Alibaba and Foxconn lead $348 million funding round in electric car maker Xiaopeng Motors

Xiaopeng, which debuted its electric car at CES 2018, is looking to speed up development of battery-powered technology and take on the likes of Tesla.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd have led a 2.2 billion yuan ($347.74 million) funding round in Chinese electric car maker Xiaopeng Motors as competition escalates in the new energy vehicle (NEV) market.

Xiaopeng Motors G3 electric car at CES 2018. Image: Xiaopeng Motors

Xiaopeng Motors G3 electric car at CES 2018. Image: Xiaopeng Motors

The latest injection brings the startup company’s total funding to 5 billion yuan, it said in a statement. It follows an earlier round in December in which Alibaba also participated.

Xiaopeng, which debuted its electric car at CES in Las Vegas this month, is one of several Chinese start-ups looking to speed up development of battery-powered technology and compete with global leaders including Tesla Inc.

China’s new energy vehicle sales are expected to grow by 40 percent in 2018, according to an industry body, even as the country’s traditional automotive market slowed sharply in 2017.

Xiaopeng says its first vehicle, the ‘G3’, will hit the market this year.

Alibaba has invested heavily in smart car technology and partnered with a handful of traditional western and Chinese carmakers, including Ford Motor Co and BMW.

Other investors in the round include IDG Capital as well as previous investors GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital and Matrix Partners, Alibaba said on its press site on Sunday.

Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner is also supporting the initiative, the website said.




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