In the race towards innovation in automated driving, the Chinese government has invested heavily over the years in driverless car technology and developing automated driving vehicles is a key focus in the Chinese government’s automotive industrial development plan. Under the Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for the Automotive Industry jointly issued by the MIIT, the NDRC and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology on 6 April 2017, it is planned that by 2020, at least 50 per cent of new automobiles in China will be equipped with a driver assistance system, partial driving automation system or conditional driving automation system; and by 2025 the percentage will be increased to 80 per cent and vehicles equipped with high driving automation and full driving automation systems will be launched in the market. Such plan is also reflected in the Draft Strategy for Innovative Development of Smart Automobiles issued by the NDRC on 5 January 2018 to solicit public comments.
Judging from the State Council’s Circular on the New-Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan for 2012-2020 and China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, NEVs are top of the Chinese government’s agenda. In recent years, the central government has established a comprehensive policy framework to support the NEV sector, ranging from policies on research, technology innovation, finance and tax incentives to infrastructure. For instance, in January 2016, China issued a Circular on the Reward Policy of New Energy Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Strengthening the Popularisation and Application of New Energy Vehicles during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period. The circular points out that in order to promote the construction of power charging infrastructure for NEVs and encourage the spread of NEVs, the central finance department will continue to subsidise the provincial-level governments for the construction and operation of power charging infrastructure, and promote the adoption of NEVs on a large scale. On 27 September 2017, the MIIT, MOFCOM, China’s Ministry of Finance, China’s General Administration of Customs and AQSIQ (now merged into SAMR) jointly issued the Measures for the Parallel Administration of the Average Fuel Consumption and New Energy Vehicle Credits of Passenger Vehicle Enterprises (Parallel Credits Measures), which came into effect on 1 April 2018. Under the Parallel Credit Measures, if a passenger vehicle enterprise manufactures or imports more than 30,000 (inclusive) traditional energy powered (eg, gasoline-powered) passenger vehicles annually, it will be assigned an annual NEV credit target. Such target can be met by a passenger vehicle enterprise by manufacturing NEVs to obtain NEV credits or purchasing NEV credits generated by other enterprises under a quota trading scheme. In the meantime, traditional energy powered vehicle manufacturers and large-scale importers will also be assigned an annual average fuel consumption credit target. Automakers and importers are required to stay under that target in terms of the average volume of fuel consumption generated by the traditional energy powered vehicles they manufacture and import into China. With a view to incentivising auto makers and importers to shift their focus to NEVs, the aforesaid NEV credits obtained by them can be used to offset against actual Average fuel consumption credits, so as to help the relevant enterprises to achieve their average fuel consumption credit targets. With the positive and negative incentives provided under the Parallel Credit Measures, it is predicted that China’s NEV industry will soar.
In July 2012 China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) issued an Intelligent Transportation Development Strategy (2012-2020), and in 2015, the Chinese government inaugurated the ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative to transform the country into an innovation hub. It is anticipated that China could dominate the field of Internet of Vehicles, a new phrase that denotes internet-connected cars that can entertain passengers, coordinate with other vehicles and transportation systems, self-navigate and even drive autonomously. Car-sharing businesses have experienced explosive growth in China. To regulate such businesses, the MOT, MIIT, MOFCOM, AQSIQ (now merged into SAMR), China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the SAIC (now known as the SAMR) and China’s State Internet and Information Office jointly issued the Interim Measures for the Administration of Online Taxi Booking Business Operations and Services (Online Taxi Measures) on 27 July 2016. The Online Taxi Measures set out the licensing requirements for online taxi booking business platforms and vehicles and drivers engaging in car-sharing businesses. The Online Taxi Measures also provide that the local transport authority in each city may impose additional criteria when issuing licences to vehicles and the drivers engaging in car-sharing businesses. While the Online Taxi Measures legitimise the car-sharing business in China, many find that the requirements under the relevant implementing rules of the Online Taxi Measures in certain cities are difficult to satisfy, suggesting that legitimacy does not necessarily mean easy entry.
On 12 April 2018, MIIT, MPS, and MOT jointly issued the Intelligent Networked Vehicle Road Test Management Specification (Trial) (Road Test Specification) which became effective since 1 May 2018. The Road Test Specification provides a clear definition of the intelligent network connected vehicle (automated vehicle), as well as the qualifications and rules for testing them on public roads. Based on such principle provisions, local governments (for instances Beijing and Hangzhou) have also developed their own regional implementing rules.
Back to top