May 18, 2023 – On May 17, 2023, Abalance issued two unsatisfactory responses to concerns Viceroy raised in its report titled “Abalance – Turning Japanese? We really don’t think so”.
Management’s rebuttal does not deserve a response, however shareholders do. We will address every management denial, point-by-point, in the report below. Viceroy have also attempted to reach out to Abalance via email yesterday morning. Abalance have not responded, and in its subsequent response, claim we have not contacted them.
- Management vehemently denies that it trades with Chinese suppliers who utilize forced labor in Xinjiang. Viceroy have pulled specific and detailed VSUN import data which highlights and names its Chinese suppliers: Abalance cannot deny it conducts business with them.
- VSUN’s investment certificate’s operation schedule advises that the construction permit would be applied for in December 2022 – January 2023. Despite this, we have been unable to find any approved construction permits for the facility. A site visit conducted on the week ending May 12, 2023, no copies of the construction certificates were on display as required.
- Abalance was specifically identified by the USA Department of Commerce’s (DoC) solar module AD/CVD investigation as circumventing AD/CVD orders. These orders have been in place since 2012. VSUN failed to respond to the DoC’s questionnaire, and was determined to be in breach of AD/CVD orders.
- Abalance state that its legal counsel and experts have provided appropriate explanations and responses the US DoC. As already discussed, this is patently untrue. The DoC have been extremely clear that VSUN’s submissions did not constitute an acceptable response.
- Abalance then bizarrely state that they are also complying with a Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation. We applaud the transparency (or faux pas) but to brag about complying with a previously unknown DoJ investigation is a weird PR tactic.
- Abalance acknowledge our concern that VSUN products are non-compliant and will be found in breach of AD/CVD orders post a grace period allowed by President Biden. This grace period is intended to not negatively affect live projects and give project managers in the USA time to source compliant modules.
[A Japanese translated version of the report will be made available at a later time]
We believe the company’s statement is wholly inadequate in addressing the serious concerns raised in our first report.