Foxconn Partner Byton Faces Challenge for Bankruptcy

A creditor of Chinese electric car startup Byton filed a court petition for the embattled company's bankruptcy on Monday, a local court record showed, Dow Jones Newswires reported. A Shanghai-based software supplier has requested the court to start the bankruptcy proceedings for Nanjing Zhixing New Energy Vehicle Technology Development Co., or Byton, according to the court record. The court hasn't accepted the petition as Byton is seeking a settlement with the creditors, the company said in a statement. Competition has been further intensified in China's electric vehicle market as major EV makers such as Tesla Inc. and the homegrown NIO Inc. captured share during the recent market boom. EV startups that have long relied on equity financing to support cash-burning research and development are more vulnerable to financial crises. Byton has raised at least 8.4 billion yuan ($1.29 billion) from a group of investors including Tencent Holdings, Foxconn Technology Group and auto maker FAW Group Corp. as of last June, according to state broadcaster China Central Television. Byton said in January that Foxconn would help manufacture its flagship sport-utility vehicle M-Byte in its Nanjing factory, but no model has been produced yet. Foxconn has pulled out some of the staff dispatched to Byton after the Chinese state-owned FAW Group sought to grow its management control of the startup, deploying a former senior official to Byton as chairman earlier this month, according to Byton and FAW employees. Read more.