Alibaba, Foxconn lead big investment in Chinese electric-car maker

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SHANGHAI — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Foxconn Technology Group have co-led a 2.2 billion yuan ($348 million) funding round into Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors, marking Alibaba’s first big investment in a car maker.

Venture capital firm IDG Capital was the third lead investor in the funding, and the funds are slated for both research and production costs, Xiaopeng, also known as Xpeng, said in a release Monday.

Two other Chinese internet giants, Baidu Inc.












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  and Tencent Holdings Ltd.












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 , have led fundings of at least $2.5 billion into Chinese electric-car companies including NiO and WM Motor Technology. Beyond China, Tencent also invested $1.8 billion for a 5% stake in Tesla Inc.












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  last March.

Alibaba












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  and Foxconn












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  executives said in the release that Xpeng gives the company the ability to tap into the intersection of the internet, artificial intelligence and traditional manufacturing, an area with a lot of promise. Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Co., is based in Taiwan and is best known for manufacturing Apple Inc.’s












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  iPhones.

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An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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