It has been found that the Chinese government excluded five models equipped with electric vehicle batteries manufactured by South Korean companies from its list of recommended new energy vehicles on December 29 last year.
The five vehicles are Dongfeng Motor’s electric truck coming with an LG Chem battery, a Cadillac vehicle of Shanghai GM, two SAIC models and Shaanxi Automobile Group’s six-ton electric truck coming with a Samsung SDI battery.
According to industry sources, this is to get even with the South Korean government’s decision in favor of the deployment of the THAAD system in the Korean Peninsula. “The Chinese government is likely to continue to take such trade retaliation measures in a systematic way over a long period of time,” a South Korean government official explained.
In August last year, a month after the decision, the Chinese government stopped business visa issuance for South Koreans. It initiated a safeguard investigation on sugar imported from South Korea in September and an anti-dumping probe on polyacetal in the following month. It also limited the number of powdered milk products available in China in October while telling people to refrain from traveling to South Korea. It launched a tax investigation into Lotte in November, too.
The Chinese government’s trade retaliation is particularly hard to deal with because it is based on its own standards instead of the global standards of the WTO. It has taken a total of 111 non-tariff measures against South Korean companies and 53, 35 and 14 of them are related to certification, technical barrier to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures based on local standards, respectively.