China’s Jia Yueting Aims To Outmuscle Elon Musk?

1 year ago by Mark Kane 37

Jia Yueting

Jia Yueting

Faraday Future FFZERO1 Wheels (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Faraday Future FFZERO1 Wheels (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting says that Tesla is a great company that has taken the global car industry into the EV era.

The entrepreneur is also the force behind the LeEco and Faraday Future electric vehicle start-ups, and according to Reuters he “aims to outmuscle Musk“.

LeEco recently unveiled the LeSEE pure electric car in China.

Yueting considers cars of the future as “smart mobile device on four wheels, essentially no different to a cellphone or tablet“.

“We hope to surpass Tesla and lead the industry leapfrogging to a new age…”

“People questioned our idea, a small IT company building a car to compete with the BMWs and Teslas of the world, and laughed at us. It wasn’t easy, but here we are.”

LeEco seems to intend to produce electric cars in the facility currently being built Faraday Future in Nevada, but with sales scheduled for both U.S. and China. Another topic is production in China, but probably that would come through a partnership with California-based Atieva and BAIC Motor.

Jia Yueting also adds that his companies are not copying Apple or Tesla’s business models, but rather developing products that never existed before.

“The web-connected electric cars will have a “disruptive” pricing model similar to phones and TV sets LeEco markets in China, Jia says. His company, often called China’s Netflix, will sell movies, TV shows, music and other content and services to drivers of its cars. That’s why he says “one day our cars will be free.” Nearer-term, the disruption is more likely to be “double the performance at half the price.”

source: Reuters

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37 responses to "China’s Jia Yueting Aims To Outmuscle Elon Musk?"

  1. Omar Sultan says:

    Prototype||Production

    1. Omar Sultan says:

      Hmmm–guess the moment system does not like angle brackets

      1. alohart says:

        Yep, angle braces are used to indicate HTML tags on Web pages so aren’t generally displayed.

      2. PK says:

        use != instead.

  2. ffbj says:

    I wanted to respond to this article with something silly, amusing, and fantastic, but then I realized that Jia Yenting beat me too it.

    1. sven says:

      You should have said that you plan to buy a Tesla Model 3, and pirate LeEco’s TV shows, music, and other content to watch for free in your Model 3 as it drives autonomously on Autopilot. 😉

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Oh, snap! 😀

      +2 (relevant, funny)

  3. kdawg says:

    So now we’ve gone from “free charging for life” to “free cars”. Hmmm..

  4. evcarnut says:

    Yea, L M A O…..He should keep his money in a safe place, before it’s all gone….when you play Big you can Lose Big….& this guy is No(((rocket scientist))) Elon Musk

  5. Nemo says:

    The difference between a car and a smartphone is, the primary purpose of a smartphone is moving information, but the primary purpose of a car is moving in physical space. The entertainment system is not the point of the car, and I’ll be very surprised if selling content for the entertainment system works out to allow for a free car.

    1. Kdawg says:

      Are they planning on selling movies for $100/ea? Or a data plan at 500/mo?

      Who’s going to pay for that? Especially when you can just BT pair your phone that you already are paying a monthly subscription on.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Nemo said:

      “…and I’ll be very surprised if selling content for the entertainment system works out to allow for a free car.”

      Indeed!

      But the idea that they could make up enough in monthly charges to offer a real car for free as a loss leader… is perhaps the sort of wildly absurd business idea we should expect from someone who wants to make cars in the USA with the intent of selling them in China; one whose company created a “batmobile” faux mockup of a concept car to sell the idea!

      Well, I’ll say one thing for Faraday Future: Their gonzo PR antics are certainly entertaining! Pull up a lounge chair and have some popcorn. This startup likely won’t last long, but it will be fun to watch until it crashes.

  6. wraithnot says:

    I certainly get the concept that people will pay good money to watch movies in their cars once the cars can drive themselves. But if they have to charge so much for music and entertainment that they can give the cars away for free then someone will come along and disrupt their business model with cheaper streaming video services that come without a free car. Kind of like Verizon and others have done with cell phone service where you no longer get a free phone every two years as part of your contract in exchange for cheaper service.

  7. Roy LeMeur says:

    He must be talking about “the muscle of love” because the brain is not a muscle 🙂

    1. Cavaron says:

      Hrm… actually the “falcon 9” of your pants is considered a spongy body, not a muscle 😉

      1. evcarnut says:

        The Love muscle…….

  8. fotomoto says:

    Did anyone catch the latest edition of HBO’s Vice? They showed how China is making heavily lopsided deals with poor African countries who can only payback with their natural resources. They’ve already done that with the choice areas of Afghanistan which is a great source of precious metals for electric motors magnets and batteries.

    Don’t laugh these folks off. That’s a naive mistake.

    1. sven says:

      George Soros recently said that he believes that U.S. could be poised for a World War 3 with China. It’s an interesting read.

      http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/05/george-soros-china-war/

      In fact, China released a new defense white paper recently, in which “China vows to increase its presence in the South China Sea, and issues a warning that a U.S.-China war is ‘inevitable’ unless America ceases its interference in Beijing’s activities in the region.”

