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China tech

China leads global battery patent race for post-lithium-ion era

Once-mighty Japan and U.S. lagging in sodium-ion and other affordable tech

China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is rushing to develop affordable sodium-ion batteries. (Photo taken from CATL homepage)

OSAKA -- China is increasing its presence in the race to develop replacements for the lithium-ion battery, a Nikkei analysis shows. A country-by-country tally of patents related to post-lithium-ion batteries over the past 10 years shows China in the lead, accounting for more than half of all patents.

The evaluation of patents for sodium-ion batteries, perhaps the biggest horse in the race, also shows China dominating Japan and the U.S., with Chinese companies expected to begin mass production of these batteries this year.

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