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2016-09-13 07:33

BUS SCANDAL: China's electric vehicle industry has been rocked by scandal after five companies were caught collecting millions of dollars in subsidies for buses they never made. Image: Chinatopix via AP

Beijing - China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked by scandal after five companies were caught collecting millions of dollars in subsidies for buses they never made.

The affair of the phantom buses has prompted questions about whether the ruling Communist Party's financial support to an industry it is spending heavily to promote might be disrupted.

The Finance Ministry announced that five manufacturers were fined for fraudulently collecting a total of more than 1 billion yuan ($120-million) in subsidies. Chinese news reports, citing unidentified industry sources, say as many as 20 others might be in trouble.

The government gave no indication whether managers at the companies might be prosecuted. The Finance Ministry said 90 companies were investigated but didn't identify any of the others.

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