(Bloomberg) -- Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of electric-vehicle batteries, is making Hong Kong its international headquarters and opening a research and development center in the city. 

CATL will invest more than HK$1 billion ($128 million) in the process, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan said during a ceremony Thursday with officials including Zeng Yuqun, the battery maker’s founder and chairman.

The R&D center will employ more than 500 people, Chan said at the event in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, without disclosing when it will open. 

The center will develop patents to be used around the world — licensed to companies such as current CATL partner Ford Motor Co., added Zeng, who is also chief executive of the battery maker.   

“Patents for us is a light-capital asset, especially given the geopolitical complications,” Zeng said. “This type of business model is good for us.”

CATL makes batteries for other major brands including Tesla Inc., BMW, Volkswagen AG and Chinese EV makers such as Xpeng Inc., potentially putting it in the crosshairs of a US effort to limit China’s role in EV supply chains.

CATL has a global market share of 37%, more than double its nearest supply rival BYD Co. It racked up 105 billion yuan ($14.7 billion) in revenue in the third quarter and net income of more than 10 billion yuan.

The company also has R&D facilities in Shanghai, Xiamen and its headquarters in Ningde, Fujian province. 

Bloomberg News reported in November that CATL is considering a secondary listing in Hong Kong. 

CATL’s shares have fallen 25% in Shenzhen this year. 

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