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China launches import program to deflate car prices

Unauthorized resellers will now be allowed to import cars, providing direct competition with foreign car makers.

China has reportedly launched a new program that aims to increase competition and deflate prices in the world's largest automotive market.

The "parallel import" system effectively allows unauthorized resellers to import and sell foreign vehicles, providing direct competition with existing sales networks of foreign automakers and their China-based partners, according to a CNBC report.

The move appears to be in reaction to the seemingly exorbitant prices charged for many foreign vehicles in the country, where luxury models often fetch double or triple the sticker price in the US or Europe.

"Legalizing parallel imports is part of a broad anti-monopoly campaign by the government to improve market order and bring down prices of imported cars," said an unnamed attorney familiar with the new program.

Government official last year levied millions in fines against Audi and Chrysler, accusing both companies of monopolistic business practices. The automakers allegedly established a minimum pricing scheme for vehicles, parts and service.

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