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Volkswagen-backed Gotion starts building a new 50 GWh battery plant

Dec 8, 2021
Chinese battery maker Gotion High-Tech has begun construction of a new lithium-ion battery production plant in Hefei, the capital city of the eastern Anhui province. The new plant will have a capacity of 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year and is scheduled to start production in March 2023. The plant will allow the Volkswagen-backed company to supply batteries to top international automakers, Gotion said in a Tuesday announcement. [Gotion release, in Chinese]

Deeproute aims for mass market with low-price self-driving hardware package

Dec 8, 2021
Chinese self-driving startup Deeproute has launched its next-generation sensing platform, boasting a per unit cost of just $10,000 – well below the market average – and targeting mass production with automakers as early as 2024. The hardware suite includes five lidar sensors and eight cameras to allow the vehicle to have a 360-degree field of vision, according to an announcement released Wednesday. By comparison, a Waymo testing vehicle reportedly costs at least $130,000 in sensors and computers, according to the company’s former CEO John Krafcik. [Deeproute release, in Chinese]

AI unicorn SenseTime plans to raise $768 million in downsized Hong Kong IPO

Dec 7, 2021
China’s top AI firm SenseTime plans to raise HK$5.99 billion ($768 million) in its Hong Kong debut, down about 62% from a reported $2 billion goal. The company is selling 1.5 billion shares between HK$3.85 and HK$3.99 apiece, with the listing scheduled on Dec. 17. SenseTime’s listing comes amid Beijing’s intensified scrutiny of technology companies and their data security practices. The 7-year-old company makes facial recognition software for various fields, including security and financial services. SenseTime is valued at more than $12 billion in its most recent financing round received in January. [SenseTime announcement]

Alibaba appoints new CFO and restructures business units

Dec 6, 2021
Alibaba announced on Monday that deputy chief financial officer Toby Xu to replace Maggie Wu as the company’s chief financial officer next April. Separately, the company said it will create two new units for domestic e-commerce business and international e-commerce business. Trudy Dai will lead the domestic unit, and Jiang Fan will head the global one. The Chinese e-commerce giant overhauls its business structure at a time of increasing regulatory pressure and rising competition. [Reuters]

China fines social media platform Douban for “illegal” information release

Dec 3, 2021
On Thursday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it had imposed a RMB 1.5 million ($235,000) fine on Chinese hipster social media platform Douban for “unlawful” release of information. The agency has summoned executives of the company, ordering the platform to “rectify immediately and punish people in charge of the matter.” The company said in a Thursday statement that it had suspended a reply function and a featured content function on the platform. [CAC announcement, in Chinese]
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