CATL Robin Zeng Responds to the ‘100-Day Struggle’: Encourage Improving Basic Skills, No Coercion

Last week, the news about CATL requiring all employees to ‘strive for one hundred days’ and implement the ‘896’ work system caused a public opinion storm.

On June 25th at the Summer Davos Forum, Robin Zeng, Chairman and CEO of CATL, responded by saying, ‘Strive for one hundred days means calling on everyone to practice basic skills well. We do not force anyone.’

Robin Zeng also stated that in the context of new energy prices, value is the most important. He gave an example at the forum, saying, ‘For instance, batteries made by others cannot be recycled and may cost one yuan. The battery I produce can be cycled 5000 times and costs fifty cents. Therefore, from a value perspective, on average we are the most valuable. So, we should not focus on just the price when buying or selling at that time but consider the value over the entire lifecycle – quality and safety.’

Robin Zeng mentioned that recently there was a fire at a South Korean battery factory, resulting in many casualties, which is very unfortunate. He stated that having unsafe batteries at home poses endless risks.

Regarding the issue of research and development investment, Robin Zeng believes that the percentage of R&D investment between companies is not significant. He mentioned that Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) had revenue exceeding 400 billion yuan last year with R&D expenses amounting to several hundred billion yuan. While smaller companies may appear to have a relatively high proportion of R&D investment, they are actually investing only a few billion yuan, which he considers as small for research and development in areas such as batteries. As an example, CATL invested 4 billion yuan in the research and development of condensed batteries.

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