Gotion High-tech CEO Li Zhen got face time with one of the most influential Chinese communist leaders Friday, further underscoring the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party.

Li Zhen, whose son, Li Chen, runs the American subsidiary of the Chinese company, briefed Chinese Premier Li Qiang when he visited the Anhui Province Friday, May 10 for a tech expo, according to Geopolitechs. The company also announced the interaction in a press release (translated here).

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Their interaction was briefly shown on Xinwen Lianbo, a Chinese state television network (Li Zhen can be seen pointing):

The full report is here.

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Via Geopolitechs:

According to a press release from Gotion High-Tech(国轩高科), a technology company specializing in new energy batteries, Premier Li also listened to the company’s introduction. Li Qiang acknowledged Gotion High-Tech for its cooperation with Volkswagen by introducing its strategic investment and developing standard battery cells with Volkswagen, and encouraged the company to deepen its collaboration with Volkswagen, accelerating technological advancement and product upgrades.

Gotion High-tech, which is partly owned by Volkswagen China, said Li Qiang encouraged the company “to accelerate innovation and development and go global.”

The South China Morning Post documented Li Qiang’s rise through the CCP ranks:

He was appointed party boss of Wenzhou in 2002 at the age of 43, making him the youngest person to take up that position in more than three decades, and he established himself there as a keen supporter of the city’s private sector. He joined Zhejiang’s provincial party committee in 2003, less than a year after Xi took control of it, and was promoted to secretary general in 2004. He was Xi’s secretary until Xi left for Shanghai in 2007. Li became Zhejiang governor at the end of 2012 after Xi took over as Communist Party general secretary.

In 2022, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her intention to give the Chinese company $715 million in Michigan taxpayer dollars to establish a massive battery components plant in Green Charter Township, near Big Rapids.

The township board’s insistence on placing the company in the community caused deep divisions, ultimately leading the a majority of the township board, including Supervisor James Chapman, being overwhelmingly recalled.

The new township leaders have heeded the community’s concerns, slowing the process down.

In March, CCP Gotion sued the township, alleging the new board is not keeping the agreements of the old board. The company dismissed skeptical residents as a “vocal minority of dissenters”.