Chinese drone company launches IPO amid China-US competition

By Song Lin in Guangzhou Published: 2019/12/13 3:11:50

China's drone manufacturer EHang displays its passenger Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) on Thursday in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province. Photo: Song Lin/GT

Chinese high-tech firms continue overseas expansion and search for global financing with a globalized development strategy amid accelerating China-US tech competition. 

Experts noted that despite emerging decoupling between both countries in trade and technology, a decoupling-reversal strength has remained to promote bilateral cooperation.

EHang, a commercial drone manufacturer, founded in 2014, announced its initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq with shares priced at $12.50, marking the world's first drone-related share.

Speaking of the potential risks caused by China-US tech decoupling, EHang founder and CEO Hu Huazhi told the Global Times that against the backdrop of the globalized industrial chains, no country or city could manage the supply of all products.

EHang has been striving to use technology to connect the world, Hu said. 

The company has conducted test flights in other countries including Austria and Qatar. 

Recently, it announced a strategic partnership with Vodafone, one of the largest telecom and technology service providers, to collaborate on an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem project in Germany and then spread throughout Europe, according to an official Ehang statement.

Though challenges remain for Chinese high-tech companies to go public overseas, tech competition between China and the US would not significantly impact the Chinese firms' financing as the US needs its open market to attract top firms and global capital, Li Daxiao, chief economist at Shenzhen-based Yingda Securities, told the Global Times.

With the mission of making safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone, EHang has been authorized as China's first company on passenger Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAV) piloting program.

The company had delivered 38 passenger AAVs by the end of September, according to a statement sent to the Global Times. 

UAM is no longer relegated to science fiction films, but a reality that EHang has actively promoted in China and overseas, said Zhang Hong, vice president of EHang, during a media conference in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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