China Complains of ‘Unfair’ German Rules on Banks, Investment

(Bloomberg) -- China, often bashed by executives and governments around the world for favoring domestic businesses, is complaining that Germany is doing the same.

Germany has toughened reviews on Chinese investment and enforced more intense regulation on financial institutions, according to Wang Weidong, Minister-Counselor at the Embassy of China in Germany.

Closer scrutiny of cross-border deals is a headache for Chinese investors because of uncertainty and a lack of transparency, Wang said at an Euro Finance Week event in Frankfurt on Wednesday, adding that it’s impossible to assess how long reviews will take.

“That undoubtedly puts Chinese investors in an inferior position when competing with those from other countries,” said Wang, who is head of the economic and commercial counselor’s office.

Earlier this year, Germany moved to rebuff two Chinese purchases, taking a stake in one of its largest power-grid operators to thwart another buyer. It’s also considering lowering its threshold in foreign takeover law before transactions are assessed.

Chinese commercial banks are also facing more intensive regulatory intensity versus institutions from the U.S., Canada, Japan and others, Wang said. “That is an unfair, discriminating practice,” and it’s why lenders headquarter their European businesses in London, Paris and Luxembourg instead of Frankfurt, he said.

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