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NEWS CENTER Chen Xiufeng, chairman of Xingyuan materials: by the end of 2020, the domestic diaphragm industry has entered a benign developme
As the last event of the year in China's auto industry, Guangzhou International Auto Show 2019 was officially held in the exhibition hall of China Import and Export Fair from November 22 to December 1. It is understood that the total number of cars exhibited in this auto show is 1050; a total of 182 new energy vehicles are exhibited by domestic and foreign auto enterprises, accounting for about 17.33% of the total. With the rapid development of domestic new energy vehicles, the proportion of new energy vehicles in Guangzhou International Auto Show has increased.
Among them, as one of the four raw materials of power battery, diaphragm industry in China has undergone tremendous changes with the development of new energy vehicle market. Shenzhen Xingyuan Material Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Xingyuan material", 300568. SZ), founded in September 2003, has witnessed the development of lithium battery diaphragm industry for more than ten years. In order to understand the development of domestic diaphragm industry, recently, the reporter of China Business News interviewed Chen Xiufeng, chairman of Xingyuan materials.
Chen Xiufeng said that more than ten years ago, China's diaphragm products were all imported. Now, the domestic lithium battery diaphragm industry has basically realized localization. About 50% of the products of Star source materials have been exported and sold, and Star source materials have been exported in batches overseas several years ago. At the same time, with the intensification of industry competition in recent years, the industry reshuffle leads to the withdrawal of backward production capacity, the concentration of domestic diaphragm industry will be higher and higher, and the industry will enter a benign development stage by the end of 2020.
Not long ago, Celgard claimed that Xingyuan materials and American Research Institute of Xingyuan violated its patent rights, business secrets, unfair competition, induced breach of contract and deliberately interfered with potential economic relations. In response, Chen Xiufeng said that Xingyuan materials actively responded to Celgard's claim, including safeguarding its intellectual property rights when necessary.
Adhere to the positive research and development path for many years
Recently, Xingyuan material has become the object of Celgard patent litigation. According to the public information, Celgard has also sued LG Chemical, SK innovation and other well-known lithium battery membrane manufacturers in South Korea.
In this regard, the Star source material has also released relevant announcements. Xingyuan material mentioned that Celgard transmitted a number of litigation materials to American lawyers of Xingyuan material by email; Xingyuan material intends to raise an objection to the way of litigation delivery.
In addition, Celgard claims that starsource materials and its US research institute infringe its patent rights, trade secrets, unfair competition, induce breach of contract and deliberately interfere with potential economic relations; Celgard claims that it will apply for injunction and economic compensation (but does not provide specific amount). Chen Xiufeng told reporters that since the establishment of Xingyuan material, it has always adhered to the development path of positive R & D.
According to the data, in 2003, Xingyuan material was established, which is committed to the sales and research and development of lithium battery separator. In 2006, Xingyuan material wet pilot production line was put into operation; in 2008, it designed and manufactured the first one-way stretch dry production line in China.
Chen Xiufeng mentioned that lithium battery separator has been a foreign monopoly for more than ten years, and it is very difficult to purchase diaphragm products at home. In order to lay out the production and manufacturing of diaphragm products, domestic enterprises can only carry out independent research and development. As the leader of domestic lithium battery diaphragm industry, Star source material has invested a lot of time and money in research and development without exception.
It is understood that as of November, star materials and its holding subsidiaries have applied for 273 patents, including 28 foreign patents; currently, 115 authorized patents have been obtained, including 46 invention patents and 69 utility model patents.
Domestic diaphragm industry will usher in new order
Ten years ago, the domestic diaphragm market was "one membrane is hard to find". Now, the diaphragm industry has basically realized localization, and the development of the industry has changed dramatically.
In the 2019 China lithium battery diaphragm Industry Research Report, GGII mentioned that the localization rate of the diaphragm further increased, from 90% in 2017 to 93% in 2018. The domestic diaphragm continues to replace the imported diaphragm in the Chinese market.
