Jia Yueting, founder and financier of troubled electric car manufacturer Faraday Future, defied orders from a Beijing securities regulator to return to China to deal with debt problems related to his internet company, LeEco.
Yueting posted instead a response on Chinese social media platform WeChat in which he said he asked his wife and younger brother to take care of the company’s financial problems as he would remain in the United States to “do everything he could to solve any debt problems with both the listed and unlisted companies,” The South China Morning Post reported. The Beijing branch of the China Securities Regulatory Commission said he needed to return to China by Dec. 31.
Yueting was a high-flying billionaire when he founded electric car manufacturer Faraday Future of Gardena in 2014. Bold initial claims that his startup would beat industry-leading electric car maker Tesla Motor Co. brought the company headlines, but after missing several product shipment deadlines and financial troubles the future of the company is in doubt.
Yeuting landed last month on the Chinese government’s list of “discredited” individuals after several of his business ventures missed debt payments. A Chinese court also seized some of his assets last month.
Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.