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BUSINESS & TECH

BYD's Wang Barrels Into Monorails After Conquering Batteries, Electric Vehicles

By An Limin, Zheng Lichun, Sun Lizhao and Han Wei
The 57-year-old Disneyland Monorail System, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, was originally only a sightseeing attraction. It began carrying passengers in 1961. Photo: Kim A. Pedersen
The 57-year-old Disneyland Monorail System, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, was originally only a sightseeing attraction. It began carrying passengers in 1961. Photo: Kim A. Pedersen

(Beijing) — BYD Co. is setting its sights on China's expanding monorail transport system, hoping to duplicate its success in the battery and electric-car businesses. But BYD faces challenges to its qualifications to engineer trains, the speed with which it has entered the market, and questions about the origins of its train designs.

Wang Chuanfu, BYD founder and chairman, is nonetheless barreling ahead. Outside the city of Shantou in the southern province of Guangdong, he is ready to begin construction Wednesday of a monorail factory in an idle field dominated by wild grass. The 56 billion yuan ($8.1 billion) project will be the first monorail facility for BYD, which is about 8% owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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