(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 -- Chinese electric vehicle (EV) unicorn NIO has begun preparing to list publicly after it recently secured USD1 billion investment from internet titan Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700].
The investment is the last round of financing by NIO and if its first production car performs well, the company is expected to list in next year's second half.
The ES8, NIO's first production vehicle -- expected to be priced at CNY500,000 (USD75,544) -- will debut Dec. 16. The company will reveal the price of the EP9, called the Chinese version of the Tesla Model X. It set a record at the Nuerburgring motorsports complex in North Germany, beating the previous EV lap record by 7 minutes and 5 seconds.
China's huge EV market has drawn the notice of the country's internet bigwigs and foreign auto makers. In addition to Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700], Alibaba Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] also sealed a partnership with Ford Motor Co. [NYSE:F] yesterday to promote its internet technology applications in EVs.
Auto colossi of the ilk of General Motors Co. [NYSE:GM], Daimler AG [XETRA:DAI] and Volkswagen AG [XETRA:VOW] have also upped their production and sales of EVs in China.