After a string of property developers dipping their toes into the electric vehicle (EV) market, one carmaker is moving in the opposite direction.
EV carmaker Xiaopeng Motors (Xpeng) last week set up a property development entity called Zhaoqing Kunpeng with a registered capital of 474 million yuan ($68.6 million), Chinese media recently discovered on company information provider Qichacha.
The move comes just after XPeng rolling out a pilot ride-hailing project using its own models in south China’s Guangzhou.
Xia Heng, Xpeng’s founder, is the real estate company’s chairman and general manager, Qichacha documents show. And an Xpeng investment subsidiary and a local construction investment enterprise are the company's two shareholders.
This is not the first time Chinese enterprises have decided to have both the fast-growing EV business and traditional capital-heavy real estate development in their business portfolios. Earlier this month, well-known property developer Agile took a stake in an EV services firm backed by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing.
The booming electric-auto market has attracted several other big Chinese real estate developers, including Evergrande Group, Baoneng Group and Country Garden. China accounted for more than half of global EV sales in 2017.
Xpeng later sent Caixin a statement saying it "has no intention to move into real estate business" and that the entity was registered in order to help Xpeng build its factory in Zhaoqing.
This story was updated to include Xpeng's response.