Gasoline stations have been included in the new “negative list” published by China’s top economic planning body, meaning foreign oil players will soon be able to expand their number of dispensaries in the country.
The National Development and Reform Commission published the new list late last week, also naming banking, automotive, commodities and agriculture as industries set to receive a rollback in restrictions on foreign ownership.
Under the current system, foreign companies are limited to wholly owning 30 stations in China. For additional stations they must form joint ventures with domestic firms such as Sinopec or PetroChina or else differentiate themselves in the quality or type of oil being sold from local competitors.
State-owned Sinopec and PetroChina currently dominate the market, owning half of the country’s gas stations and massively outstripping foreign firms in sales, according to Caixin.