Wanxiang Group, a Chinese auto parts maker, is one step from closing a 256-million-dollar deal of purchasing commercial assets of a US advanced battery maker A123 Systems, which went bankruptcy in October.
Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey on December 11 approved Wangxiang's purchase, which was made through an auction held in Chicago on December 6 and 7. Wanxiang won the bid over three other American companies. The deal excluded A123's contract with U.S. military and government, as some U.S. military leaders and politicians worry that sensitive technology will slip from the U.S. into foreign hands.
To finish the deal, Wanxiang needs the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), a group of government agencies chaired by the U.S. Treasury Department, according to Pin Ni, who has been the head of Wanxiang's U.S. subsidiary since 1994.
Though some might use national security concerns as an excuse to sabotage the purchase, Ni told Xinhua he was confident of the fundamental administration management system of the U.S.
"CFIUS's approval of Wanxiang's purchase of A123 will be a matter of process to follow," said Ni."What needs most between China and the U.S. is transparency, and what lacks most between the two countries is also transparency."
Wanxiang made its name known as an auto parts maker and supplier. One in three vehicles produced in the U.S. in 2010 were equipped with Wanxiang parts, data show. In 2002, Wanxiang entered photovoltaic industry, kicking off its transition from traditional industry to new energy industry. In 2012 alone, Wanxiang America Corporation invested in six clean energy projects in the U.S.
When Ni first took office 18 years ago, Wanxiang has just expanded its business into the U.S. In less than two decades, sales volume of the company has grown from 3.5 million dollars in 1995 to 2 billion dollars in 2010. Wanxiang America Corporation now runs 23 factories in the U.S., hiring over 6,000 employees.