      I’m disgusted with China’s land grab in the Spratly Islands, their extra-judicial abductions of non-citizens who it deems to have violated the One China policy, their protectionist trade and tax policies, the human rights violations, etc., etc, etc. The same goes for Russia and their invasion and land grabs in Georgia and Ukraine, and war mongering in Syria. The same goes for Saudi Arabia for their alleged complicity in 9/11 (release the entire unredacted report Obama), funding of terrorists, and funding of radical mosques around the world that seek to export the Wahhabism brand of Islam.

      I’m personally boycotting any cars (EV or ICE) made in China to be sold in the U.S. (ie: BYD, GM, and Cadallac), or made in the U.S. by a Chinese-owned companmy (LeEco and Faraday Future).

      1. SparkEV says:

        One could also argue that US imprisons more of its populace than anywhere else, kidnaps foreign nationals and throw them to torture dungeon for decades on end in occupied territory (Guantanamo), and actively use military force to take over other nations then promptly destroy the entire nation, spy on its citizens and then lie about it in national TV, and many many more.

        As such, as long as I pay taxes in US, I can’t say much about China’s faults. It’s not like they bombed the hell out of another country and kill hundreds of thousands of civilians like US/Russia did in last decade.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It was inevitable that China was going to rise to become the next superpower; many of us saw that coming decades ago. Great economic power leads to significant increases in military power, as surely as night follows day.

        But I think it’s being unduly alarmist to claim WW III is coming. We managed to avoid all-out war with the Soviet Union; hopefully we’ll do the same with a more powerful China.

      3. Joe says:

        Mr Soros is somebody who has a vested interested in a militarisation of disputes all over the world. He is among those that have fuelled the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with funding anti-Russian propaganda (not that I don’t share the conviction, but what’s his role in this play?) and he profits directly from his shareholdings in weapons manufacturers and currency speculations. That is to say, Mr Soros is somebody who got rich on the immoral speculation against the British Pound in the 80s and has a track record of manipulating stock markets, the world economy and general politics in his personal favour.
        Mr Soros further neglects that US military has been in preparation for a WW3 since the end of WW2 and that China is ‘now’ in its own agenda is nothing new: No surprise ‘the Chinese’ make similar plans just in case.
        To be honest? Don’t pay much attention to Mr Soros. He’s just a plutocrat who wishes he had a country to rule…

        The loosers of an armed conflict between China and the US are already clear from the start: the US and China. Their trade networks depend largely on one another, many American companies only thrive based on trade with China (Walmart, Apple, etc) and all companies sourcing technology products (read: every company) depends on trade with China – there are no more tech products that can be made without Chinese input products. That’s what happens when you let your only guide to economic policy be “the market”. I would say that mutual dependence dictates “playing nice” rather than offending the Chinese leadership. And vice versa:

        Chinese jobs severely depend on American’s jobs. If we take Europe as an example, being economically so interwoven, serves as a serious guarantor of peace. That does not mean it will all go smooth however, since an increasingly powerful China will seek to make that influence work for the country, but the risk of a WW3 is relatively low, IMHO. My prediction would be: even if China were to use force to reintegrate Taiwan into the country, there would be no WW3. International outcry? Yes, and loud. Sanctions? Already unlikely. War? You wanna cut your region back into the stone age in terms of technology products? Unlikely. At the same time, the Chinese are greatly aware of their need to exports for fuelling their economic growth. Hence they will not do anything severely stupid that may lead to a boycott of Chinese products in Western nations (customers, not actual sanctions). A nice kinda “cold war” balance, albeit based upon the economic sphere of society, with the military just serving as a display of powerplay and decoy. But then that’s just my 2 cents.

        What we will see would be trade disputes and/or internet attacks on competitors of Chinese/US companies and/or organisations with anti-Chinese/American sentiments. These are already happening and so far the world seems to be coping OK. The easiest thing is to let China become richer, which leads to more people demanding more democracy (already happening) and then let them change the country’s governance over time. That may be frustrating to watch at times (in terms of speed of developing democratic leadership since the initial response will be oppression), but all nations are entitled to their own development at the end of the day, and the Chinese people will choose their own way. It won’t be too long before we see more democratic elements introduced into their politics, maybe they’re only about 10 years down the road… We can just wait and sit it out, while at the same time making sure the Chinese leadership does not lose face (very important culturally) and is forced into drastic activities by “Western” actions. Then all will be fine. If of course, a turd like Trump were to rule the West, oh my! Anything is possible.

    2. sven says:

      BTW, Vice News is a great website.

      http://www.vice.com

  9. CDAVIS says:

    Yeuting riding a bike while saying “…It wasn’t easy, but here we are.”

    Perhaps that bike in the above photo Yueting is ridding hints at what they have in mind…peddle around wearing VR glasses projecting an image onto your retina that your driving the FF super car.

