BYD Upgrades Shanghai Battery Factory to Supply Apple

On October 9, an official website of the Shanghai government showed that BYD plans to invest 5 million yuan ($695,778) in an expansion project involving Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. The industry interpreted BYD’s move as an effort to increase its power battery manufacturing capacity, with some alluding to the rather short distance between the factory base and its rival Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai.

According to a project description published on its website, Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of BYD, with a factory located in Songjiang District that mainly engages in the manufacturing of electronic components such as lithium batteries and solar cell modules. The factory also processes non-ferrous metal composite materials and new alloy materials. With this expansion project, an A5 workshop will add double folding and code spraying processes to new types of lithium battery products. After the project is completed, it is estimated that 72 million new types of lithium batteries will be able to be processed every year, but the output of new lithium battery products will remain unchanged.

However, it is reported that the batteries produced by BYD in Shanghai are mainly supplied to 3C (computer, communication and consumer electronics) products. On October 11, one source at BYD revealed to Time News that the upgrade of the production line are mainly changes in technology in order to supply Apple, because their requirements are much stricter.

On October 10, some BYD insiders also revealed that the batteries produced by the BYD factory in Shanghai, where the aforementioned expansion project is located, are mainly supplied to Lenovo, Samsung, Apple, etc., among which Lenovo and Samsung account for a relatively large proportion. At present, there is a high-end battery project with a new production line featuring steel shell lamination in the factory area, which might relate to the above expansion project.

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Time News also learned from BYD insiders that, at present, Apple’s smartphone battery suppliers are mainly Hong Kong-headquartered ATL (Ameperx Technology Limited) and South Korea’s LG, Apple’s computer battery suppliers are mainly ATL and Zhuhai-based COSMX, and tablet battery suppliers include BYD’s FinDreams Battery.

According to the above-mentioned person in charge BYD, the company not only supplies batteries for Apple’s tablets, but also includes headphones, mice and other products. At present, the cooperation between the two sides is smooth. However, according to the aforementioned BYD insiders, the cooperation projects with Apple are not profitable since business volumes are not very large.