Alibaba, Foxconn in US$350 mln funding round for EV maker Xpeng

January 29, 2018 16:37
Xiaopeng He, chairman of Xiaopeng Motors, stands with the company's newest sport-utility vehicle, the G3. Photo: Xiaopeng Motors

Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors is closing a 2.2 billion yuan (US$350 million) funding round led by Alibaba Group, Foxconn Technology Group and IDG Capital, according to an announcement Monday.

Other investors include Yunfeng Capital, China International Capital Corp and Morning Ventures, Xiaopeng said in a press release.

According to the statement, the latest funding puts the total investment in Xiaopeng, also known as Xpeng, at 5 billion yuan (US$791 million).

In December 2017, Alibaba announced that it invested in Xiaopeng, without disclosing the amount. China Daily reported that the Hangzhou-based tech company bought a 10 percent stake in the EV start-up.

Alibaba and Foxconn said in the latest press release that Xpeng offers an opportunity for the firms to tap into the intersection of the internet, artificial intelligence and traditional manufacturing.

Xiaopeng has signaled huge ambitions in the EV business. Earlier this month, the Guangzhou-based firm showcased its latest electric sport-utility vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The company plans to start selling its first SUV model, the G3 crossover, this spring, according to Bloomberg.

Transportation sector appears to be the latest battleground for China’s technology giants, with the three major tech players all making investments in the EV business.

Tencent and Baidu both invested in Chinese electric vehicle startup NiO, with Baidu also backing WM Motor Technology, another electric carmaker in the country, Reuters noted.

Tencent acquired 5 percent stake in US-based Tesla in a deal worth US$1.78 billion in the first quarter last year.

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