Chinese electric car maker Xpeng on the ‘bright side’ of regulation: Exec

Chinese electric car maker Xpeng on the 'bright side' of regulation: Exec

A new Xpeng P7 car is presented at the flagship store of Xpeng Motors in a shopping mall. The Xpeng P7 is one of the two popular models from Xpeng Motors.

Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – The chairman of Xpeng said the Chinese electric vehicle maker is on the “good side of regulation” as Chinese authorities tighten data privacy rules specifically targeting automakers.

The Guangzhou-based company is one of several startups challenging Tesla in the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

Automakers are collecting an increasing amount of data to train autonomous driving algorithms and other so-called “smart” features in the car.

But Chinese regulators have become concerned about the amount of data being collected by companies across industries.

“I think our industry is really presented as an industry that will be supported by the government. They see it as critical infrastructure as well as an important part of manufacturing, smart technology and the development of a carbon neutral program. Let’s see in which Government Xpeng Chairman Brian Gu told CNBC in an interview on Friday, “working very hard.”

“So we’re really on the right side of regulation. “

This month, China passed a major data protection law called the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPL) which deals with cybersecurity legislation and data protection legislation.

China’s cyberspace regulator also released draft data protection management rules for automakers this month. Officials have urged automakers to reduce “the disorganized collection and misuse” of automotive data.

While China’s regulatory measures have erased billions from the value of internet companies in recent months, the country’s electric vehicle companies have remained relatively unaffected and stock prices have rallied.

Indeed, the development of electric vehicles across China is a national priority which has supported the development of the industry through incentives such as subsidies.

Gu said Xpeng had “a very strong organizational focus … on data security” and was in communication with government agencies on the matter.

Xpeng is developing its own limited autonomous driving features called XPILOT for its cars. A large amount of data is required to train such systems. Gu said the new car manufacturer data rules are “designed not to stifle innovation” but “to ensure that we treat (the data) … with care.”

tightening of SEC requirements

In the future, we will certainly make sure to strengthen all necessary disclosures to meet regulatory requirements in China and the United States.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler told Bloomberg this week that Chinese companies listed in the United States must give investors a better understanding of regulatory and political risks. It is not clear what could happen at this point, but Gu said Xpeng is monitoring the situation.

“In the future, we will certainly make sure to strengthen any disclosures we make to meet regulatory requirements in China as well as the United States,” Gu said.

International expansion

Xpeng on Thursday reported total second-quarter revenue of 3.76 billion yuan ($ 582.5 million), an increase of 536.7 percent year-over-year. However, the company’s net loss widened for the quarter as it expands its marketing and production capabilities.

The company on Tuesday began shipping its flagship P7 sedan to its first international market, Norway.

Gu said that Europe and the surrounding Nordic countries would be the first markets the company would develop outside of China, as they have high penetration rates and good infrastructure for electric vehicles.

“But overall, I think we have a vision to tackle a wide range of sectors in other European countries as well as other developed markets,” Gu said. “I think developing markets will probably be a bit later, as we see demand likely slower than developed countries.”

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