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China’s Oil Buying Rules Further Loosened Amid Record Imports

China is loosening restrictions under which companies are allowed to import oil, a move that may solidify it’s spot above the U.S. as the world’s largest importer.

The government announced new guidelines on Thursday that opens the door to the direct purchase of crude on the international market by independent refineries, known in the industry as teapots. It’s the latest step in a rapid deregulation of a business that less than a year ago was limited to either government-owned oil processors or trading companies required to sell to them.