Chinese automaker Changan has issued a formal complaint against Geely for allegedly copying its latest EV car design, sending the Hangzhou-based car company a cease-and-desist letter which surfaced online on Monday, amid fierce competition in the country’s dense electric vehicle market.

Why it matters: The dispute highlights an intensification of the battle for market share among automakers in China, where the country’s EV growth momentum has slowed amid post-Covid zero economic swings.

  • The move could have a negative impact on the image of Geely’s new Galaxy lineup, which Volvo’s parent company has positioned as a high-volume brand for the mainstream to premium segment.

Details: In a letter issued on Feb. 27 by Baijus Law Firm, Changan accuses Geely of taking multiple design features from its vehicles for the latter’s prototype Galaxy Light EV.

  • Changan requested that its competitor stop violating its intellectual property rights and said it would consider legal options. On Wednesday, a company representative confirmed to TechNode that it had sent the letter.
  • The legal effort prompted an angry response from Geely. In a statement published Tuesday on Chinese Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo, the company said it would fight “misleading” information and pursue legal action against “false” accusations.
  • “Geely Auto Group takes intellectual property rights seriously and adheres to all relevant laws and regulations. We are confident that […] our team has not infringed on the intellectual property rights of any other company,” the automaker said in the statement.

Context: The legal spat came shortly after Geely unveiled the Galaxy Light sedan, a futuristic car with traditional Chinese aesthetic elements inspired by Hangzhou’s scenic West Lake area.

  • The Zhejiang-based automaker also showcased the L7, a plug-in hybrid crossover and the first production car in the Galaxy family, while announcing plans to expand its product portfolio to seven models in the next two years.
  • A manufacturing partner to Ford, Chongqing-headquartered Changan sold 271,240 electric cars under its stand-alone brands last year, marking a 150% growth from a year previously. To compare, sales of Geely’s electrified vehicles tripled to 328,727 units in 2022.

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