Korean battery manufacturers were included in a white list (a preliminary list of the first quality certified companies) of electric car battery certification made by the Chinese government. This means that the Chinese government acknowledged the technological prowess of Korean companies. Although it is unlikely that the Chinese government will resume provision of subsidies to Korean batteries soon, there is growing anticipation that Korean companies will resume their battery business in China on a full scale.
According to the battery industry on May 23, the China Automobile Manufacturers Association recently announced a preliminary list of the first quality certified companies. The list had 16 companies in the fields of automotive batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. LG Chem Nanjing, Samsung SDI Xian, and BESK Technology, a joint venture of SK Innovation, made the list as Korean companies. The final white list is expected to come out later this month after Chinese authorities receive formal objections by May 28. Companies included in the preliminary list are likely to remain on the final list if there are no special reasons.
The Chinese government has excluded electric vehicles equipped with batteries of Korean companies from subsidies for more than a year. As a result, Korean companies' capacity utilization rates in China have fallen. They produced alternative products or stopped operations altogether.
Some experts in the battery industry are suggesting a possibility that the Chinese government will set Korean battery makers free from sanctions based on the fact that the white list included them. This is because they believe that the Chinese government is highly likely to include Korean battery makers in a battery subsidy list in the future as the Chinese government recognized Korean battery makers’ technological excellence. Korean battery makers’ anticipation is ballooning as an official of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is expected to discuss the battery issue in the Korea-China Trade Ministers’ Meeting that will take place on May 24.