County grows into industrial 'treasure trove'

By Liu Jianna and Hu Meidong in Fuzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-18 07:28
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Power play

Workers make components of telecommunications equipment at a factory in Fuzhou, Fujian. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

Wang Zaibang, a senior researcher at the Taihe Institute, a Beijing-based independent think tank, said high-quality development involves the application of high-tech innovations for industries to advance.

"It also entails utilizing technological innovations to optimize and improve industrial capabilities," Wang said, adding that this is exemplified by Huawei in the telecommunications sector, and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd in the field of new energy.

Over just 12 years, CATL has transformed from an unknown small company in Ningde, Fujian, into a global leading manufacturer of power batteries. This remarkable growth story illustrates how technological innovation can drive high-quality development and enable businesses to achieve outstanding growth.

According to SNE Research data, as of April this year, CATL had achieved a global market share of 35.9 percent. Roughly speaking, this means that for every three electric vehicles sold in the global market, at least one vehicle is equipped with CATL's batteries.

CATL was the first company to apply Cell-To-Pack technology in the passenger vehicle sector, and its third-generation CTP, known as the Qilin battery, gives an electric vehicle a range of up to 1,000 kilometers.

Zeng Yuqun, chairman of CATL, said in his keynote speech to the 2023 World Battery Conference on June 9 that technological innovation is a powerful driving force for high-quality development, and innovation is at the core of his company's competitive advantage.

"CATL continuously makes breakthroughs in battery safety, energy density, fast-charging, battery cycle life, and high-temperature resistance, constantly raising the standards and seeking driving force from innovation," he said.

"CATL not only aims to give everyone access to batteries but also strives for everyone to have access to high-quality batteries," he said.

In recent years, the company has achieved a number of innovations. In the field of chemistry, it has introduced sodium-ion batteries, whose performance is already comparable to that of lithium-iron phosphate batteries.

It has also established five major research and development centers around the world, with its R&D team numbering over 14,000 employees.

Among them, the 21C Innovation Lab in Ningde has become a leading global research hub for cutting-edge energy storage and conversion technologies.

The rapid development of CATL has also stimulated growth in surrounding areas.

Zheng Chenbin, deputy director of the Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Ningde, said in the next phase of its development, Ningde plans to form an industrial cluster based on two leading enterprises — CATL and Amperex Technology, a producer of lithium-ion batteries — along with their respective supply chains.

Currently, Ningde is a nationally recognized industrial cluster, and the goal is to elevate it to a world-class industrial hub.

"The region has demonstrated impressive efficiency, as projects ranging from land reclamation approvals to production commencement are typically completed within a year. These achievements exemplify Ningde's dedication to rapid innovation and growth," he said.

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