China’s most daring new energy king has disappeared

From hero to clown, maybe it’s just a hoax.

Author 丨 Jun Li

In the 1990s, he single-handedly set off a wave of development of power batteries in China . Nowadays, few people know his story, and he no longer exists in the arena.

Battery King

The cost of a new energy vehicle, batteries account for about 30 to 40%.

The global new energy automobile market blows out, making power batteries the most popular place for wealth creation, and creating one after another industry and wealth myths.

Industry giant Ningde Times has increased its share price 10 times since it went public in 2018. It has created more billionaires than technology giants such as Google . Its founder, Zeng Yuqun, has surpassed Li Ka-shing with a net worth of US$34.5 billion and aspired to become the richest man in Hong Kong.

China’s most daring new energy king has disappeared

In addition to the Ningde era, the performance and stock prices of many battery manufacturing companies and related companies in the industry chain have also soared.

But few people know that the first to tell the car battery story was neither Zeng Yuqun nor anyone seen in the industry today.

This person saw the great prospects of new energy vehicles 20 years ago. According to public reports at the time, he created “multiple firsts” in this field, including the world’s first 100Ah single-capacity lithium-ion power battery, the first lithium-ion power battery car, etc., and he was also identified as a ” national treasure”.

In his heyday, he once declared that he would replace Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, and let Chinese batteries conquer the world…

He is the Zhong Xin Jia, medium country’s new energy automotive battery earliest advocates and dreams home.

Become famous overnight

At the beginning of 2000, the world was shrouded in the joy of the millennium. A message from Zhuhai, Guangdong shocked the entire battery industry.

An electric car using a 100Ah lithium battery has a battery life of 383 kilometers after charging for 2 hours, breaking the world record in one fell swoop, and its inventor is Zhong Xinjia.

This “feat” made Zhong Xinjia famous overnight and the public began to care about his story.

Time went back to 1995. It was a critical period for the country to vigorously develop the lithium battery industry. Zhong Xinjia, a “lithium battery research and development expert” above his head, was favored and recommended by a leader and established a “Rising Star” in the Sanzao Science and Technology Industrial Park in Zhuhai High-tech Zone. Life Source Battery Laboratory”.

Since then, Zhong Xinjia has started one battery myth after another.

In 1996, he claimed to the public that he had successfully developed the world’s first single-cell capacity 90Ah life-source lithium-ion rechargeable battery. A year later, the world’s first power-type lithium-ion rechargeable battery also came out here.

In 1998, he produced a lithium-ion power battery for vehicles with a single capacity of 100Ah and installed it for trial use.

Although the results of this research caused spontaneous combustion during the test drive, Zhong Xinjia was disgraced, but he did not give up. He also took the burned car and all his belongings to Shekou, Shenzhen, and decided to change the place and start over again.

Just one year later, he put the improved power-type lithium battery into the repaired car again. This time, the car finally dashed in Shenzhen, and his reputation was thoroughly established.

In August 1999, Leitian Green Electric Source (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Shenzhen Leitian) was established, with Zhong Xinjia as the chairman of the board. According to reports, by 2000, Shenzhen Thunder Sky had begun to sell 800Ah single-cell power batteries worldwide, and all of these inventions were made by Zhong Xinjia.

A “genius inventor” appeared in Shenzhen, which directly alarmed the national ministries and commissions.

In 2001, Zhong Xinjia was listed as a “National Treasure” battery inventor by a national ministry, and the life-source power lithium battery developed by him was also listed as a “National Treasure” product.

The ministry also issued a document to set up a lithium battery R&D center under the “863” plan based on “Shenzhen Thunder Sky”, and Zhong Xinjia was designated as the director and chief scientist of the R&D center.

In 2006, Zhong Xinjia announced that he had produced the world’s first rare earth lithium-ion power battery with a single capacity of 3600Ah and 10000Ah.

In the same year, the power lithium-ion battery was listed as a national priority for the development of high-efficiency energy material technology, and it became a must for local governments to build industries and create political achievements.

With the policy dividend, Zhong Xinjia has become more popular. He has cooperated with many local governments to draw a blueprint for a project with a total output value of 50 billion yuan. Three years later, he also worked with Cao Zhong Hong Kong-listed China Shougang Concord International former Managing Director, roaring blaze of glory to the operation launched on the market a lecture entitled “Thunder Plan” backdoor.

