Lansing, MI – The Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech, Ltd., whose plan to establish a manufacturing plant in Big Rapids was recently halted, is now in negotiations for a business deal with the Taliban. A report from The Economic Times explains the business deal:

“Taliban’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that a Chinese Company, Gochin [sic] expressed its interest in investing USD 10 billion in Afghanistan’s lithium deposits, reported The Khaama Press.” 

Per Michigan News Source, “It is believed by most sources that…“Gochin” is actually the company “Gotion” and that there was a translation error in the announcement and publishing of this story across the world.”

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee delayed a vote on hundreds of millions in funding for Gotion’s Big Rapids location amid environmental concerns and controversy over the group’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party. A recent Bridge Magazine article states, “Gotion is in line for a total of more than $800 million in state incentives.”  

In October 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrated Gotion’s planned battery plant in a press release, stating “We will work with anyone and compete with everyone to keep bringing supply chains of batteries, chips, and electric vehicles home to Michigan.”

“When Governor Whitmer said that she’ll ‘work with anyone’, we had no idea that ‘anyone’ included companies that do business with the Taliban”, said Michigan Freedom Fund Communications Director Mary Drabik. Drabik continued, “It’s concerning how close this project came to receiving taxpayer subsidies, and even more disturbing that Governor Whitmer did not properly vet the Chinese group which is now negotiating a business deal with the Taliban.”