Faraday Future named former Jaguar Land Rover executive Xuefeng "Chris" Chen as the chief executive of its China division as the company prepares to enter the world's largest electric vehicle market and develop its binational market strategy.
With a new Chinese investor, Faraday is focused on developing its market in China, which is over triple the size of the U.S. market, according to a 2019 report by the International Energy Agency.
"Chris is a critical hire to the realization of FF's US-China dual home strategy," said Global Faraday Future CEO Carsten Breitfeld in a statement announcing the appointment. "I am confident that his comprehensive management acumen and operational experience in luxury car brands will accelerate the implementation of FF's business in China and will be beneficial to FF's global strategic development."
Prior to joining Faraday, Chen served as the executive vice president of Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive. He had been promoted from executive vice president of manufacturing, becoming the youngest executive running China-side business in an automotive joint venture.
The Los Angeles startup is expected to go public by midyear in a deal that values it at $3.4 billion. Its anchor investor is Hangzhou, China-based Geely Holding Group, an automotive manufacturing company that has plans to spend almost $5 billion to build an electric battery plant in China, Reuters reported earlier this week.
Faraday will use Geely's manufacturing services and technology and engineering support to develop its base in China.
Faraday is also preparing to roll out its flagship product one year after going public. The FF 91 is an all-electric, autonomous ready luxury vehicle that boasts more than 300 miles per charge and a 1050 horsepower.
It's expected to go into production later this year.
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First it was 90 days, then an additional 15, and then the forced TikTok sale faded from national consciousness as the presidential election altered the priorities of the country and the Trump administration. Now the Biden administration appears to be hitting the brakes. In court filings, government lawyers filed an uncontested motion to postpone the cases related to a potential ban of the popular social media app.
The request also suggests status reports at 60-day intervals, and states the administration plans to conduct its own evaluation of the matter.
"The government will then be better positioned to determine whether the national security threat described in (President Trump's executive orders)...continue to warrant the identified prohibitions," the filing reads.
Joe Biden has previously raised concerns over how the Chinese government may access data that TikTok collects and discussions have reportedly continued between TikTok-owner ByteDance and U.S. security officials.
In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" this past Sunday, Biden said China should expect "extreme competition" from the U.S., but that he will not necessarily pursue an adversarial relationship in the way that his predecessor did.
In August last year, President Trump issued a pair of executive orders that would forbid American companies from transacting with ByteDance-owned companies and force ByteDance to divest of its TikTok operations in the U.S. Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart emerged as potential new owners.
The Chinese government retaliated by issuing new rules banning exportation by Chinese companies of certain technologies, which would include TikTok's lauded "For You" algorithm. TikTok also sued the Trump administration.
In mid-September, Oracle confirmed it had been selected by ByteDance to become TikTok's "trusted technology provider," and then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the arrangement would bring 20,000 new jobs to the U.S.
A series of deadline extensions and waivers from U.S. government agencies and courts ensued and multiple federal judges ruled Trump's TikTok ban illegitimate.
On February 18, the U.S. government is due to issue its formal response to TikTok's court challenge against the ban.
In the absence of a ban, ByteDance could still sell TikTok, but anyone negotiating to acquire the company valued at approximately $180 billion, according to Bloomberg, would no longer have the same leverage.
Why is TikTok Facing a Ban? And What May Lie Ahead! www.youtube.com
This story has been updated.
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Tensions between the U.S. and China — the world's two largest economies — and the pandemic are making U.S. investors rethink supply chains once largely dependent on Asia.
That's one of the takeaways from a virtual panel hosted Thursday by the Asia Society Southern California and dot.LA on venture capital in Southern California and Asia.
"Only 63% of U.S. manufacturing is fully utilized," said Eric Manlunas, founder and managing partner of Wavemaker Partners. His firm has recently invested in companies that are helping bring manufacturing back to the United States, after years of offshoring.
Especially during the pandemic, many want to become less reliant on Asian supply chains, he said. "All the saber-rattling Trump has done has created some need for some of these large product suppliers and manufacturers to start looking into on-shoring a lot to the U.S."
Investors are closely watching the strained trade relations between the U.S. and China, from the Trump Administration's ban on TikTok to the recent export restrictions targeting state-owned enterprises.
Many are betting tensions will all blow over soon and not have an overall chilling effect.
"This will subside. Americans have very, very shallow memories and this will be forgotten pretty quickly," Manlunas said.
Chinese investment has flourished in Los Angeles. Companies like Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba and Wanda Group are putting money behind startups that want a toehold in the Asian market.
Wavemaker Partners, co-headquartered in Santa Monica and Singapore, announced last month it would close its third and largest fund focused on Southeast Asia.
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