Zhong Xinjia produced battery technology, and Cao Zhong was in charge of capital operation. In October 2009, the two parties established Hong Kong Thunder Sky as a joint venture, and backdoor Jiasheng Holdings was listed in Hong Kong, with the two as controlling shareholders.

Not only that, they also brought Li Ka-shing to accompany him. In January 2010, Jiasheng placed 400 million shares to Li Ka-shing at a price of 290 million Hong Kong dollars. Four months later, Hong Kong Leitian and Jiasheng reorganized and went public, renamed Zhongju Leitian, and Zhong Xinjia served as the chairman of the board of directors.

With the blessing of Li Ka-shing, the stock price of Zhongju Leitian climbed straight, from 0.4 yuan per share to 2.7 yuan.

In Zhong Xinjia’s self-report, she used to be like a lonely hero. He spent more than 200 million yuan on researching batteries, his family wealth was exhausted, and his wife left him.

Now that the company has gone public, fame and fortune, he finally ushered in the “peak moment” of his life.

A former employee of Zhongju Leitian recalled that in those years, Zhong Xinjia was very vigorous and often showed off to employees. He set many world records. Former UN Secretary-General Annan specially sent him a congratulatory message, and Bill Gates also called him to ask him for advice. Experience, he said more than once, he replaced Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, just around the corner.

In 2011, Zhong Xinjia announced that he invested 300 million US dollars to open a diesel recreational vehicle manufacturing company in California, the production of all-electric recreational vehicles and fast charging systems, and also established Zhong Xinjia Global Energy Center at the University of California Riverside, as if to expand the battery empire to worldwide.

At this point, the story seems to be perfect and inspirational, but all this is just the surface, and the collapse of the myth is about to begin.

The myth collapses

Dreams are fragmented, starting from being deposed and expelled.

In 2011, less than a year after Zhongju Leitian went public, a piece of news that Zhong Xinjia and Cao Zhong were torn apart from each other hit the headlines of financial news.

Zhong Xinjia broke the news that the “backdoor listing” at the time was a scam. Cao Zhong cheated his trust and most of the stocks in the name of helping national leaders hold stocks on behalf of him. Cao Zhong broke the news that Zhong Xinjia’s technological inventions were fake. , Did not supply the company in accordance with the contract at all.

Once a good partner revealed each other’s shortcomings, the contradiction intensified. In April 2011, Sinopoly Leitian issued an announcement that Zhong Xinjia was voted to remove through an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders, and the company was renamed “China Poly Battery” to completely cut off the connection with Zhong Xinjia.

Subsequently, Zhong Xinjia made a counterattack and sued the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court against Zhongju Leitian Energy Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zhongju Battery, for breach of contract, claiming 186 million yuan. China Poly Battery was not to be outdone, and opposed the generals, pointing out that the three key documents Zhong Xinjia submitted to the court were forged and reported to relevant law enforcement agencies.

In March 2013, according to media reports, China Poly Battery announced that it had received a court ruling, including the acceptance of Zhong Xinjia’s application for withdrawal of the lawsuit, and Zhong Xinjia was responsible for all the related litigation and appraisal costs of more than 500,000 yuan. The right and wrong of this lawsuit are clear at a glance.

The collapse of the myth created by Zhong Xinjia seems to be accidental, but in fact everything has long been traced.

For example, when he claimed that Bill Gates had called him, some employees questioned, “Zhong Xinjia can’t speak English. Could Bill Gates speak Mandarin to him on the phone?”

Of course, the most critical core is that he failed to answer a question of concern to the outside world from beginning to end:

What is the technical principle of the life source lithium battery?

No matter how beautiful the story is, the problems that European and American countries have not overcome for decades with tens of billions of dollars have been overcome by Zhong Xinjia alone, and it will inevitably lead to many doubts.

In 2000, two experts in Shenzhen requested the supervision and inspection of the whole process of the production of rare earth lithium-ion power batteries. Before the test, Zhong Xinjia signed a confidentiality agreement with them: only watching, not recording. When the Beijing expert group came to inspect, they proposed to walk to the production workshop, but Zhong Xinjia rejected it on the grounds of commercial secrets.

Under waves of mysterious operations, no one can tell where these rare earth lithium batteries come from.

