China’s commerce ministry has not rejected heavy equipment maker Tengzhong’s planned purchase of GM’s Hummer unit but has asked for more information on the deal, an informed source has said.

Legal Evening News, a semi-official newspaper, reported that the ministry had turned back Tengzhong’s application for the deal because it was lacking in detail, according to Reuters.

Little-known Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery raised eyebrows when it unveiled plans three months ago to take over Hummer brand. Sceptics suggested it was hardly an ideal suitor as it had little road vehicle experience.

“The ministry has requested more details and clarifications on the terms of the deal after receiving Tengzhong’s application. But it has by no means rejected the case,” the source close to the company told Reuters.

A Tengzhong spokeswoman told the news agency the Legal Evening News had never contacted the company for comment and had promised to remove the article from its website. She added that Tengzhong was in no position to comment on regulatory approval for the deal, but talks to buy Hummer were moving forward.

Chinese regulators will decide whether to approve the plans after the deal is finalised, the source added.