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Electric cars in China

China's FAW leads $100m infusion into Byton for electric cars

Startup founded by BMW alumni aims to procure $500m in total

A Byton concept vehicle. The company plans to begin mass production in late 2019. (Photo courtesy of Byton)

GUANGZHOU -- China-based electric-vehicle startup Byton is set to raise $100 million from investors including local automaker China FAW Group, with the funds going toward strengthening development and production.

FAW will likely supply most of the money, Chinese news media report. Byton plans to raise a total of $500 million, with the other $400 million coming from future fundraising.

Byton previously received investment from FAW and Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings. This latest fundraising round will likely strengthen FAW's influence.

Founded in 2016 by former BMW executives, Byton has unveiled concept vehicles and aims to begin shipments in early 2020 after mass production starts around year-end in its home city of Nanjing.

China is the world's largest market for so-called new-energy vehicles, with 1.25 million sold in 2018. Subsidies have led to a crowded industry, but the government began a phaseout in 2017 and plans to end them altogether in 2020.

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