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How China’s CATL Became the Top Electric Car Battery Maker


CATL’s initial public offering in 2018 made Mr. Zeng and two CATL vice chairmen, who together own a 40 percent stake, rich. Other early investors, some with deep political connections, did well, too.The company’s success was never assured, but China had let the world know that it planned to dominate the electric vehicle industry. It said in a sweeping announcement in 2016 that a “third industrial revolution” focusing on digitization and “new energy” would allow China to take the lead in autos.CATL invited a few outside investors to take pre-I.P.O. stakes. Among them were Pei Zhenhua, a businessman who set up a lithium processing company with CATL, and Yu Yong, the biggest individual shareholder in China Molybdenum, a CATL partner in Congo. Mr. Yu’s holding company controls 1.69 percent of CATL, records sh …

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