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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- China may begin demanding that foreign automakers submit key electric-vehicle technology to Chinese companies for access the world's No. 1 auto market, according to a report.

The

Wall Street Journal

said the plan comes as the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology devises a 10-year plan for the purpose of transforming China into the leader for developing and making electric and hybrid vehicles.

The

Journal

said the sources for its story were executives at four foreign automakers familiar with the situation.

The ministry already has a draft on hand, the sources say.

According to the

Journal's

contacts, the draft shows that the Chinese government could force foreign automakers that want to tap into the China electric vehicle market to enter joint ventures as minority stakeholders and share key technologies through these partnerships.

The report said the car executives spoken with are among many from foreign companies that are unhappy with China's industrial policies. One source described China's approach as "strong-arming" foreign auto companies into relinquishing their key electric-vehicle technology.

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Toyota is holding off on the launch of its newest Prius hybrid model in China until further clarity on the government's policies is provided, sources tell the newspaper. The model has been available to the Japan and U.S. markets since last year.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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