Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that China will scrutinize the latest contract between Ford Motor Co. and Chinese battery leader CATL to ensure China’s core technology doesn’t fall into Ford’s hands. Given the sensitivity of the contract and the current tensions between China and the United States, top Chinese officials have called for strict scrutiny of the contract. Ford announced, not long ago, that it will invest US$3.5 billion to set up an electric vehicle battery factory in Michigan with the assistance of CATL. According to the contract, CATL will approve the provision of technology and technical assistance required by Ford to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries in Michigan. Republican Senator Marco Rubio has asked the Biden administration to review Ford’s contract to use Chinese technology for the battery plant. A spokesman for Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said that Manchin has voiced serious concerns about the reliance on China for the auto supply chain and that Ford must answer some serious questions before Senator Manchin can fully evaluate the partnership. A Ford spokesman said that, to the best of his knowledge, Chinese government officials were not involved in this deal. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), is a Chinese battery manufacturer. In 2021 it had a global market share of 32.6 percent . It is the biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturer for EVs in the world.
Source: CNA, February 17, 2023