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September 7, 2000
Sony to Establish Lithium-ion Polymer Rechargeable Battery Plant in China
- To further expand investment in Chinese high-tech industry -
(September 7, 2000) Sony today announced the establishment of Sony Electronics (Wuxi) Ltd, a wholly owned company by Sony (China) Ltd. The initial investment is estimated at approximately US$23 million. The new plant will produce lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries for mobile phones and other mobile terminals for both international and Chinese markets. Construction of the new plant will begin in September 2000, and production is due to start in April 2001.
Introduction of the World's most advanced battery-manufacturing technology
Lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries are the world's most advanced rechargeable battery products based on the lithium ion rechargeable battery technology that was developed and commercialized by Sony. Using gel polymer as the electrolyte, the lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries not only have the outstanding properties of the lithium ion rechargeable batteries, but are also extremely thin and lightweight. They are considered the best power supply for mobile phones, PDAs and other types of mobile devices such as digital video cameras and notebook PCs. By establishing the new manufacturing base, Sony will introduce the most advanced battery manufacturing technology to China.
Great potential in mobile terminal batteries
In the past few years, the market for mobile phones has greatly expanded all over the world. The speed of development of the mobile phone market in China in particular is especially noteworthy. In addition to Chinese domestic mobile phone manufacturers, a dozen foreign manufacturers from Japan, the United States and Europe have moved to China and started manufacturing mobile phones locally. In light of the strong demand for high performance mobile phone batteries, Sony Electronics (Wuxi) expects to satisfy the needs of these mobile phone manufacturers by offering them the power supply solution of compact, lightweight lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries. In addition, the new company will be able to help mobile phone manufacturers increase the proportion of localized contents by supplying one of the most important key components of mobile products.
China's first plant manufacturing Lithium-ion Polymer Rechargeable Batteries
With support from the Wuxi municipal government, the new company will be located in the Wuxi National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, where it can benefit from good infrastructure and high quality service. In addition, as Sony's manufacturing center of lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries in China, Wuxi has great advantages in its geographic location - 100 kilometers from Shanghai, only about one hour's drive. It also has easy access to the three major mobile phone producing areas in North China, East China and South China.
The manufacturing process of the new plant will be from the gel polymer electrode fabrication to the final product assembly. The monthly production capacity is forecast to be approximately two million units.
Commenting on establishing the new manufacturing facility in China, Mr. Hiroshi Shoda, Chairman of Sony (China) Ltd., said, "Sony believes in the great potential of the Chinese market. Its high-tech and new technology fields, represented by the communications industry, are growing rapidly. Through the manufacturing of Lithium-ion Polymer rechargeable batteries, Sony Electronics (Wuxi) Ltd. will support the Chinese communications industry and its mobile phone manufacturers by offering them the highest performing power source in the market. "
The new plant in China will be Sony's third manufacturing base for lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries. Together with Sony Fukushima in Japan and Sony Nuevo Laredo in Mexico, the new Chinese plant will establish a tri-polar manufacturing base to supply lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries to the global market. In order to satisfy the increasing need for lithium ion polymer rechargeable batteries, Sony will further enhance its global manufacturing and supplying systems.
Sony's investment in China High - Tech industry
Sony at present has three joint ventures (in Beijing, Shanghai respectively) and wholly owned enterprises (in Huizhou) in China. It is characterized by its investments in high-tech and new technology fields and has actually invested more than US$100 million and employs over 6,000 people. The products of the four joint ventures and the wholly owned enterprises include Flat Trinitron color TV, Flat Trinitron color tubes, computer monitors, camcorders, Hi-Fi stereos, DVD players, digital cameras, mobile phones and VCD, optical pick-ups and other key components. Sony contributes to the economic development of China through its active investment and marketing activities.
Profile of the new company (ipreliminary plan)
|[Name of the company]||Sony Electronics (Wuxi) Ltd.|
|[Date of establishment]||August, 2000|
|[Start of production]||April 2001|
|[Location]||Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China|
|[Registered capital]||US$9.5 million (100% invested in by Sony (China) Ltd.)|
|General Manager:||Taizo Suzuki|
|[Scope of business]||Manufacture of Lithium-ion Polymer Rechargeable Batteries (from application of gel polymer electrode to the completion of battery products)|
|[Sales revenue]||10 billion Japanese Yen forecast for 2001|
|[Number of employees]||500 people in FY2001|
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures, computer entertainment operations and on-line businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of more than $63 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000.