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Tesla Inc. has registered a financial leasing company in China, a local business registration filing shows, in the latest sign the U.S. electric car maker is attempting to speed up its push into China.

The California-based car maker, led by billionaire chief executive Elon Musk, has opened a wholly owned financial leasing unit in Shanghai’s free-trade zone with registered capital of US$30-million, according to China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

Its scope includes leasing and consultancy, the document said, which listed the firm’s legal representative as Zhu Xiaotong, Tesla’s boss in China.

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Tesla declined to comment.

The company has opened a tender process to build its Shanghai Gigafactory and at least one contractor has started buying materials, Reuters reported earlier this month.

The US$2-billion factory, Tesla’s first in China, marks a major bet by the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker as it looks to bolster its presence in the world’s biggest auto market where it faces rising competition from a swathe of domestic EV makers and its earnings have been hit by increased tariffs on U.S. imports.

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