China to investigate U.S. solar modules

China’s Commerce Ministry has announced that it is investigating possible solar equipment subsidies by the U.S. and South Korea and their effect on Chinese manufacturers.

The ministry has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into polysilicon imports from the U.S., as well as an anti-dumping probe into imports from South Korea, it said on its website. The investigation is scheduled to last through July 20, 2013, with the possibility of an extension to Jan. 20, 2014, and will cover the 12 months from July 1, 2011.

Companies that filed the complaint include GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., LDK Solar Co., Daqo New Energy Corp. and China Silicon Corp., according to Bloomberg. The companies probing for the investigation account for more than 50 percent of the parts for solar cells in China during the past four years.

The actions further escalate a trade dispute after the U.S. said in May it will impose duties on Chinese solar cells. U.S. Commerce investigators said they found that the Chinese government illegally supplied electricity to Chinese solar producers at a discounted rate.

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