's subsidiary engaged in venture capital was established on March 4 with a registered capital of RMB 600 million.

(Image credit: Li Auto)

Deepening ties with supply chain companies through a venture capital arm is something is doing. Now its local counterpart, Li Auto, seems ready to do the same.

A company called Chongqing Chezhiyuan Venture Capital Co Ltd was set up on March 4 with a registered capital of 600 million yuan ($95 million) and a business scope that includes investments in unlisted companies, information from data provider Qichacha shows.

Its shareholder information shows it is 100 percent indirectly owned by Leading Ideal HK Limited, an affiliate of Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI, HKG: 2015), with Li Auto CFO Li Tie as executive director.

Li Auto's local counterpart Nio (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) established a venture capital arm, Nio Capital, in 2016 to manage an RMB fund and a US dollar fund.

The RMB fund, with an initial size of RMB 10 billion, was jointly launched by Nio Capital, Sequoia China and Hillhouse Capital, and focuses on growth and maturity stage investments. Its dollar fund focuses on early to mid-stage investments.

To date, Nio Capital has invested in dozens of companies, including Lotus, which is majority-owned by Geely, self-driving technology company Pony.ai, and augmented reality (AR) technology company Nreal.

Last September, AI4Auto, a WeChat account that follows the auto industry, reported that Motors (NYSE: XPEV, HKG: 9868) had formed its own venture capital fund and would be raising money independently.

The fund will be led by Xpeng Vice Chairman and President Brian Gu and will include investment bankers from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

The fund's size is unknown, but it is much larger than Nio Capital, the report said.

So far, however, Xpeng has not confirmed the fund's existence.

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