HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle start-up NIO on Monday filed for a $1.8 billion initial public offering of its American depositary shares, the biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese automaker.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors check NIO ES8 displayed during a media preview of the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing, China April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

The company, backed by Chinese tech heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd, applied for a float of up to $1.8 billion, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NIO”.

The float comes as the firm, founded by Chinese entrepreneur William Li in 2014, and other Chinese EV makers seek fresh capital to develop new products and finance investments in areas including autonomous driving and battery technologies.

Having begun promoting EVs in 2009, China aims to become a dominant global producer as it bids to curb vehicle emissions, boost energy security and promote high-tech industries.

Start-up electric carmakers such as WM Motor Technology Co and Xpeng Motor have also raised funds totaling billions of dollars from heavyweight investors including tech giants Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Tencent.

NIO is also joining several sizable Chinese listings in New York this year, even as Sino-U.S. trade tensions involving tit-for-tat tariffs rattle global stock markets.

At $1.8 billion, NIO’s IPO would also surpass the $1.63 billion float by online group discounter Pinduoduo Inc to become the second-biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese firm…

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