BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese battery maker Tianneng Group is considering setting up a factory in South or Southeast Asia to tap local demand, while expanding capacity in China by 20 percent this year because of the electric vehicle boom, its chairman said on Thursday.
Zhang Tianren told Reuters that Tianneng, which mostly makes lead-acid batteries used in electric scooters and cars, was considering Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh as destinations for a plant with an annual processing capacity of at least 100,000 tonnes.
“These (countries) are all relatively good,” Zhang, a delegate at the National People’s Congress in Beijing, said in an interview. “We might want to go and have a look at several countries. If they have good conditions, open a factory.”
A lot of small and middle-sized Chinese battery companies have already gone over to South or Southeast Asia because of the 4 percent consumption tax on lead-acid batteries in China, he noted. “It’s very hard for a lot of companies to bear. The pressure is very big,” he said.
The migration mirrors one in China’s scrap metal sector, where new restrictions on imports of solid waste and a need for importers to prove they are end-users of the material have prompted scrap firms to set up shop in South or Southeast Asia instead.
Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Tom Hogue and David Evans