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CATL tops worldwide rankings of battery makers

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, China's largest battery supplier, was listed tops in terms of global power battery installed capacity last year, according to a new report by South Korea's SNE Research.

Last year, Shenzhen-listed CATL's global installed capacity of power batteries reached 96.7 gigawatt-hours, surging 167 percent year-on-year. Its global market share reached 32.6 percent, which ranked first worldwide, up from 24.6 percent recorded in 2020, SNE said.

On Tuesday, CATL closed at 540.86 yuan ($85) per share, down 6.66 percent. Its total market value stands at 1.26 trillion yuan, which makes it one of the leading Chinese A-share companies in terms of market value.

CATL has established five overseas branches in South Korea, Japan, Germany, the United States and France. CATL and South Korean battery maker SK On will provide the third batch of lithium-ion battery cells for Hyundai's electric vehicles to be launched after 2023.

CATL expects to achieve a 2021 net profit of between 14 billion yuan and 16.5 billion yuan, up 150.75 percent to 195.52 percent year-on-year, and the number is likely to hit a record high since the company went public in 2018, according to its recent earnings forecast.

In the past few years, China's new energy vehicle consumption has grown rapidly. In 2021, more than 3.52 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids were sold in the country, the fastest growth since 2016, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

By the end of last year, China had built 75,000 charging stations, 2.617 million charging piles and 1,298 battery-swap stations. The ministry started the promotion of battery-swap business models for NEVs in October, and 11 cities such as Beijing, Nanjing in Jiangsu province, Wuhan in Hubei province and Hefei in Anhui province were listed among the first batch of trial cities.

In January, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic regulator, released an implementation plan for promoting green consumption, and said the country would vigorously support green transportation and gradually lift restrictions on the purchase of NEVs.

"The Ministry of Commerce will continue to encourage consumers to purchase NEVs, urge the withdrawal of high-emission vehicles from the market and promote green development of the automobile industry chain," said Wang Bin, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.

Fueled by the fast growth of NEVs in China, Chinese battery makers have seen their global market share gradually increase. In addition to CATL, Chinese companies BYD, China Lithium Battery Technology Co Ltd, Gotion High-tech and Envision AESC were listed among the top 10 battery makers with the highest global power battery installed capacities last year, according to SNE.

Meanwhile, South Korea's LG Energy Solution, which was listed second in terms of global power battery installed capacity and is CATL's major competitor, saw the installed capacity of its power batteries reach 60.2 GWh last year. The company's global market share stood at 20.3 percent in 2021, said SNE.

In January, LG Energy Solution debuted on the South Korea bourse, making it the largest IPO ever in the country. The company suffered losses in 2019 and 2020, and then started making a profit in 2021, according to its prospectus.

Japan's Panasonic was ranked third in terms of global power battery installed capacity. The firm saw installed capacity of its power batteries reach 31.6 GWh last year, and its global market share was 12.2 percent in 2021, down 6 percentage points from 2020, SNE said.

Despite semiconductor supply shortages and the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the power battery sector started to recover in the latter half of 2020 and has maintained a high growth rate, SNE added.

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