A $45,000 electric SUV using facial recognition to unlock doors, Amazon’s Alexa to entertain and a 49-inch screen across the dashboard may be a harbinger of driving’s future. It also shows what China’s doing to grab that business now as the government pushes gas guzzlers off its roads.
Byton, a Nanjing-based company started by former BMW AG executives, on Sunday became the first Chinese automaker to hold a large-scale unveiling at CES in Las Vegas. XPeng Motors, backed by funding from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is set to unveil a production model on Tuesday. That’s on the heels of launches by new entrants such as NIO, backed by Asia’s biggest technology company, Tencent Holdings Ltd.; and WM Motor Technology Co.