China’s government denies involvement in Renault spy case

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 14, 2011

China's government has denied media reports that claims that its companies are involved in a suspected leak of Renault S.A.'s EV secrets. So far, the alleged leak has resulted to the suspension of three executives at Renault. Foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, recently told reporters in Beijing that the accusations are "baseless and irresponsible."

The Chinese government spoke up after French newspaper reports said investigations are pointing to possible Chinese involvement.

Le Figaro, the French newspaper, disclosed that Renault investigators found payments by a Chinese power company into accounts held by two of the executives in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Renault spokeswoman Caroline De Gezelle did not comment on Le Figaro's report. In a recent published interview, Renault COO Patrick Pelata, told French newspaper Le Monde that the company has fallen victim to an “organized, international ring,” and while data on vehicle architecture and costs may have been passed to foreign competitors, battery technologies appear not to have been leaked.

Renault and Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co. have invested about EUR4 billion ($5.2 billion) in batteries and electric vehicles. Nissan develops batteries in a venture with NEC Corp. for the Leaf electric car and models planned by its French alliance partner and South Korea-based LG Chem Ltd. is contracted to supply batteries to Renault to meet demand in excess of the alliance's manufacturing capacity. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: china, renault

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