China’s race to industrialize and urbanize in a single generation has taken a significant toll on the environment and quality of life. For instance, among the country’s 500 largest cities, less than 1% meet the World Health Organization’s air quality standard, more than 40% of China’s rivers are polluted, and nearly 20% of arable land is considered contaminated.
Under immense social and economic pressures, the Chinese government has committed to tackling these issues as part of its economic transition. Beijing has pledged to invest $360 billion
into renewable energy, which is expected to contribute to 27% of China’s total energy consumption by 2020. The government has also mandated that major cities should achieve “good” or “excellent” air quality at least 80% of the time in a given year.
The top-level commitment and broad policy support for greening the economy has led to significant interest among private investors, targeting sectors ranging from waste treatment and energy efficiency technologies to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Ningbo Shanshan is primarily a producer of lithium batteries, new energy vehicles, and energy storage and management systems. Overseas markets contributed to 9% of its 2016 revenue. in 2016, the company bid to acquire stakes in Sociedad Quimica Y Minera and later Oro Blanco, both of which are Chilean lithium suppliers. The company later terminated both bids due to difficulties and complications in the acquisition process.