Tesla sets up Shanghai financial leasing company as China plans accelerate

People visit a Tesla Model S car during the Auto China 2016 in Beijing, China, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Tesla Inc has registered a financial leasing company in China, a regional business registration filing shows, in the recent sign the U.S. electric automaker is trying to speed up its push into China.

The California-based automaker, led by CEO Elon Musk, has started a wholly-owned financial leasing unit in Shanghai’s free trade zone with registered capital of $30 million, China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System noted.

Its scope concerns leasing and consultancy, the document stated, which listed the firm’s legal representative as Zhu Xiaotong, Tesla’s boss in China.

Tesla refused to comment.

The company has opened a tender process to construct its Shanghai Gigafactory and at least one contractor has begun purchasing materials, Reuters reported previously this month.

The $2 billion factory, Tesla’s first in China, marks a major bet by the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker as it looks to boost its presence in the world’s biggest auto market where it deals with increasing competition from a swathe of domestic EV makers and its revenues have been hit by increased tariffs on U.S. imports.

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