China greenlights tougher auto investment rules
China's state planner approved tougher new regulations on investment in the auto industry, a draft of which spooked automakers earlier this year, as it tightens the screws on companies adding manufacturing capacity. The National Development and Reform Commission also said it would ban the establishment of new independent enterprises that make only traditional combustion engines, amid the country's wider push toward new-energy vehicles. The new rules, which take effect Jan. 10, are part of a drive by Beijing to trim excess capacity in the sector, even as the world's largest auto market grapples with a protracted slowdown. A draft of the policy released earlier this year alarmed some foreign carmakers, who worried Beijing was trying to trigger consolidation of the country's flabby auto industry through mergers and strategic cooperation.