(Reuters) – China will scrutinize Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) latest deal with battery giant CATL (300750.SZ) to ensure the Chinese company’s core technology is not shared with the U.S. automaker, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
Beijing is concerned that the competitive aspects of CATL’s technology could be given to or accessed by the Detroit carmaker, but the scrutiny is unlikely to result in the agreement being blocked, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Ford did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment, while CATL could not be reached outside market hours.
Senior Chinese leaders asked for the extra scrutiny given the sensitivity of the deal and the current state of tensions between Washington and Beijing, the report said.
Ford on Monday announced plans to invest $3.5 billion to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan, with help from CATL’s technology.
Under the deal, CATL – short for Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd – will license the technology and technical assistance needed for Ford to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries in Michigan.