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CATL's dominance in EV batteries challenged by emerging rivals

Margins narrow on higher lithium costs as geopolitics loom large

China's growing electric vehicle market has buoyed CATL over the years.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU/SEOUL -- Contemporary Amperex Technology's grip on the electric vehicle battery market is starting to slip despite record profits last year, as rivals gain ground and U.S.-China tensions cast a shadow over plans to expand overseas.

Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, ranked first in the world in automotive batteries for the fifth straight year in 2021, according to its annual report published Thursday. Net profit jumped 2.9 times last year to 15.9 billion yuan ($2.47 billion) on a 2.6-time increase in sales to 130.3 billion yuan, both breaking records.

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