Chinese Company Gotion High-Tech Faces Scrutiny Over Alleged CCP Affiliation Amid Michigan Battery Facility Development
Employees of Gotion High-Tech, a Chinese company involved in the development of an electric vehicle battery facility in Michigan, have come under scrutiny for wearing what appears to be Red Army uniforms and pledging allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The parent company of Gotion High-Tech, based in Hefei, China, reportedly organized several company trips to CCP revolutionary memorials in Anhui Province, China, where employees donned Red Army outfits and expressed their dedication to communism. Video footage from a trip to China's Revolutionary Memorial Hall in July 2021 showed employees chanting pledges to join the CCP, uphold its platform, and follow its by-laws and decisions, while being ready to sacrifice everything for the Party and the people.
Gotion High-Tech has denied funding these trips, claiming that its employees are involved in various clubs independently, some of which organized visits to historical sites in China. The company, headquartered in Fremont, California, emphasized that it is not supervised, directed, controlled, or financed by any foreign government or political party. They also stated that the company observes all American holidays and wishes everyone a pleasant Labor Day weekend.
However, the revelation of Gotion's parent company arranging CCP-oriented trips and employee pledges has raised concerns among locals, national security experts, and Republican lawmakers regarding the Chinese company's allegiance to the Chinese government. Critics have pointed to Gotion High-Tech's corporate bylaws, which state that the company must carry out Party activities in accordance with the Communist Party of China's constitution. Gotion's 2022 ESG report also mentioned the study of the 20th National Congress of the CCP, red theme education, and love for students as their thematic education activities.
Earlier this year, a Michigan law firm registered Gotion Inc. as a Chinese foreign principal, according to filings reviewed by Fox News Digital. This move, along with the company's apparent affiliation with the CCP, has intensified concerns about potential foreign influence. Joseph Cella, former U.S. Ambassador and co-founder of the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, warned that China is actively seeking opportunities to exert influence, citing Gotion and CATL as examples of this influence operation.
The controversy surrounding Gotion High-Tech coincides with the company's ongoing project in Michigan, which has already faced significant opposition. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer previously announced that Gotion would invest $2.4 billion in constructing two production plants and supporting facilities in northern Michigan, to further solidify the state's position as a global hub of mobility and electrification. However, earlier this year, the Michigan state Senate Appropriations Committee approved $175 million in direct taxpayer funding for the project, leading to criticism from both Republicans and some Democrats.
Opponents of the project have expressed anger and frustration, accusing elected officials of disregarding their concerns and rushing the vote without proper due diligence. Marjorie Steele, a local resident, voiced her discontent during a hearing, emphasizing that the community would not stop at the local level and would unite with other townships and counties across the state to resist what they perceive as abuse of power.
In August, Gotion announced the acquisition of 270 acres of land in Green Charter Township, Michigan, for the battery facility project. Some of the purchased land is zoned for agriculture or residential use, while the majority is designated for industrial use. As of now, neither Gotion nor Whitmer's office has responded to requests for comment on the alleged CCP affiliation and related concerns.
themes: Military California China Michigan