Global automakers see the future of electric cars, and it looks Chinese. The biggest players are shifting crucial scientific and design work to China as the country invests heavily in car-charging stations and research and pushes automakers to embrace battery-powered vehicles.
China underscored that ambition last week, when it said it would eventually ban the sale of gasoline and diesel-powered cars at an unspecified date.
But the auto industry’s response - moving electric car design and production to China - represents a big risk.
From high-speed trains to wind turbines, China has long prodded American, European and Japanese companies to hand over their know-how in exchange for access to its exciting new market. Then Chinese companies have used that knowledge and lavish government support to take on foreign rivals.
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