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China tech

China EV hope Byton halts local operations amid financing woes

US workers at car startup face layoffs while European staff to reduce hours

The Byton M-Byte all-electric SUV is shown at a news conference during the 2020 CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 5.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Byton, one of China's most high-profile electric vehicle startups, will suspend operations and production in the country for at least six months and lay off its non-core U.S. workers after a failed attempt to secure new funds in the face of an industry shakeout and economic slowdown.

Multiple employees at the four-year-old company confirmed the news to the Nikkei Asian Review. The move could affect some 1,000 local workers in Shanghai, Beijing and at its headquarters in Nanjing as well as hundreds of overseas employees. Some say they have not been paid since March.

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