Exiled Chinese Tycoon in U.S. Clean Car Venture

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Yang Rong, a Chinese automobile tycoon who fled the country after being accused of economic crimes, is preparing to launch an ambitious plan to make clean-tech cars in the United States, said a source.

The former chairman of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd (1114.HK), ranked by Forbes as China’s third-richest man in 2001, would announce a plan later this month to set up a conmpany in the southern U.S. state of Alabama, said the source with direct knowledge of the plan.

Yang would cooperate with the Alabama state government on the project, expected to create thousands of jobs in its initial phase, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the source was not authorised to speak to the media.

Yang could not be immediately reached for comment.

Support for the plan had come from former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, one of the world’s most visible environmental activists and now a partner at U.S. venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said the source, declining to be more specific.

(Reporting by George Chen; editing by Doug Young and Chris Lewis)