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By Liu Yukun and Han Wei / Apr 11, 2019 03:00 AM / Business & Tech

Li Xiang. Photo: IC

Li Xiang. Photo: IC

China’s flourishing electric-vehicle startups are facing a tough time with greater challenges to obtain funding as investors have turned more cautious on the industry, said Li Xiang, CEO of EV startup CHJ Automotive.

A large number of players will be forced out of the market in the coming year, and 90% of investors will lose money, Li warned Tuesday at a conference in CHJ’s plant in Changshu, Jiangsu province.

CHJ is among a number of companies emerging in China over the past few years to tap opportunities in EV manufacturing. It is one of the few players that are expected to deliver models to the market by the end of 2019. CHJ unveiled its first EV model in October.

Li said he expected sales of the new model, a hybrid SUV, to reach 100,000 units by 2020 and said the number of orders received in the next three months will be crucial for the business.

While EV startups are struggling to turn profits, the Chinese government’s decision to greatly cut subsidies is posing more challenges, analysts said.

In March, CHJ’s rival Nio Inc. said its net losses widened by 92% for 2018 to $1.4 billion, while losses in the last quarter grew 102.1% to $509.5 million.

Related: China’s Cut to Electric-Car Subsidies Is the Biggest in Five Years

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