Li Auto closed down 0.85% on its first trading day in Hong Kong Thursday. The Chinese electric vehicle startup opened at an issuing price of HK$118 ($15) per share. 

Why it matters: Li Auto is the latest Chinese tech firm listing in the US to seek a dual-primary listing in Hong Kong. Tech companies increasingly see Hong Kong as an attractive market as they seek to hedge risks when both Chinese and US regulators accelerate regulatory scrutiny.

Details: Li Auto’s Hong Kong debut met with a lukewarm market response. The company’s shares closed at HK$117 ($15.03), 0.85% lower than its issuing price, falling by as much as 2% soon after starting trading. 

  • Speaking to reporters on Thursday in Hong Kong, Li Auto’s president Shen Ya’nan said the company has been considering a listing in the mainland, without revealing details.
  • The company said it will use the proceeds from the Hong Kong listing to develop new car models and autonomous driving technology, and to expand charging infrastructure and sales networks.

Context: Backed by Chinese life services giant Meituan, Li Auto first went public on Nasdaq last July. The company is the second Chinese EV maker to seek a Hong Kong listing. Its rival Xpeng Motors raised $1.8 billion in Hong Kong in June.

  • Li Auto so far has only one model for sale. The company delivered 8,589 cars in July, surpassing both its competitors Xpeng and Nio in vehicle deliveries for the first time in July.
  • Both China and the US have issued new regulations that make it more difficult for Chinese companies to raise money in the US markets. In July, Chinese regulators proposed new rules requiring some Chinese companies to seek official approval before listing in overseas markets. The US has threatened Chinese companies with delisting over a dispute about accounting procedures.

Read more: Drive I/O | The untold story of Li Auto

Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen