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Briefing: JD.com-backed electric vehicle company denies production problems
What happened: Battery and electric vehicle manufacturer Yinlong Group has been the subject of media reports claiming that factories in Tianjin and Handan, Hebei, halted production earlier this year. In October, its parent company Jiangmen Kanhoo Group Industry Co. Ltd. said that operations at Yinlong’s Tianjin and Chengdu sites had been “not normal.” When a reporter checked out the sites in Tianjin and Hebei, however, workers said only that manufacturing was continuing as usual, although a request to tour one factory was denied.
Why it’s important: In 2016, Yinlong’s entry into Handan was hailed as a big move. That December, the company received $432 million in funding in a round that included both JD.com and Wanda Group. Local media has questioned whether the company’s northern manufacturing bases has met their production targets this year, however, and anonymous online comments from alleged former employees say the company has withheld salaries and medical insurance. The company’s difficulties may lie in the difficulty of establishing a network of charging piles as well as funding shortfalls, according to comments by its Tianjin general manager. That roadblock may stem the ambitions of Yinlong, which already supplies electric vehicles for Tianjin, despite China’s continued emphasis on dominating the EV market.