BEIJING -- China is considering encouraging state-owned automakers to bring in private car manufacturers as investors as it seeks to create an industrial champion to compete with global peers such as Toyota and Volkswagen Group, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
A policy paper outlining the proposal is being studied by government departments, said the people, who asked not to be identified disclosing private discussions.
The plans are preliminary and could change depending on feedback from different agencies and industry players, they said. The proposals don't specify what level of stake is permitted.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the government's key planning body, didn't immediately respond to a fax seeking comment.
China, which identified automobiles as one of the key industries in its efforts to beef up the country's manufacturing and innovation capabilities, is trying to build world-class automakers that can then compete with established global car manufacturers.
Bringing private investment into state-owned automakers such as China FAW Group and Dongfeng would be in line with the so-called "mixed-ownership reform." The government has already undertaken mixed-ownership reform in companies such as telecom operator China Unicom Hong Kong and carrier China Eastern Airlines.
Besides central-government owned companies, provincial governments in China control automakers such as SAIC, BAIC and Guangzhou.