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Electric cars in China

Chinese electric carmaker Nio expects to raise $1.3bn in IPO

Tencent-backed startup seeks fresh investments for autonomous driving

NIO EP9, an ell-electric supercar, is displayed inside a NIO House "brand experience" store in Beijing.   © Reuters

Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio, backed by Chinese tech heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd, on Tuesday said it expects to raise up to $1.32 billion in its initial public offering.

Nio expects its offering of 160 million shares to be priced between $6.25 and $8.25 per share, the company said in a filing. At the higher end of the range, the company will have a valuation of about $8.46 billion.

The IPO comes as the company, like other Chinese electric cars makers, seeks fresh investments capital to develop new products and finance in areas such as autonomous driving and battery technologies.

Nio, formerly known as NextEV, is betting on the benefits of local production to compete with companies such as Tesla.

In June, Nio began deliveries of its ES8 pure-electric, seven-seat sport-utility vehicle, which the company sees as a rival to Tesla's Model X. It also plans to launch a second, lower-priced electric sport-utility vehicle, the ES6, by the end of this year.

Several electric cars makers like WM Motor Technology Co and Xpeng Motor have also raised funds from heavyweight investors including tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc and Tencent.

China has been promoting EVs since 2009 and aims to become a dominant global producer as it bids to curb vehicle emissions, boost energy security and promote high-tech industries.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are some of the lead underwriters for the public offer. 

(Reuters)

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