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China’s Biggest Carmaker Eyes $157 Million for Mobility Division

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(Bloomberg) -- SAIC Motor Corp. is planning a fresh round of fundraising for its mobility service platform Xiangdao Chuxing, according to people familiar with the matter, as it seeks to stay competitive amid shifts in the automotive industry.

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China’s biggest carmaker, which counts Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. as partners, aims to raise as much as 1 billion yuan ($157 million), one of the people said. The plan, which isn’t finalized, could be announced by the company as soon as this month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public.

Founded in 2018, Xiangdao offers ride-hailing and car-rental services. The company said it had 26 million registered customers last year and more than 2,200 corporate clients. Xiangdao’s backers include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Chinese electric-vehicle battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., which both contributed in a 300-million-yuan fundraising round last year.

A representative for SAIC declined to comment.

The new fundraising plan comes as Chinese ride-hailing market leader Didi Global Inc. faces pressure from the government after it went through with a $4.4 billion listing in the U.S. in June despite pushback from Beijing. It has been told to devise a plan to delist, Bloomberg News reported in November.

China to Deepen Anti-Monopoly Crackdown in Car-Hailing Sector

Other automakers including Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. and China FAW Group Co. are also venturing into mobility services in China, a market estimated to be worth about 228 billion yuan in 2020, according to the State Information Center.

Geely’s Cao Cao Mobility raised almost $600 million in September and has been in talks with investors for another funding round in the first half of 2022, the unit’s chief executive officer Gong Xin said in an interview with Bloomberg in September.

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