China’s automobile imports grew rapidly in the first half of the year, as foreign automakers expanded their product lines in China to boost sales, the South China Morning Post reported, citing state media. The country imported 212,000 vehicles, up 53.2% from a year earlier, according to data from China’s customs administration. The growth rate was up 18.3% year-on-year, with most of the imports coming from Japan, the EU, South Korea and the US. Demand for large-engine cars grew in the first half, as many people bought before the government announced last week a higher sales tax on bigger cars. Meanwhile, China exported 361,000 vehicles, an increase of 58.5% year-on-year. However, auto export growth for the period fell 17.1% due to weak demand abroad.