Every major automaker glommed onto the Chinese market as its last best hope for growth when the previously-untapped market suddenly started buying cars. However, all of those operations are partnerships with local Chinese companies and those companies have been trying to learn the car business from the established players. Everyone's biggest fear has been that the Chinese would reach a point where they no longer needed the partnerships. In the last couple of decades, Chinese companies have taken over a significant portion of the world's manufacturing and automakers are terrified they will take over their business as well.
BYD is one of the more aggressive Chinese manufacturers. The company's plug-in hybrid, the F3DM, went on sale in China earlier this month and BYD had planned to introduce plug-in hybrid cars in Europe and the US in 2010. However, that plan has now been pushed back by at least a year. BYD has not explained why it has delayed exporting its hybrids. However, the serious decline of the automotive markets in Europe and the US may be a big part of the reason.