Chinese EV maker Xpeng files for US listing after rival surges

BEIJING: Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Xpeng Inc, backed by Alibaba and Xiaomi Corp, has filed to list its shares in New York, seeking to ride on enthusiasm for EVs even as US-China relations are strained.

The move comes as share prices of EV makers including Tesla Inc and Nio Inc have surged in recent months.

Shares in Xpeng rival Li Auto Inc soared more than 50% following its debut on Nasdaq on July 30, after the Chinese automaker sold shares to investors in its US$1.1 bil (RM4.61 bil) IPO.

The exuberance contrasts with relations between Washington and Beijing, which are at their worst in decades over accusations of spying, a trade war, the coronavirus and Hong Kong.

Before six-year-old Xpeng sought permission to list on the New York Stock Exchange, it raised US$900 mil from investors in its latest funding round. This followed US$400 mil in fund-raising in November. The latest investors include Alibaba, Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala.

Guangzhou-based Xpeng, led by chief executive He Xiaopeng, has sold over 20,000 electric vehicles, including new P7 sedans and G3. It builds cars in two factories in China.

Funds from the IPO will go towards research and development in areas such as intelligent vehicle technologies and sales expansion, the company said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Xpeng intends to list its shares under the symbol “XPEV”.

Bank of America, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse are the underwriters for the listing. – Aug 8, 2020, Reuters

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