Ride-Hailing Firm Wanshun to Go Public in US Via SPAC
On September 4, Chinastarmarket.cn reported that Wanshun Car-Hailing, a Shenzhen-based ride-hailing service platform, has recently reached a cooperation agreement with an overseas special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), planning to be listed in the US this year.
According to public information, Wanshun Car-Hailing was established in 2016 with a registered capital of 100 million yuan ($14.4 million) and its headquarters in Shenzhen. Its main business includes shared travel and integration of customization, sales and application of new energy vehicles based on platform users. Its controller is Zhou Zhengqing, holding 41.97% of the company’s shares.
Data show that the firm’s car-hailing business and new energy vehicle sales business in 2021 brought in more than 5 billion yuan. As of July 2022, it had obtained online car-hailing operation licenses in 350 cities across China, which is the largest in the industry at present. It now has more than 600,000 licensed drivers, more than 2 million locally registered drivers and 110 million users.
Different from other online car-hailing platforms, Wanshun Car-Hailing also has offline channels. Up to now, it has built more than 12,300 offline stores, which are positioned as the “driver’s home” of the platform and the sales stores of new energy vehicles.
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Some insiders told the Chinastarmarket.cn that Wanshun Car-Hailing had no public records of external equity financing before, and listing in the United States could undoubtedly broaden its direct financing channels. On the other hand, this move also helps to improve its branding and accelerate its market share.
However, at the beginning of August this year, many drivers complained that Wanshun Car-Hailing had induced drivers to conduct click farming and make profits from them. On the company’s official website, the firm proposed an innovative model named “co-partner plan,” claiming to be the first Chinese company to put forward such a plan. This model allows drivers to operate as co-partners so as to attract more drivers to join the platform. A driver also posted on a Chinese complaint platform that the company had made false promotion and was suspected of money laundering, and that its “co-partner” model was suspected of pyramid selling.