Caixin
Apr 16, 2021 04:08 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

TuSimple Stock Stays Flat in Debut After Pricing Above Expected Range

What’s new: The stock for Chinese-backed self-driving truck company TuSimple Holdings Inc. closed its first day of trading on the Nasdaq at $40 Thursday, unchanged from its initial public offering price.

In its IPO, the San Diego-based company sold 33.8 million shares at $40 a share, above the high end of its estimate of $35-$39 a share. At that price, the company is valued at $8.5 billion, higher the originally expected $5-$7 billion range.

The six-year-old company is the first of its peers to go public. Investors have eyed the technology as a way to overcome the long-haul limits of human truck drivers.

The background: TuSimple, with big backers on both sides of the Pacific, specializes in research and development of Level 4 autonomous driving technology for trucks. Level 4 autonomous vehicles can drive themselves in certain circumstances, but a human driver may sometimes need to take control. Level 5 is the highest level of automation.

Its backers include U.S. logistics giant UPS, tech leader Nvidia, CDH Investments and Sina Corp. affiliate Sun Dream, which have poured a total of $800 million into the company since its founding in 2015, according to a prospectus released in March.

Compared with passenger cars, trucks are regarded by some as low-hanging fruit in the push to commercialize self-driving vehicles because trucks tend to operate in relatively predictable conditions such as on highways.

But TuSimple will face stiff competition from companies including electric-car maker Tesla’s Semi truck as well as projects from Chinese-based manufacturer XPeng and Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)

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