In the face of various doubts, Zhong Xinjia has also responded, but he attributed everything to the low-end domestic testing technology:

“It takes a long time for cutting-edge technology to be accepted by the public … Domestic testing agencies do not have advanced testing equipment at this level, so that such a world-class battery technology cannot be truly applied to the development of the domestic electric vehicle industry. , What kind of sadness is this?”

China’s most daring new energy king has disappeared

The Leitian battery, which was half-covered, failed to pass the official performance test and certification, which directly led to the FAW Group’s choice to abandon the use of the Leitian battery after the trial. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games electric vehicle procurement bidding, Thunder Battery was also unsuccessful for the same reason.

In those years, Lei Tian’s cooperation with local governments failed again and again, which seems to have further confirmed the doubts and speculations of the outside world.

In the seven years after 2002, Lei Tian involved as many as 8 investment projects, with a total investment of tens of billions of yuan, and most of the projects ended in unfinished business. Local governments and companies that have cooperated with Lei Tian either shouted out loud or kept silent about this past.

In 2002, Shenzhen Leitian signed an agreement with the Guangdong Lianjiang Municipal Government to build a Leitian nano-high-tech industrial park. The first phase of the project invested 630 million yuan. After the completion of the first phase, the annual output value is expected to reach 3.1 billion yuan.

However, only 7 months later, a piece of news was published on the website of the city government, stating that the initial investment of the project was only 10 million U.S. dollars, which was inconsistent with the 630 million U.S. dollars raised six months ago.

Since then, no news related to Shenzhen Leitian has appeared on the website of the city government.

In 2007, Shenzhen Leitian cooperated with the Liaoyuan Municipal Government of Jilin to build the “Northeast Leitian New Energy Industrial Park” in the economic development zone of the city, with an annual output of 15 billion Ah lithium-ion power batteries, and an annual output of 7 billion Ah.

One year later, the output results are very stunned: the original plan to produce 15 billion Ah per year, but in 2008 it became 8 billion Ah; the first phase of the planned production capacity of 7 billion Ah, in fact only produced 200 million Ah, both parties Collaboration is therefore no end.

The government negotiated, the project was launched, the other party invested money, Zhong Xinjia produced technology, the production capacity was not up to the standard, and the cooperation fell through. Counting all the projects Zhong Xinjia participated in, almost all of them are this “routine.” After much fanfare at the beginning of the cooperation, there was nothing to follow.

Wang Chongling, the former general manager of AVIC Lithium Battery, was interrupted by Zhong Xinjia during an interview. He asked reporters to ask Wang Chongling on the phone, “Is AVIC Lithium Battery given today by Thunder?”

“Are you asking which patent Zhong Xinjia gave? The equipment that Zhong Xinjia bought didn’t have a manual, and then he didn’t care about it and lied to us 30 million. We invested 100 million at that time, and it was all for nothing.” Wang Chongling was quite annoyed.

The national “863” plan that made Zhong Xinjia ascend to the sky in the first step also made a sound later, stating that Lei Tian no longer undertakes arrangements for national research and any subsequent actions have nothing to do with the “863” plan.

The notorious Zhong Xinjia also argued for himself, saying that he was just a pawn used by the locals to attract investment. What he does is not important, he only needs to cater to the other party’s tastes of great joy, and he will have nothing to do after being used.

But at this time, Zhong Xinjia, who had already betrayed his relatives, no one cared about his voice at all. A vigorous battery myth, in the end he was the only one who played the harlequin.

After being expelled from Zhongju Leitian, Zhong Xinjia returned to the original starting point-Shenzhen, and renamed the company originally registered in Shenzhen to Winston Battery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. There have not been any new inventions of his in the news, and only rumors of his “bankruptcy” have been heard from time to time.

Ten years after he “disappeared”, China’s lithium batteries began to flourish, and the collective rise.

Ningde era, BYD , AVIC lithium battery… ushered in a collective explosion after years of accumulating power, starting from the battery, and extending its tentacles to all industrial chains related to new energy vehicles.

“God’s Guidance”

Compared with Zeng Yuqun, who are technically born and steady, Zhong Xinjia’s life span is bizarre and more exciting than movies.

He kept secret about the history before his fortune, leaving only a few pieces of information.

