Self-Driving Startup WeRide Files for US IPO, Sources Say

Tony Han, co-founder and CEO of WeRide
Tony Han, co-founder and CEO of WeRide, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2019. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News)

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Chinese driverless technology startup Guangzhou WeRide Technology Co. has filed confidentially for an initial public offering in the U.S. and is looking to raise as much as $500 million, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Guangzhou-based startup is working with advisers on a potential listing that could take place as early as in the first half of this year, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.

Chinese companies have only just resumed pursuing U.S. IPOs in recent months, after Didi Global Inc.’s 2021 listing prompted a crackdown by Beijing on companies with sensitive data selling shares abroad. To address the issue, WeRide will outsource data collection to an entity that won’t be part of the planned U.S. listing, the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing and details of the IPO including size and timing could change, the people said. A representative for WeRide didn’t respond to a request for comment.

WeRide was weighing IPO venues including the U.S. and Hong Kong, Bloomberg News reported last year. The company was valued at about $4.4 billion in a March 2022 fundraising round.


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China’s private companies in areas including semiconductors, AI and autonomous driving are poised to benefit from President Xi Jinping’s public backing of the private sector. Facing what Xi described as suppression by the U.S. and other western countries, he urged companies to strengthen innovation and play a bigger role in establishing China’s technology independence.

Founded in 2017, WeRide develops autonomous driving technology and is testing the technology in over 25 cities around the world, its website shows. WeRide produces vehicles including robotaxis, minibuses, vans and street sweepers in addition to its autonomous driving software and hardware solutions.

Backed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Guangzhou Automobile Group, WeRide also counts engineering company Bosch and private equity firm Carlyle Group as existing investors.

With assistance from Gao Yuan.

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