However, the influx of capital, price disputes and so on also make the domestic diaphragm industry into a "big battle". According to the statistics of lithium Research Institute of high industry and research, there are 55 diaphragm manufacturers in China in 2017, and the number of new diaphragm enterprises in China during 2015-2017 is more than 10; however, as of December 2018, the number of diaphragm enterprises with mass production capacity is less than 40, and the number of enterprises is still shrinking since 2019.
Stepping into 2019, the shuffle of diaphragm industry is still continuing. According to Chen Xiufeng, many capital parties believe that the diaphragm industry has a high profit and a good prospect for the development of new energy automobile industry, but they do not recognize the characteristics of huge capital investment and long technology accumulation in the diaphragm industry, so shuffling is the necessary process for the industry at present. "By the second half of 2020, there will be a new market pattern in the whole market, and the whole industry will enter a benign development stage."
With the influx of capital, industry competition intensified, the price war also started. Recently, evtank, a research institution, and Ivey Economic Research Institute jointly released the white paper of China lithium ion battery membrane industry (2019), which mentioned that the gross profit of some membrane enterprises remained at a high level, but declined in varying degrees compared with the previous years. Especially with the further decline of the average price of the diaphragm and the further improvement of the industry concentration, tail enterprises in the industry began to lose money.
For the price competition of diaphragm industry, Chen Xiufeng has mentioned many times before that "Star source materials do not play a price war". According to Chen Xiufeng, many enterprises reduce their prices mainly through technological progress or rough manufacturing, while most enterprises will choose the simplest way of rough manufacturing, which is not conducive to the development of enterprises and industries. "The price war is the simplest competition, and we have been trying to reduce the price to bring down the competitors; but Xingyuan material thinks that the good development of the enterprise should play a value war."
Chen Xiufeng said that the development of new energy industry is a marathon. There is no need to sacrifice the long-term market for the immediate interests. Enterprises should focus on the global long-term planning. No matter how the enterprise develops nowadays, it is only a matter of a moment. "The only way to change is to change, to change is to change, and to do everything." That's what Chen Xiufeng said.
Based on the international market is the key
Although the domestic diaphragm market is under pressure due to the decline of new energy subsidies and other impacts, Chen Xiufeng said: Star source materials have not been affected too much, and the most important market at present is the European market.
In terms of capacity construction, the three bases of star material are Shenzhen base in Guangdong Province, Hefei base in Anhui Province and Changzhou base in Jiangsu Province, with a total planned capacity of 1.3 billion square meters / year. Chen Xiufeng said that the production expansion of Xingyuan materials is aimed at overseas customers, competing with international counterparts to seize the market. "When we design the factory, we have already given the drawings to Panasonic, Samsung and other customers to participate in the discussion, because after the completion of the base, we will produce them."
Previously, in the semi annual report of 2019, Xingyuan material mentioned that overseas power battery enterprises face relatively small policy risk, pay more attention to the experience of product service, technical service and after-sales service, with relatively low price sensitivity and stable procurement scale, which makes their diaphragm suppliers maintain a good profit level. Compared with the situation of domestic and foreign diaphragm industry, Chen Xiufeng believes that the foreign market pays more attention to quality, while the domestic demand now pays more attention to cost.
From the perspective of international market, the development of China, Japan and South Korea in the upstream and downstream of power battery can be described as "three pillars". Today, the trade relationship between Japan and South Korea has also changed.
Chen Xiufeng said that South Korea's diaphragm demand basically depends on imports. With the change of trade relations between Japan and South Korea, many South Korean enterprises are now engaged in new projects of power battery, which brings opportunities to Chinese diaphragm enterprises. At the same time, Chen Xiufeng mentioned that with the complete decline of new energy subsidies in 2020, Japan and South Korea and local enterprises in China are running online competition together, which is a huge impact for domestic battery manufacturers and a huge opportunity for material manufacturers.
In view of these two opportunities, Chen Xiufeng always believes that Chinese enterprises need to improve their product level if they want to seize the opportunities, and these dividends will be concentrated in the head enterprises.
"The power battery industry of China, Japan and South Korea will eventually" change from three regions to one region ", that is, the integration of supply chain system." Chen Xiufeng conjectures that the situation will be basically formed in 2022-2023, when the supply chain system will converge, and the enterprise structure will no longer be complex.
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