In the midst of the customs dispute over electric cars between China and the EU, Economics Minister Robert Habeck is traveling to the People's Republic without prominent business representatives.

Habeck will be accompanied by the solar company Enpal and the metal processing group Schoder, among others, the two companies announced on Tuesday. This confirmed a report in the "Handelsblatt" newspaper. According to insiders, the delegation also includes representatives from automotive supplier Voss and laboratory equipment manufacturer Sartorius, making Sartorius the only DAX-listed company on the minister's trip to China. Voss initially did not respond to an inquiry, Sartorius did not comment on the information.

Habeck is setting off for the Far East at a time of tense trade relations. Last week, the EU Commission announced punitive tariffs on Chinese electric cars, citing unjustified state subsidies in the People's Republic that distorted competition. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing has already indicated that it will not accept higher tariffs from the EU.

In contrast to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who visited the People's Republic in April, Habeck's four-day trip to South Korea and China will not be attended by any car manufacturers. China is the most important single market for Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz and is also an important production location. In addition to representatives of German car manufacturers, Scholz was also joined by top managers from major corporations such as BASF, Bayer and Merck.

(Report by Rene Wagner, Christoph Steitz, Maria Martinez and Patricia Weiss, written by Philipp Krach, edited by Ralf Banser. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at (for politics and the economy) or (for companies and markets).