China’s Ministry of Commerce has launched an anti-dumping investigation into certain chemicals from the EU, US, Japan and Taiwan. As the ministry announced, the chemicals in question are “copolymerized paraformaldehyde”, which can “partially replace copper, zinc, tin, lead and other metallic materials” and is used, among other things, in automotive parts, electrical devices and industrial machinery.

In foreign trade, dumping means selling a product below the manufacturing price, which violates trade rules.

The investigation is expected to be completed within a year, but could be extended for a further six months “under special circumstances”, it said.

Experts see the Chinese government’s measure as a counter-reaction to recent trade disputes with the West. Last week, US President Joe Biden imposed, among other things, special tariffs of 100 percent on electric car imports from China. The EU is currently investigating the extent to which China is distorting the market for electric cars. A decision as to whether the EU will impose punitive tariffs is still pending.