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Tesla Deposits Tencent in the Bank

What keeps a furnace going: the amount of heat it produces or the amount of fuel it has available? It's the latter, of course.

Which is why Tesla Inc.'s stock jumped as much as 3.6 percent on Tuesday after it emerged that Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. had taken a 5 percent stake in Elon Musk's electric-vehicle and renewable-energy company. The stock has come off a little since, but Tesla is still less than 6 percent away from its all-time intraday peak.

Tencent's appearance raises all sorts of potentially bullish scenarios, ranging from helping Tesla sell more cars in China to partnerships in vehicle technology.

But, really, it's just about the cash.

As I've written about here and here, Tesla's critical issue is ensuring it raises enough capital to offset its considerable cash burn and deliver on its ambitious (to say the least) growth plans. That's why it just raised more money with another equity issuance -- its seventh by Bloomberg's count -- and...