Japan's Itochu Corp has invested nearly $100 million in Chinese electric vehicle maker Singulato Motors to lift its stake to about 7%.
It has opened its platform to third parties including those of FAW, Dongfeng, and Guangzhou Automobile.
Geely and Toyota have joined Apollo, an autonomous driving platform by Baidu.
The partnership is similar to a venture that Volkswagen AG set up with Didi last year.
The Japanese automaker is making a "significant move to steer its focus to China" — a market where it is far behind industry leaders Volkswagen and
In return, Toyota will have preferential rights to purchase green-car credits that Singulato will generate under China's new quota system.
The new law on foreign investment is said to replace three existing laws on joint ventures and wholly owned foreign firms.
Although Itochu's stake will be small, the deal should create opportunities for Singulato, in which Intel Corp also already has a small stake.
Their JV is likely to build vehicles for ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and possibly Chinese electric car startup Singulato Motors.
The battery producer is a “sizable investor” to join Byton’s $500 million Series B round of funding.
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