NextEV, one of China’s most promising electric car innovators, has already raised half of the $1 billion it is seeking to take on U.S. rival Tesla. It comes as a handful of Chinese companies are investing heavily into the electric vehicle industry.

The Shanghai-based company’s latest round has been joined by Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital, with Chinese media reporting that they have raised $500 million USD so far. NextEV already has offices in Silicon Valley, as well as Munich and London.

NextEV isn’t the only Chinese effort that has made moves to expand its operations globally either. Last week Chinese state-owned automaker BAIC Motor Corp, announced an R&D centre in Silicon Valley. They also revealed that they have taken on a majority stake of California-based electric car maker Atieva, and will begin developing electric cars.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com