We all remember by Richard Nixon wherein he stated that the American people questioned whether or not he was a Crook. So, he stated emphatically that he was Not a Crook!!! It seems that the American people not only consider him a crook but the vast majority of people, in the face of overwhelming evidence, doing fact consider the President as the head of the Biden Crime Family.
In this case, the issue is batteries. Not the kind that you used for flashlights and consumer electronics but the kind of battery that runs cars which has been promoted heavily by the Biden Administration as the future of transportation.
From Troy to Milan to Wolfsburg Germany, auto executives who spent their careers trying to perfect pistons and fuel-injection systems are now obsessing about how to compete with a nearly invisible yet formidable industry giant. It appears that China has had problems with the internal combustion engines and that they were forever playing the game of catch-up in this field according to Bill Russo, a former chief of Chrysler in China who is now a Shanghai electric car consultant. Mr. Russo has been quoted as saying that the United States has to play the game of catch-up with electric vehicles.
So, it is no surprise that the battery maker, Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL) is now owned by a Chinese Conglomerate. The company is not government owned, according to its filings, but investors with connections to Beijing have held stakes during its rise, which included Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, as a board member and shareholder.
While Tesla and its Chairman, Elon Musk, have epitomized the electric car boom, CATL has largely stayed in the shadows. Players in the clean energy revolution are increasingly caught in a case of exploitation and greed over resources. At the center of it is the question of cobalt, a key ingredient in electric cars. The competition for cobalt has set off a power storm in China and the United States in the African country of Congo. With the blessing of Beijing, a Chinese company became among the biggest suppliers of electric car batteries in the world. Americans had failed to safeguard decades of investments in the Congo, essentially surrendering resources to China. In a bid to reform Congo's cobalt mining, it became key to a push for clean energy, which is rife with intrigue. Everyone passing through the Congo seems determined to grab a piece of the wealth that the Congo represents. A firm co-founded by Hunter Biden, facilitated the sale of a cobalt in the Congo to a Chinese company.
Its founder and chairman, Robin Zeng, is one of the wealthiest men in Asia, with a fortune of about $60 billion. Its headquarters is shaped like an oversize lithium battery, and several of its biggest factories are in his hometown which was previously a fishing village and military base in southeastern China. The municipal government has locked down access to a wide array of documents, particularly from the early days of CATL.
Mr. Zeng has built a senior management team of longtime employees, many of whom grew up in the same town that he did.
Xi Jinping, now China's top leader, was the local Communist Party chief in that town from 1988 to 90. However, there does not appear to be a connection between him and CATL.
Mr. Zeng studied marine engineering at Shanghai University then went to work on battery chemistry for a company called TDK, a Japanese company, in China. In 1999, he joined fellow battery chemistry experts to set up their own company supplying lithium-cobalt batteries for mobile phones, camcorders and other portable consumer electronics. The team sold the company to TDK in 2005 for $100 million and continued to run it as a subsidiary.
The Chinese government, has long identified batteries as a strategic industry and in 2011 took one of several steps to nurture a homegrown industry. It required that foreign automakers that want to sell electric cars in China had to transfer crucial technology to a local company. Only then would the government subsidize the sale of their autos, which could amount to up to $19,300 each.
TDK allowed a group of Chinese investors led by Mr. Zeng to acquire an 85% stake in its electric car battery business at the end of 2011. The car manufacturer, BMW was its first primary customer which changed its battery supplier in Massachusetts and Michigan. Four years later a different group of Chinese investors bought the remaining 15% of TDK.
CATL produced batteries, require ready supplies of lithium and cobalt. Chinese firms have rushed to secure cobalt and places like those in the Congo. Various corporate records show that within a year of setting up their business, Mr. Zeng had started a subsidiary in Western China which had something that Mr. Zeng needed: dried-out salt lake beds with thick underground grin laden with lithium. The government wanted development in the country's poor Western regions, so CATL locked in contracts for the most lithium-rich deposits.
Based upon all of the foregoing, China has become a giant in the electric car battery business. China has 14 times the electric car battery-making capacity of the United States, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a London consulting firm. It projects that China will keep the lead even after an American buildup, including projects like the planned North Carolina plant announced in early December by Toyota.
While there were many investors in this project, one of the earliest investors was a Chinese private equity company with connections to Hunter Biden. The firm known as BHR bought a 0.4% stake in 2016 paying roughly $15 million. In 2019, when BHR applied to sell the stake it was valued at roughly $76 million. Hunter Biden left his board position in April 2020, according to Chinese corporate records and no longer has any ownership interest according to his attorney.
The China Securities IPO sponsor with Goldman Sachs was GAO Hua Securities and Industrial Securities.
Does Hunter Biden have any long-term interest in the car battery business or has he been used as a useful idiot? It is unclear exactly what these answers are, but he would not be able to play in this high-stake game of international business without trading on his father's name, a fact he has acknowledged.
President Biden has been a promoter of battery powered cars for some time. Is there a connection between him and the Chinese car industry? Only time will tell.