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Tesla-Inspired Startup Gains Popularity in China

Tesla-inspired startup Xiaopeng Motors, often referred to as Xpeng, is gaining popularity in China. The company is worth billions of dollars, despite being only four years old.

He Xiaopeng, the founder of the company, is an ardent fan of Tesla and owns four Tesla cars. He previously developed the Chinese web browser called UC and sold it to Alibaba in 2014.

Incidentally, 2014 was also the year when Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk made more than 200 Tesla patents public. This ended up being the perfect opportunity for Mr. Xiaopeng.

“One of the reasons Xpeng was founded was because Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents available. It was so exciting,” he said in an interview with Quartz.

He added that he was extremely impressed with Tesla cars when he drove one for the first time the same year.

“At that moment I had a very strong feeling… There will be new players to bring changes to the car industry just like Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei did in the mobile industry… I’ve also fallen in love listening to music since driving a Tesla [because the car is so silent],” he explained to a Quartz representative.

Xpeng’s G3 model has many features similar to Tesla models, such as slim LED headlights, a large central control monitor, and a windscreen that blends into a sunroof. The automaker even sells its cars through its own showrooms and is developing a charging network like Tesla.

The startup is gaining momentum in China and is backed by Alibaba. The company announced it will make at least 1,000 cars by the end of 2018 and has already received 6,000 pre-orders for the G3.

News source: Quartz

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