoning, he noted, many of Europe's own advantageous products could also be subject to such labeling. He then advocated for joint exploration between China and Europe to unlock the potential and opportunities for green development, catering to the rising demand for high-quality products.

Regarding the EU's "de-risking" strategy that enterprises are concerned about, Minister Wang noted that enterprises ought to be the primary drivers of "de-risking," as government-mandated "de-risking" does not mitigate risks but rather fosters them. Trade protectionism under the guise of "de-risking" runs counter to the objectives of promoting green transformation. The EU should not champion green development while simultaneously wielding the "big stick" of trade protectionism.

During the roundtable discussion, he outlined three expectations for the advancement of Chinese electric vehicle and battery enterprises in Europe: firstly, to bolster the integrated development of investment and trade; secondly, to uphold a commitment to innovation; and thirdly, to enhance risk management and control. He emphasised that, amid numerous challenges, it's imperative for Chinese enterprises to engage in overseas expension in an orderly fashion. Simultaneously, they should adopt a mindset of embracing competition and continuously enhancing their competitive advantages. Chinese enterprises in Europe are encouraged to actively participate in and contribute to Europes green transformation, thereby becoming beneficiaries of this endeavour.

Fang Dongkui, the CCCEU Secretary General, highlighted that Chinese EV brands encounter various market barriers in Europe. These include short-term hurdles like the anti-subsidy investigation and possible trade measures, as well as longer-term challenges such as technological and green barriers. The chamber pledges to address concerns, assist Chinese enterprises in Europe, maintain government-enterprise dialogue platforms, safeguard the rights of Chinese automotive companies, and support the steady growth of Chinese EV and battery firms in Europe.

Business executives from Geely, SAIC Europe, BYD, NIO Europe, XPeng, Chery Group, and CATL spoke at the meeting. Representatives from the Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, along with officials from other pertinent departments and bureaus, were present at the conference. On the corporate front, attendees included representatives from FAW Group Europe, Great Wall Motor Europe, Seres Group Europe, China Automotive Technology & Research Centre Ltd. (CATARC) Europe, Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd., and SVOLT Energy Technology Co., Ltd.