Ningde, an impoverished mountainous region in east China's Fujian province, used to have nothing to boast about to outsiders except that China's current president, Xi Jinping, once served there as the local chief of the Chinese Communist Party.
But that has changed because of one automotive company — CATL — that did not exist a decade ago.
The Chinese battery supplier has gone from unknown startup in 2011 to being the world's largest producer of electric vehicle batteries, fueled by the huge demand for EVs inside China.
Now, however, CATL is turning its attention to global automakers, and to markets outside of China.
In February, it signed an agreement to supply Tesla, starting in July. General Motors also is looking to procure CATL's battery cells for its expanding EV lineup in China, the Detroit automaker's China President Julian Blissett told Chinese media this month.
CATL also is preparing to supply vehicles outside of China.
Last October, it broke ground on an EV battery plant in the German state of Thuringia to supply BMW and other European automakers. The 1.8 billion euro ($2 billion) factory is expected to churn out 14 gigawatt-hours of battery cells and modules in 2022.