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EU Launches Probes into Chinese Firms Over Solar Subsidies

 |  April 3, 2024

The European Commission has initiated investigations into two Chinese-linked companies over suspicions of using state subsidies to gain an unfair advantage in a Romanian solar project. According to Bloomberg, Under the European Union’s new foreign subsidies regulation, the commission is delving into whether these firms employed subsidies to outbid competitors.

One of the probes focuses on a consortium that includes a German subsidiary of Longi Green Energy Technology Co., the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer based in Xian, China. The second investigation targets two subsidiaries of Shanghai Electric Group Co., a state-owned Chinese company.

Read more: The EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation: Green Subsidies Treading the Line Between the FSR, State Aid, and WTO Law

EU Industry Chief Thierry Breton emphasized the strategic importance of solar panels for Europe’s clean energy production, job market, and supply security. He stated that the investigations are intended to safeguard Europe’s economic security and competitiveness by ensuring fair competition within the single market.

This isn’t the first time the EU has utilized its foreign subsidies regulation to scrutinize Chinese firms. Since February, this marks the second instance, demonstrating Brussels’ resolve to address what it perceives as unfair competition from Beijing.

Recently, a Chinese train maker withdrew from a public tender in Bulgaria after the EU launched an investigation into a bid suspected of undercutting local firms. These actions underscore the EU’s willingness to employ commercial measures to counteract perceived unfair practices in international trade.

Source: Bloomberg