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This past November 6th-10th, the US-China Clean Tech Center organized the first New Energy Vehicle (NEV) Trade Mission to China from the US, since China declared an imminent ban on diesel and gas vehicles. The mission took place in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Guangdong, and provided the delegation to meet total over 300 leading companies, JV partners, investors, and teaming partners, laying the foundation for future strategic collaboration and projects with the US and Chinese parties.

UCCTC also worked in conjunction with the US Department of Commerce ITA, including their top commercial officers who joined our meetings in Shanghai and in Guangzhou. Additionally, the DOC assisted and provided an IP update webinar for several of our participating companies, prior to the trip.

The delegation included 17 innovative companies engaged in NEV technologies for the passenger, commercial, bus, and heavy-duty truck markets; this included electric battery, hydrogen fuel cell, and hybrid technologies, as well as AI, wireless charging, electric jet propulsion technology and advanced lithium ion battery technology firms.

The first day, the delegation attended the Shanghai-U.S. New Energy Vehicle Business Conference, hosted by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board, the Anting Shanghai International Automobile City and Auto Innovation Park, as well as the Shanghai Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone Administrative Committee. Robyn Garfield, Consul in the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, provided opening remarks and each company representative from our delegation had an 8 minute pitch. At the conference, the companies were able to meet and network with over 40 companies and investors from around the 7 districts in Shanghai, discuss potential collaboration, and communicate about potential projects.  Our delegation then moved to the Jiading Auto Industrial Park, the largest and most advanced auto industrial park in China (and maybe the world), where we did site visits of the park and met companies such as SAIC, VC, Next EV, NIO and EVCARD. Following presentations and another business matchmaking session, the delegates were treated to banquet with live music and art by local artists.

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On Tuesday, having taken a charter bus to Changshu, Jiangsu Province, the delegation then participated in the Changshu-US New Energy Vehicle Industrial Cooperation Conference, hosted by the Changshu municipal government and included meetings and one-on-one B2B matchmaking meetings with more than 30 businesses, investors, and teaming partners from the Changshu High-tech Industrial Zone.  The delegation then went on site visits, including a 2 hour, behind the scenes tour of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing, assembly, and packaging plant.  The delegation also was able to meet and speak with the plant’s CEO and Founder, one of the pioneers in the lithium-ion battery business.

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On Wednesday, the delegation flew to Guangdong, and was welcomed by the Guangdong Qinyuan Government.  The Qinyuan representatives then took the delegation on several site visits and the evening concluded with a private business dinner and networking event hosted by the Qinyuan mayor and the economic development team, allowing the delegates to sit, dine, and speak with over 20 different local companies and investors.

One of the major highlights of the trade mission occurred during the monumental Guangdong-US New Energy Vehicle Cooperation Conference, hosted by the Guangdong Provincial Government, on Thursday, November 9th.   After presentations by the delegates at the conference, all company representatives were able to meet in an intimate roundtable-style meeting with Guangdong Governor Ma.  Along with the Governor, high level executives from companies such as BYD and Guangzhou Auto joined the meeting and the delegates were able to converse, ask questions, and speak with the Governor and his economic team.   Additionally, the conference keynote included Charles Bennett, Consul General, US Embassy in Guangzhou. The afternoon included several opportunities for the delegates to meet with companies, investors, and teaming partners, extensive one-on-one B2B matchmaking, and time to speak with local economic office staff as well. The evening included a dinner hosted by the Guangdong government as well as a night-time river cruise of the Pearl River.

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On the final day, the delegation had the opportunity to travel to Huizhou city, 2 hours outside of Guangzhou, and was able to meet with 25 companies and investors from Huizhou, at the Guangdong Huizhou – US Business Meeting for Companies of New Energy and Smart Automobiles. This included local companies that are seeking opportunities in the US, seeking teaming partners and project partners. The delegation made presentations and was then able to speak and interact further, with the business matchmaking event.  The afternoon included additional sites visits including visiting BYD’s plant and a business dinner event hosted by the Mayor of Huizhou city.

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Quotes from Delegation Participants:

“I joined this trade mission expecting to meet a dozen or so companies during the week.  In fact I had the opportunity to meet over 50 companies and get a view of the major Chinese centers, government focus and industrial players in my sector all within the short time of the trip.  The trip was very well organized and far exceeded my expectation.  The organizers did an amazing job of gathering very high level industrial and government representatives.  Highly recommended and appreciated.”                                                                             

– Afshin Partovi, CEO, Mojo Mobility (Silicon Valley)

“Ampaire’s recent trip to China was action-packed and highly suited for a fast-moving startup like ours. This is not a typical dog and pony show, but a chance to make great contacts with meetings and events from dawn to late evening daily. We’re very glad we got a chance to participate.”                                                                                               

– Cory Combs, Co-Founder and CTO, Ampaire, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA)

“We were honored to join UCCTC’s NEV trade mission in November. We met the right business and political officials from Shanghai, Jiangsu province, and Guangdong province, and the trip was so efficient that we are now closely negotiating with Qingyuan city to set up a JV.  The JV being discussed will not be a simple factory, rather is will incorporate lithium-ion battery manufacturing, electric bus manufacturing, and a micro-grid. The JV will be fully funded by the local Chinese investor. We look forward to keeping you posted on the progress.”                           

– Jack Tian, Executive Vice President, Vice General Manager and President of China Operations at EnerBlü, Inc. (Riverside, CA)

“The US-China CleanTech Trade Mission trip in November was a very successful trip for us.  The schedule was packed with a lot of engagements with China Clean Tech industries in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong.  Taking advantage of this opportunity, our company developed many leads during the trip, and we have started further information exchange which may lead to possible future collaborations in China market.”                                             

– Yuan Dao, Ph.D., General Manager, Elite Power Solutions (Phoenix, AZ)

 “Participating in the trade mission was a fantastic opportunity that allowed our small Atlanta company to meet with many Chinese companies and government officials in a short period of time. The matchmaking opportunities in each city was a great way to find people that wanted to talk to us. The UCCTC staff was tremendously helpful and made the trip so much more smooth and enjoyable. The VIP treatment that we got was special and probably not available in many other places. Please sign us up for the next one!”                                                                                 

– Les Seagraves, VP Product & Legal, Wheego Technologies, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)

“[The trade mission] was a great experience with fine and talented colleagues and we meet many good potential  Chinese partners. The organization was great and Yair and Rainning did a great job. I wish to thank them personally for their support. Again, I thank you for this opportunity you gave me to present GenCell to the Chinese market.”                                                                                                                                                                                             

– Yossi Salomon, CFO, GenCell (Israel & USA).

“The trade mission was well organized, broadly attended and very efficient. Delegates were provided a wide-reaching view of opportunities in China and gained a variety of governmental, financial, and business contacts with whom to cooperate.”                                                                                                                                                                   

– Preston Roper, Chief Marketing & Operating Officer eMotorWerks, an ENEL Group Company (Silicon Valley)