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Chinese Electric-Vehicle Maker XPeng Files for U.S. IPO

(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric-car startup Xpeng Motors has filed for a U.S. initial public offering, right behind rival Li Auto Inc. which raised $1.1 billion last month.

Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday as XPeng Inc., the company listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will likely change.

Electric-vehicle makers have been enjoying a surge in investor interest after strong share price gains this year in Tesla Inc. and NIO Inc. Li Auto, which increased the size of its IPO, has since climbed 61%, more than tripling its valuation prior to the listing.

Guangzhou-based XPeng recently raised an additional $300 million from investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and the Qatar Investment Authority, expanding its pre-IPO round to $800 million. China is the world’s largest EV market, but also highly competitive. As public subsidies have been withdrawn, demand has fallen. A Tesla offensive to make cars locally has heaped more pressure on local players.

After years of developing cars and trying to boost their profiles globally, Chinese EV makers are now taking steps to go public as the virus pandemic and economic slowdown squeeze the market, boosting competition. Hozon New Energy Automobile Co. said it would list in Shanghai as soon as next year while WM Motor Technology Co. is also weighing an initial stock sale in China as soon as this year, people familiar with the matter have said.

XPeng delivered 5,185 units of its first vehicle, the G3 SUV, in the first half of 2020. It started deliveries of its second model, the P7 sedan, in May, shipping 1,966 units by July 31, according to its filing.

The offering is being led by Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. The company is planning for its shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol XPEV.

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