The European Commission has launched an investigation into industry claims that Chinese solar glass producers are dumping their products in the European Union (EU) at below market value.

The Commission said there was sufficient evidence to show possible dumping by Chinese exporters that may be injuring EU industry.

According to the Commission, the EU solar glass market is valued at less than €200 million, which accounts for a fraction of the EU’s imports of goods from China (a total of €293 billion in 2011) but the complaint marks a new challenge from the EU to Chinese exporters and the Beijing government.

Last year, the Commission launched its largest investigation to date, into alleged dumping of, and subsidies for, an annual €21 billion of solar panels and components China exports to the EU.

The EU ProSun Glass group, led by EU sector leader GMB of Germany, filed a complaint last month in response to a fourfold increase of Chinese exports to the EU in four years. China’s share of the EU market is now 25-30%, it said.

“The new case shows that China’s strategy to dominate the solar sector is not limited to just solar modules but also affects materials like glass,” said Milan Nitzschke, President of EU ProSun, which represents the majority of EU solar cell, module and panel production. “It’s a question of time when equipment and raw material manufacturers will follow.”