Daimler and BMW Can Show If China’s Barriers Are Really Falling



Ville Heiskanen and Dandan Li | Bloomberg

Daimler AG’s plan to take control of its China joint venture opens another crack in China’s blockade of foreign ownership and puts the nation’s giant auto industry in the spotlight for whether promised reforms will bring real change.

The German maker of Mercedes-Benz cars is said to want to take majority control of a Chinese affiliate, following a similar move in October by rival BMW AG. A year ago, those announcements would have been unthinkable, but after years of stalling, Beijing has raised hopes of change by granting foreign banks, carmakers and fund managers better access to the world’s largest pool of consumers. Health care and education could follow.

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