Tesla Motors’ mysterious rival Faraday Future, which is based in Gardena, Calif. left everyone wondering who is backing it. Some believe it to be a front for Apple’s electric car project, but that does not seem likely. There are some definite signs that point toward LeTV, a Chinese technology firm similar to Netflix, as the one backing this Tesla rival.
LeTV’s Jia always to compete with Tesla
Once, LeTV’s chairman Jia Yueting made a comparison between Apple and Hitler on his verified Weibo page. There have also been reports that Jia obtained a license for manufacturing an electric car last year with the intent of competing with Tesla.
In 2014, Jia told Bloomberg his plans of making electric vehicles, saying, “This is our dream and passion. Look at China’s skies, all responsible corporate citizens want to do something about it. This is the truth.”
According to reports, the Chinese billionaire recently sold his shares in LeTV worth $1.2 billion and loaned the money back to the company. It is assumed that he did this to fund the new electric vehicle project. At that time, it was believed that LeTV planned to build an Internet-linked smart vehicle in China that will be sold at a reasonable price. Since then, the company based in Beijing hired many talented engineers from Tesla and other U.S.-based car companies as well. It seems like LeTV intends to make vehicles in America as well and has set up shop there too.
LeTV backing Faraday Future?
TechCrunch found a Collier’s Market Report in which LeTV ENV, Inc. was mentioned as the buyer of the Gardena headquarters in 2014. Further investigation revealed that Chinese film producer Chaoying Deng is the CEO of this company. And Deng is the director of Le Vision Pictures, which is LeTV’s subsidiary.
There is also a possibility that LeTV’s Faraday Future has another name – Zapple New Energy Vehicle, according to TechCrunch. There is much evidence of the Chinese tech firm backing the rival of Tesla. But the question is why it is being kept secret. Maybe it has something to do with the way the company plans to carry out marketing activities for its vehicles.
Amid all these talks, Tesla shares closed down by over 3% on Monday at $225.33. Year to date, the stock is up by over 1%, while in the last one month, it is up by over 2%.