    Maybe the bike itself might include something super innovative like electric power assist for those uphill climbs.

    Or more likely they plan to copy whatever Tesla does and try to pass it off as their own innovation.

  10. carcus says:

    These are NOT cars.

    What Apple (likely) and Yueting (admittedly) are planning. … something more like multi-media transportation pods.

    Once level 4 autonomy becomes a consumer reality, the whole automotive world gets turned on its head.

  11. I think people are being a bit short sighted. Short term, they are simply talking about disruption in the form of cost vs value. I don’t doubt they will be able to make a highly affordable EV. Just look at the FF inverter they invented that focused on simplicity and manufacturing efficiency.

    Longer term… say 20 years out, I could imagine a world with driverless cars where content is a key component to revenue. Fewer people owning cars and simply summoning cars for rides.

    These are exciting times for EV’s and we will likely see even more new entrants over time. At just 1% market share, imagine a future where EV’s are the majority. We are just at the beginning.

  12. carcus says:

    I think a 20 year time frame is too much.

    All the technical elements are available now. No innovations/breakthroughs are needed — only refinement and implementation.

    Autonomous cars should start taking market share in 5 to 10 years, imo.

  13. AlphaEdge says:

    I think he means that cost of the ride will be free. There is the potential to be free, or very low cost in the future, if you are bombarded with ads while the automated car takes you somewhere. Could end up being a very annoying ride! Might want to pay, to avoid any ads.

    Of course, you won’t own the car for free.

    It’s same strategy I think Apple, Google and others are trying to pursue.

    1. carcus says:

      Ha, … maybe so.

      Or you have to sit at starbuck’s for five minutes, if you want your “free” ride to continue.

  14. James says:

    I just looked at Jia’s three-sentence Wikipedia page. This guy is definitely not the next Elon Musk. Maybe they can sell these joke cars in China, but good luck finding a market for them here.

    1. Mister G says:

      Not so fast…99% of the stuff we buy in the USA is made in China.

  15. ydnas7 says:

    Chinese have always been great innovators with pricing pressure downwards. Its there standard norm for innovation for a couple of millennia.

  16. Alain says:

    Ok full ,bull **** ahead to sell stock and run with thé money.

  17. Speculawyer says:

    Free cars by showing you ads?

    That is the dumbest thing I’ve heard today.

  18. Joe says:

    Folks, consider a future where car ownership is a thing of the past, at least in metropolitan areas. Cars will pool and be summoned upon demand by peoples’ smartphones and autonomously transport you to your destination or long-distance connection.
    In this scenario, it’s totally imaginable that you pay a service fee (like line rental / connection subscription) and the actual drives are free. Or you pay for the amenities enjoyed on board (minibar anyone?). And if it’s that you expose yourself to targeted ads that pay for your ride rather than a ride fee, is that so hard to imagine?

    So from today’s perspective, maybe Yueting’s comments may seem laughable. But so was the vision of a certain Mr. Musk 10-15 years ago when he announced he could safely land a rocket back on Earth (or rather on water, as it turns out) or when he announced that he would build a totally new charging infrastructure from scratch – alone. And let alone building a pretty much self-driving car before the year 2030. Couldn’t be done / what an idiot, right?! Those were the comments, back then. Today not quite so many people are laughing about Musk (apart from arrogant competitor CEOs like Mr Sergieone, Mr Zetsche etc).

    So what’s the difference to Mr Yueting? Musk already has had his successes and that kinda “proves him right”. So, how about we let Mr Yueting show whether he can fulfil his vision and then judge his ambition based on whether he manages or not, rather than dismissing him outright without giving him the chance? And let’s not forget, this guy is already hugely successful with other businesses.

    Given that his billions are self-made money (Internet TV, pretty innovative smartphones, a film production company), it seems to me that dismissing this guy is a little premature. He seems to have a nose for the right ventures, otherwise he would not have made it from (figurative) dishwasher (tech support staffer) to literal billionaire. And only because you can’y buy his products outside of China today, does not mean that won’t be the case soon. And even if not, there’s more customers in China than the US and Europe combined. LeEco might not need to bother with exports to be successful and with Asia’s crowded, densely populated and polluted cities with general lack of parking, the business case for a pooled autonomous EV infrastructure with subscription rather than ownership is right there in your face.

  19. CDAVIS says:

    @Joe,
    Yueting’s success in China is in largly attributed to Yueting copying the innovation of others and calling it his own while at the same time taking advantage of the Chinese business restrictions/taxes that are imposed on non-Chinese companies attempting to compete with him in his home market

    …Yueting is successfully gaming a rigged system deigned to exclude non-national competitors. Yueting’s desire with FF is to apply that same game play in the EV space. Copy Tesla (which they are already doing that in many regards) …brand it as his own innovation to the Chinese market…sell those cars into the Chinese market as a Chinese national company that is granted protective advantages. And he will probably succeed in that plan because it’s tried and proven to work well for Yueting.

    I’m just calling it for what it is…

    1. ffbj says:

      Correct, reasonable, accurate.