A worker cleans a Tesla Model S sedan before a event to deliver the first set of cars to customers in Beijing, China earlier this year. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Tesla Motors Co. and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier have announced plans to build 400 charging stations for electric cars.

The plan announced Friday calls for China Unicom Ltd. to provide space for construction and basic services in 120 cities while California-based Tesla operates the charging stations.

Promoters of electric cars see China as a promising market due to Beijing’s support for the technology and eagerness to reduce smog. But the lack of charging infrastructure in this vast country is seen as a major hurdle to winning general acceptance.

Tesla delivered its first electric sedan to Chinese customers in April and CEO Elon Musk said then the company planned to invest several hundred million dollars in building a network of charging stations in China.