Amidst a sea of financial troubles, Chinese technology and entertainment company LeEco began construction on Tuesday of a $1.8 billion factory that will build its LeSee battery electric car with autonomous vehicle capabilities.

The ground breaking is a risky move as LeEco has not been issued an official license for the plant by the Chinese government and is technically illegal.

LeEco founder Jia Yueting was not present at the ground breaking ceremony, a surprise to the Chinese media.

Instead, Jia was in California to mend the financial problems of Faraday Future, another electric car startup controlled by LeEco, where construction of a $1 billion Nevada electric car factory has been halted over millions of dollars in unpaid bills.

SEE ALSO: Faraday Future Parent LeEco Lands $600 Million; Construction to Resume on Nevada Factory?

The China plant, which is to be based near the picturesque Mogan Mountain in the eastern Zhejiang province, is to have a production capacity of 200,000 battery-powered vehicles the first year, ramping up to 400,000 units yearly.

In addition to building EVs, there are to be facilities for manufacturing batteries and electric motors, and LeEco has said in addition to the LeSee an unknown number of unknown additional models are to be produced at the new factory.

LeEco earlier said the facility will be part of a proposed $3 billion theme park that will feature internet-connected electric cars and offices.

The company LeEco, previously known as LeTV, has been referred to as “the Netflix of China,” and makes televisions and smartphones. Recently it finalized a $2 billion buyout of California-based Vizio.

Car News China