In 1957, Zhong Xinjia was born in a family of Chinese medicine practitioners in Lianjiang, Guangdong. In his self-report, he was prematurely wise. He started to study Chinese medicine at the age of 12 while studying radio. He assembled stereos and sold them without spending money, and bought books in exchange for money.

In his youth, Zhong Xinjia first studied stage design in an art school in his hometown, and then went to Guangdong Medical College to study Chinese medicine. Soon after, Xiao Zhong, a “literary and artistic youth”, joined the literary and artistic world and became a director.

Perhaps the turmoil in the literary circle was too great, and within two years, Zhong Xinjia completely turned the wheel.

In 1981, he applied to work as a worker in a lead-acid battery factory in his hometown of Zhanjiang. There are also reports that he directly became the director and chief engineer. In less than a year, Zhong Xinjia claimed that he invented the first maintenance-free lead-acid battery in mankind.

But before the enthusiasm was over, Zhong Xinjia turned around again.

In his self-report, in 1983, he started his own business, made tapes, and founded China’s first Sino-foreign joint venture tape recorder production plant.

Two years later, Zhong Xinjia dreamed of Hainan Island again and ran to Hainan to upside down the car, but this time he was not so lucky. According to Hong Kong stock market commentator Jiang Xiaoyu, Zhong Xinjia was arrested and imprisoned for smuggling cars in Hainan. However, he was acquitted two years later, and he received more than 70,000 yuan in compensation for unjust imprisonment.

This year, he was only 30 years old, and he has traveled longer than many people’s lives.

After being released from prison, Zhong Xinjia suddenly became interested in Buddhism and became a monk and became a monk.

In 1989, he saw a news about a crude oil energy crisis in the newspaper. He couldn’t hold back his desire to do a big job, and he started to work as a lithium battery. That’s why he had the story behind.

Although the experience of becoming a monk was short, it had a great impact on Zhong Xinjia. He attributed his subsequent ups and downs to “God’s guidance.”

“I have never learned to play piano and violin, but I can play songs when I get the piano, and I can play when I get the violin, because I have always integrated Buddhism into my life.” Zhong Xinjia once said to the public.

In the media reports, Zhong Xinjia has many oddities: he does not look down on scholars, nor does he read battery professional books. It is “God’s guidance” that gives him a steady stream of inspiration; after computers have become popular, Zhong Xinjia encourages employees continue to use the abacus; because eating chicken Zhanjiang home, he stocked in the factory where a lot of chickens and ducks, visiting guests, let the chef do home village dish banquet guests.

Zhong Xinjia once vowed to say that the new energy vehicle battery he invented is the best in the world, and it will not be overtaken in 50 years. Fortunately, people all over the world will read Zhong’s Life Source Rare Earth Lithium written in Chinese. Battery manual.

Now it sounds like a dream.

The only remaining Winston Battery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. under his name has been renamed “Oriental Lion Dance”. If you are not looking for it specifically, it is difficult to find such a company in the lithium battery industry.

China’s most daring new energy king has disappeared

On the company’s official website, they chanted “The Oriental Lion, which carries the ambition of the Chinese nation’s green industry technological innovation”, and the selling point is Zhong Xinjia’s life-source lithium power battery ten years ago.

In the official promotional film, Zhong Xinjia, who is 64 years old this year, showed her face from time to time as “Academician Zhong” and continued to talk about Yu Meng.

In hindsight, Zhong Xinjia’s battery creation is a story that cannot stand scrutiny. But it is such a person with a bizarre background who drags a company that is far from the top 500 in China. Not only does it repeatedly bind the government and leverage large-scale investment, but it also allows big men like Li Ka-shing to get involved, which makes people think about it. :

Is this a carefully planned technical scam, or is it a game of capital that everyone in the game needs?

From hero to clown, after the myth is shattered, the former “Battery King” only left a joke.

And similar stories in the capital market are still unfolding today.

Reference materials:

[1] “China Poly’s Mystery To Be Solved” Financial Magazine

[2] How far can “Zhong Xinjia Mode” go? 》21st Century Business Herald

[3] “Cao Feidian: New Energy Vehicle Alchemy” National Weekly of Finance and Economics

[4] “Restore Zhong Xinjia into Winston Battery Manufacturing Co., Ltd.” New Energy Vehicle

[5] “Zhong Xinjia: China Will Become a World Auto Power on the Road of Clean Energy Industry Revolution” Commercial News

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