Xi Jinping bats for Chinese car brands, says should be part of ambition
President Xi Jinping said China should develop core technologies and boost national auto brands as the country tries to get its economy back on track following the coronavirus outbreak.
“The international car manufacturing industry is very competitive, with continuous development in digitization and automation, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for us," Xi said during a visit Thursday to China FAW Group Co.’s research institute in Jilin province, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “We must grasp the core and key technologies in our own hands. We must have this ambition, and boost our national car brands."
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The comments come amid increasing scrutiny over Chinese technology from the US and its allies and as relations between China and its major trading partner deteriorate. China has long had the aspiration to shift from being a low-end manufacturer to a leader in high-technology sectors.
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FAW is one of China’s biggest car manufacturer and has joint ventures with Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, and others. The company received a 1 trillion yuan ($142 billion) credit line from lenders in late 2019, which was seen as a sign that mergers were coming, according to an auto industry association.