Zeekr leads Chinese EV charge in global markets amidst trade headwinds.


China’s electric vehicle (EV) industry is aggressively entering international markets to secure more capital, highlighted by Zeekr, a luxury EV brand under Geely, which achieved a 34% surge in its shares in the largest U.S. IPO by a Chinese company since 2021. Zeekr raised $441 million in New York, offering 21 million American depositary shares at $18 to $21 each. This move comes amid looming trade restrictions from the U.S. and Europe, including expected tariff increases on Chinese EV imports by the Biden administration and an investigation by the European Commission into Chinese electric car imports.

Despite potential barriers, the demand for Chinese cleantech remains strong, with firms like Horizon Robotics and Black Sesame Technologies planning IPOs in Hong Kong, and CATL, the leading EV battery manufacturer, advancing with a share sale there.

Challenges persist for Chinese automakers in Europe and the U.S. due to geopolitical tensions and technology transfer concerns. However, China’s domestic EV market is thriving, with a 30% increase in sales in the early months of the year, indicating a shift from internal combustion engines.

The successful Zeekr IPO reflects improved U.S.-China relations and more favorable listing conditions, enhancing indices like Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Nasdaq’s Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks U.S.-listed Chinese firms.

Despite a lower valuation than anticipated, the Zeekr IPO drew substantial interest, with cornerstone investors securing two-thirds of the shares. This high demand led to a positive market response, illustrating the ongoing robust investor interest in Chinese EV firms as they navigate the complex global landscape marked by both significant opportunities and notable challenges.

This article is part of our ‘New Mobility’ special feature, examining the revolutionary changes sweeping through the automotive industry: