Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2022.04.11]






CATL to produce battery cells in Germany

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd has received approval to produce battery cells in its factory in the German state of Thuringia recently, giving the battery giant another big step forward in its global expansion.

The Thuringia plant was allowed to manufacture battery cells with an annual production capacity of 8 gigawatt-hours, which according to the original plan, is expected to reach 14 gigawatt-hours. The new plant, as CATL's first factory outside of China, has a total investment of 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion), which is much higher than the average 300 million yuan ($47 million) to 400 million yuan investment in the company's domestic factories.


Lenovo to invest 100 billion yuan in R&D over 5 years

Chinese tech heavyweight Lenovo Group Ltd said on Wednesday that it will invest 100 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) into research and development over the next five years, as it is determined to grow its technological prowess and build new growth engines.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, said at the companys new fiscal year kick-off event that despite external challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of components, the company has achieved a strong performance.

In the new fiscal year, the primary task for Lenovo is how to successfully pass development cycles and create new growth engines while the industry is still in an 'expansionary' stage, Yang said.

He added that the company is striving to become a 'new' Lenovo with stronger innovation capability, higher profit levels, greater social value and higher quality development at the beginning of the next cycle.

The 100 billion yuan to be pumped into R&D over the next half decade will be devoted to three areas -- innovating existing products, applications and business models in the next one to two years; incubating new technology-driven businesses over the next two to three years; and pioneering research into core fundamental technologies over the next three years and beyond.


Dow, local partners to jointly target plastic waste issue

United States materials science company Dow is entering into a series of partnerships in China to advance the circular economy.

The latest example includes a three-way Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year with Liby, a local laundry detergent brand, and Lovere, an internet environment tech company.

The trio vowed to address plastic packaging waste. Dow's recyclable packaging solutions have been adopted for use in nine of Liby's products since the brand introduced China's first recyclable packaging for laundry pods in 2020.

Also enabled by Dow's propriety technologies, Liby's recyclable packaging earned the first 'Double E' (easy-to-collect and easy-to-regenerate) label in China, which helps consumers distinguish recyclable packaging from other packaging.

Under the latest agreement, the Chinese detergent brand will be able to close the loop in plastic waste reuse by adopting recyclable packaging made with Dow's post-consumer recycled (PCR) resins, which are converted from plastic waste provided by Dow's recycling partner Lovere.

These new achievements are part of Dow's sustainability targets and commitment to close the loop by enabling 100 percent of its products sold into packaging applications to be reusable or recyclable by 2035, according to company executives.


Huawei rising as a digital solutions provider

Huawei Technologies Co is stepping up its push to serve enterprises with digital solutions.

The electric power industry and airports are among its new targets. Huawei's efforts are aimed to cultivate new revenue growth points amid US restrictions.

Huawei said on its website it has established 10 new dedicated teams to offer digital solutions to organizations in fields like e-governance, airports, railways, interactive media, sports health and campus management.

Each dedicated team includes a range of experts from fields like research of fundamental technologies, technical, product development, engineering, sales, delivery and services. They are integrated into one independent department for each industrial scenario, so as to shorten product development cycles, and focus on achieving key breakthroughs.

Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, said at a meeting in late March that these dedicated teams are meant to shorten the distance between customer needs and the solutions Huawei can offer, open up a fast and concise delivery process, and reduce material consumption and loss while delivering solutions to customers.

The changing international situation has heightened the pressure on Huawei to stabilize itself, actively adjust its teams and continue to create value for its customers. Flexible strategies and tactics are needed to achieve such goals, Ren said.

Digital solutions are expected to help Huawei to reposition itself as a services provider to enterprises and governments. The company has been seeking new growth engines to make up for the revenue loss in its smartphone business.


Unilever unveils ice cream 'lighthouse factory' in East China

Consumer goods giant Unilever's ice cream brand, Wall's, has unveiled its new 'lighthouse factory' in Taicang city, East China's Jiangsu province.

The intelligent factory, the world's first 'lighthouse factory' in the ice cream industry, adopts smart manufacturing technology of ice cream products that can help reduce carbon emissions and energy and water consumption by 83 percent and 14 percent, respectively, according to the city's bureau of commerce.

Envision AESC

Battery producer Envision to expand overseas footprint

Battery producer Envision AESC is planning to accelerate its expansion in developed markets, including the United States and Europe, as part of its plan to increase its global market share and prepare for an anticipated boom in sales of new energy vehicles.

Envision AESC, the battery-producing arm of Shanghai-based world-leading green technology company Envision Group, said on March 16 it will build a new plant in the US to provide battery modules for Mercedes' production of all-electric EQ vehicles in the state of Alabama.

The plant will be operational in 2025 and will be a major supplier securing capacity for next generation Mercedes-EQ products built in the US in the years to come, said Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schaefer.


JD elevates Xu Lei to CEO as Liu steps down

Billionaire Liu Qiangdong, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant JD, stepped down as its chief executive officer on Thursday and handed over the baton to Xu Lei, president of JD.

Industry experts said the change in executive leadership at JD will further improve the company's organizational structure and ensure its sustainable development amid mounting competition from local rivals.

Liu will remain as chairman of the board and continue to focus on guiding the company's long-term strategies, mentoring younger management and contributing to issues concerning the revitalization of rural areas, JD said in a statement.

Xu, who has been with JD since 2009, will also join the board as an executive director and start the top job immediately, the company said. Last September, Xu was promoted to president of JD and was in charge of the operations and collaborative development of various business units of the company.

Prior to that, Xu held various leadership roles in the company, including that of CEO of JD Retail, chief marketing officer of JD, head of JD Wireless, and head of the marketing department.


Mitsubishi, Shell Aim to Produce 400,000t of Green Hydrogen

Japan's Mitsubishi Corp and Shell aim to produce 400,000 tonnes of 'green hydrogen' in 2030 through the companies' European offshore wind power project, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday.

Dutch renewable energy firm Eneco, owned by Mitsubishi and Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co, has decided to invest 10% in a joint venture that includes Shell, Norway's Equinor, and others, for the project, the paper said.

The hydrogen would be produced through wind power instead of natural gas in a bid to reduce the fuel's carbon footprint, the Yomiuri said.


Siemens Gamesa and SSE step up their green hydrogen strategy

The companies have unveiled a plan for the production and delivery of sustainable H2 via electrolysis.

Siemens Gamesa and SSE have recently unveiled a new strategy for the production and delivery of green hydrogen fuel produced through water electrolysis, using the renewable energy generated by the SSE Gordonbush wind farm in Scotland.

The new plan would power the H2 production using the more than 100 MW wind farm in the highlands.

The green hydrogen will be produced at the Gordonbush SSE Renewables wind farm and will use the Siemens Gamesa Renewable Hydrogen Upgrade solution. The renewable H2 will then be used as a fuel alternative to gasoline, diesel or natural gas. In this way, it can be integrated into decarbonization strategies. It is particularly helpful in sectors that are difficult to abate, such as transportation, industry and manufacturing.

Saudi Aramco

Aramco, KAUST partner to set up AI excellence centre

Aramco has signed an agreement with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to establish a new excellence centre to support research and development and marketing advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at the university headquarters in Thuwal by Saudi Aramco's Vice President of Digital Transformation Nabil Al-Nuaim and Vice President for Research at KAUST Dr Donal Bradley, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Under the MoU, the new AI excellence centre seeks to develop research skills, improve products and commercial marketing and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through creating unique opportunities for research and advanced development of AI, based on globally distinguished data groups, where the centre also seeks to be an advanced model in the research development system in the field of AI in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The centre also seeks to benefit from the latest AI technologies, putting Saudi Aramco and KAUST as global leaders in this field through establishing an AI platform for the researchers of the university and company to exchange knowledge, incubate technologies, and increase their contributions and influence at the global level.


Woodside Receives Key Approvals for Scarborough Gas Project

Woodside Petroleum Ltd said on Wednesday it has received key approvals from the Australian and Western Australian state governments for the Scarborough gas project off the country's northwest coast.

The approvals for a pipeline license and the field development plan allows Woodside to begin petroleum recovery operations from two license areas for the Scarborough and Pluto LNG expansion projects, together expected to cost $12 billion.

Those two approvals are among the final government approvals needed to develop Scarborough, Woodside said.

Scarborough gas is due to be processed at the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant where Woodside is adding a second processing unit, called Train 2.

The company expects to produce the first LNG cargo from Scarborough gas in 2026.


Equinor to build offshore wind turbines off the coast of the Canary Islands

quinor and the Spanish energy company Naturgy entered into an agreement on the development and construction of floating offshore wind turbines off the coast of the Canary Islands.

Spanish authorities plan to develop up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2030. The first Spanish offshore wind auction will occur in the Canary Islands region in 2023.

We want to contribute to the countrys plans for renewable energy in the long term and develop what could be the first commercial floating offshore wind farm,Jens kland, Equinors director of business development in renewable energy, said.

More than 90% of Spanish offshore wind areas are deep-water areas, which means that Spain is well-positioned to be at the forefront of the next wave of floating offshore wind in Europe.