Faraday Future, an electric-vehicle company based in California, generated a lot of buzz when it poached top talent from companies like Tesla, BMW, Audi, Ford, and Ferrari. The ambitious company was cofounded and largely financed by Jia Yueting, a millionaire mogul who owns a multibillion-dollar media conglomerate in China.
In 2017, a court in Shanghai issued a freezing order on Jia’s assets, and Jia was named to a debt blacklist after he left to California to helm Faraday Future and refused to return to China to pay more than 470 million yuan. In 2018, Jia, $3.6 billion in debt, filed for bankruptcy. Unable to find another financier, Faraday Future furloughed all essential employees and applied for government financial assistance.
Jia is no longer a majority investor in the company nor its CEO; however, he remains in a senior role as a chief product and user officer. Faraday Future, helmed by a new CEO, relaunched its first production EV, the FF 91, this past November.
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The following is a transcript of the video:
Narrator: In 2015, Faraday Future was a California-based electric-car startup with deep pockets in China and ambitions to take on the world. It assembled, seemingly out of nowhere, a star-studded cast of top executives from Tesla, Audi, Lamborghini, BMW, Ferrari, Volkswagen, Ford, and Google, united behind a forward-thinking vision of jump-starting the autonomous, connected electric-car ecosystem. Or developing a car subscription service. Or inventing a drivetrain that could be mounted to any type of vehicle. Or putting this…Batmobile car into production? Wait, were they serious? OK, in 2015, Faraday Future’s actual plans were a mystery. But with a 1,500-person workforce, over 100 employees poached straight from Tesla, a foot planted firmly in Los Angeles, and an agreement for a $1 billion factory in Nevada, Faraday Future was ready to kill Tesla where it stood. But by 2018, Faraday Future had burned through billions of dollars and was struggling to stay in business. And it’s almost all because of this man: Faraday Future’s cofounder Jia Yueting, a billionaire tech entrepreneur whose aggressive money borrowing powered Faraday Future into a shining star in the automotive industry and simultaneously brought its downfall in three short years.
This is how the man who challenged Tesla went bankrupt.
Jia Yueting, or YT, as he was called, started his career in the 1990s as an official in a local tax bureau. He left to start a whole bunch of businesses ranging from coal to mobile phones. In 20 years he would be the 17th richest person in China, with a net worth of $7.3 billion. His most successful venture was a streaming company called LeTV, which launched its video-streaming service in 2004, three years before Netflix. On the heels of LeTV’s success, YT acquired and developed other lines of businesses: smartphones, TVs, sports programming, financial products, smart bicycles, and even electric cars, all under an umbrella brand called LeEco, or Le Economy. While LeEco’s activities seemed unrelated, YT saw an opportunity to …read more
Source:: Business Insider