FWD plans joint venture in Shanghai as China relaxes regulation

A Tesla Model S is charged outside the company's Shanghai showroom in on Sept. 12

According to Chinese finance media outlet Yicai (link in Chinese), a May 10 registration for a company named Tesla Shanghai Co.

The new company will focus on electric cars, spare parts and batteries.

It was not clear if the new firm was related to the anticipated Shanghai plant.

The rumor, which is on the table for quite some time now in respect to the production start of the Model Y, got a shot of adrenaline on Monday after Chinese publication Sina said it was informed of Tesla Motors Hong Kong getting a business license for a Shanghai branch.

Tesla now imports all the electric vehicles it sells in China from the United States.

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China has said it will scrap limits on foreign ownership of new energy vehicle (NEV) ventures this year and all automotive ventures by 2022.

Among other recent changes that aim to increase transparency and reduce risk in China's financial sector are new rules that restrict individual shareholders to no more than 33% ownership in insurance companies, as well as plans to merge the country's insurance and banking regulators. Earlier this month, Tesla chief Elon Musk thanked Beijing for scrapping limits on foreign ownership of local electric auto firms.

Tesla has plans for a second Gigafactory to be built in China, but has not yet announced the location.

Beijing has set an ambitious target, whereby new-energy vehicles will account for a fifth of total sales by 2025.

The Palo Alto, California-based company has been working with Shanghai's government since previous year to explore assembling cars in China.

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