CATL Sues SVOLT for Unfair Competition

Jiemian News reported on Monday that the Ningde Intermediate People’s Court of Fujian Province is preparing to hear a lawsuit later this month in which Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is suing SVOLT on the grounds of unfair competition.

The defendants in this case also include Wuxi Tianhong Enterprise Management Consulting Co., Ltd. and Baoding Yixin Consulting Service Co., Ltd.

According to several court judgments, from 2018 to 2019, nine former CATL employees joined Wuxi Tianhong and Baoding Yixin respectively to provide services for SVOLT, a competitor of CATL. The court decided that the two companies are related parties of SVOLT.

During their tenure at CATL, the nine employees served as chief engineers, manufacturing engineers, and marketing specialists. CATL believes that these nine people violated the agreement the company had signed with them, thus requiring them to pay damages of 1 million yuan ($157,356).

CATL and SVOLT are both engaged in the manufacturing power batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). According to statistics provided by SNE, a Korean market research institution, CATL held a market share of 32.6% in the global power battery industry last year, ranking first in the world for five consecutive years, while SVOLT entered top ten with a market share of only 1%.

SVOLT was formerly known as Battery Unit of Great Wall Motors. In 2018, SVOLT broke away from Great Wall Motors and began operating on its own. The company has recently completed the first steps to go public and plans to enter the capital market soon.

In addition to SVOLT, CATL had previously filed lawsuits against competitors JiangSu Tafel New Energy and China Aviation Lithium Battery Technology Co., Ltd. (CALB), claiming that the other parties had infringed upon their battery technology patents.

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The case of CATL and JiangSu Tafel New Energy was settled last year and saw JiangSu Tafel New Energy pay more than 23.3 million yuan in compensation to CATL. The results of the patent lawsuit between CATL and CALB have not yet been announced.