How Can China’s Car Exports Avoid Impact of Global Chip Shortage? National Bureau of Statistics Responds

China’s State Council Information Office on Wednesday held a press conference to discuss the operation of the national economy in August. According to data compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics, the added value of industrial enterprises above a designated size in August increased by 5.3% year-on-year, with an average increase of 5.4% in two years, down 0.2% from July.

Although the growth rate of some economic indicators declined in August due to a resurgence of pandemic and flooding in some eastern provinces, automotive exports have grown rapidly this year. According to the statistics, in the first eight months of the year, China’s automotive exports (including chassis) reached 137.7 billion yuan ($21.405 billion), up 111.1% year-on-year. 

With the global automotive chip shortage, how can China’s automobile exports be doubled? In addition, how will the government predict the trend of foreign trade throughout the year?

In response to the above questions raised by National Business Daily reporters at the press conference, Fu Linghui, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, said that export growth in the automotive industry this year has been relatively fast mainly due to the following reasons:

First of all, the industrial chain of the automotive industry is relatively long, which requires high supporting capacity of enterprises. China’s industrial system is relatively complete and its supporting capacity is strong. Under the current conditions of the pandemic, many foreign enterprises have encountered problems in logistics, production and supply chain, but China still has good advantages in these fields, which is a very important factor.

“Secondly, China has done a good job in the prevention and control of COVID-19, and the domestic production and people’s living have been stable, which is also conducive to the stable operation of production.” Fu Linghui pointed out that, in addition, the rapid growth of automotive exports is also related to the low base experienced last year.

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Since the beginning of this year, a global shortage of computer chips has been plaguing the car industry, and many domestic and foreign companies have reduced or even stopped production. Recently, due to the worsening pandemic in Southeast Asia, the shortage of automotive chips has further intensified. Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors and many other companies have reduced production in different parts of the world.

According to a forecast by IHS Markit, an information provider, 1 million cars in the world will be delayed due to “lack of chips” in the first quarter of this year. In 2021, the sales of the global automotive industry will decrease by $60 billion.

At the same time, since the beginning of this year, China’s automotive exports have shown rapid growth. According to statistics from China’s customs officials, in the first eight months, China exported 137.7 billion yuan of automotive goods (including chassis), an increase of 111.1%.