China hinted at potential retaliation in response to the European Union's investigations into Chinese companies, and launched a probe into chemical imports.

The Chinese commerce ministry on Sunday launched an antidumping probe into imports of polyoxymethylene copolymer--a widely used plastic in auto parts and electronics--from the U.S., the EU, Japan and Taiwan. The investigation is expected to complete in a year but could be extended for six months, the ministry said.

China has sufficient countermeasures and will likely hit back if the EU continues to take actions against Chinese companies, according to a Saturday post by a social media account affiliated with China Central Television, the country's state broadcaster.

The move comes as China's trade frictions with the U.S. and the EU have escalated in recent months.

Last week, the Biden Administration sharply increased tariffs on Chinese goods, including on electric vehicles, steel and aluminum products, and solar cells.

The White House has said the new tariffs would apply to $18 billion in products from China.

Meanwhile, EU leaders are weighing steep tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles and wind turbines under a new antisubsidy law, potentially closing off a market for Chinese companies.

China has decried such moves as protectionism arising from the West's dwindling competitiveness, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping pushed back against those concerns during his trip to Europe earlier in May.

Earlier this month, two Chinese companies pulled out of a solar project in Romania after the EU launched an investigation against them. The bloc has initiated a broad range of high-profile probes into Chinese companies in the railway, security and green tech sectors since last year.

While the social media post didn't provide specifics over what moves Chinese authorities are considering, it hinted that Beijing could target the agriculture and aircraft sectors.

The Chinese business community has called on authorities to use all means necessary to fight back on the EU's actions, including launching antisubsidy and antidumping investigations, according to the post.

Write to Singapore Editors at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-20-24 0127ET