Chinese electric carmaker WM Motor Technology has kick started the process to list on the Shanghai exchange’s Nasdaq-like Star Market.
The company, which designs, manufactures and markets affordable battery-run electric vehicles under the Weltmeister brand, recruited mainland brokerage China Securities on September 30 to prepare for the initial public offering (IPO), according to top watchdog China Securities Regulatory Commission’s Shanghai branch.
Under the so-called pre-listing tutoring procedure, which normally takes three to 12 months, WM Motor’s senior executives will be trained on how to prepare IPO documents in compliance with listing rules. It is a compulsory procedure that an IPO applicant must go through before filing its listing plan to regulators.
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
Beijing hopes that 25 per cent of its car sales will be generated by electric carmakers by in 2025, and a crop of Chinese electric carmakers, including Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto, have raised US$8 billion in fresh capital from stock markets or investment funds this year. Bloomberg reported that WM Motor aimed to net 30 billion yuan (US$4.4 billion) from its IPO.
“Electric vehicle companies will be well received on the Star Market, because it is one of the industries that the government gives tremendous support to,” said Zhou Ling, a hedge fund manager with Shanghai Shiva Investment. “WM Motor, seen as one of the promising start-ups that could compete with Tesla, has to accelerate its pace for an IPO on the market.”
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Shanghai, the company has a manufacturing facility in Wenzhou, in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, equipped with mass customisation capability and a capacity of 100,000 units a year. Another manufacturing facility is under construction in Huanggang, in the northern Hubei province.
Last month, WM Motor raised 10 billion yuan in series D funding, which was led by a Shanghai-based, state-owned investor group that includes SAIC Motor. Internet behemoth Baidu and Susquehanna International Group were also among the investors.
US electric carmaker Tesla, which started delivering Model 3s built at its Shanghai plant to mainland customers in January, has so far managed to eclipse its Chinese rivals. And Freeman Shen, WM Motor’s founder and chief executive, said during the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition last month that it was the California company he was looking to for guidance when it came to building high-quality electric vehicles.
Under Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” industrial plan, new energy vehicles are a sector that China wants to lead globally and to seize development opportunities in the future. This has inspired a whole slew of companies to throw their hats in the ring.
Late last month, Geely Automobile Holdings, China’s largest private carmaker and the owner of Sweden’s Volvo Cars, received the go-ahead for a secondary listing on the Star Market, as it redefines itself as a technology company with a line-up of 10 electric cars by 2025.
China Evergrande, the country’s biggest property developer, said earlier the same month that it too was seeking to raise money from onshore stock investors, to fund its electric car venture. Its Hong Kong-listed unit, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, has proposed selling yuan-denominated shares on the technology board, according to an exchange filing.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Alibaba-backed Xpeng gets go-ahead to assemble its own electric cars, heating up Tesla challenge
- Cash-strapped electric carmaker NIO obtains US$1 billion lifeline from strategic investors
This article Shanghai electric carmaker WM Motor kicks off Star Market listing process first appeared on South China Morning Post