SHANGHAI (dpa-AFX) - In view of possible EU penalties against electric cars produced in China, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for fair competitive conditions in the People's Republic. "The only thing that must always be clear is that competition must be fair," said Scholz during his three-day trip to China on Monday during a discussion with students in Shanghai. "Of course we like our companies to have no restrictions, but vice versa we behave exactly as we demand here." There should be no dumping and no overproduction. Furthermore, copyrights should not be impaired and there should be no bureaucratic hurdles, the SPD politician emphasized.

Since the fall, Brussels has been investigating e-cars produced in China in an anti-subsidy investigation. The suspicion is that the market is being distorted because, according to the accusation, state subsidies ensure that Chinese brands can offer their e-cars in Europe at significantly lower prices than domestic manufacturers. "The Americans are now sealing off their market, as are Brazil, Mexico and Turkey," Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. "The EU cannot be the only market that remains open to Chinese overproduction."

Although we want competition with Chinese manufacturers, the conditions must be fair, said von der Leyen. Scholz also wants these conditions, but also demands strength from the German economy. The benchmark is to be so competitive that you can hold your own everywhere. In his own words, Scholz is also committed to fair competitive conditions in countries where German companies are active, "but this must be done from a position of self-confident competitiveness and not for protectionist motives".

The Chancellor pointed out that there had also been reservations when Japanese and Korean cars entered the German market. "There was a lot of excitement in the newspapers: Now the Japanese cars are coming and rolling up everything - nonsense," said Scholz. There are German cars in China that have been developed and built together with many Chinese manufacturers, and at some point there will also be Chinese cars in Germany and Europe.

In China, some of the 5000 or so German companies are complaining about disadvantages compared to Chinese competitors, difficult market access and legal uncertainties. On Monday, Scholz met representatives from companies and the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Shanghai to discuss the problems companies are facing in China./jon/DP/mis