Wang Xing has cashed out HK$420 million in the past half month by cutting his stake in , but remains the NEV maker's largest external shareholder.

Li Auto's (NASDAQ: LI) largest external shareholder is cutting holdings as the new energy vehicle (NEV) maker continues to see strong delivery performance.

Wang Xing, co-founder and CEO of Chinese food delivery giant Meituan, has cut his stake in Li Auto's Hong Kong-traded shares six times in the past half month and cut his holdings in the automaker's US-traded ADRs three times, according to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange document.

Since March 21, Wang has cashed in about HK$310 million from his cuts in Li Auto's Hong Kong shares and about $14.07 million (HK$110 million) from his cuts in the automaker's ADRs, for a total of about HK$420 million.

Wang, a non-executive director of Li Auto, saw his stake in Li Auto drop to 22.35 percent after those reductions, still the automaker's top outside shareholder.

After Wang's move generated a lot of attention, Li Auto tried to downplay it.

It was a personal move by Wang, representing a very small percentage of his stake in Li Auto and not involving Meituan's holdings, local media Cailian reported yesterday, citing a response from the carmaker.

It is worth noting that Wang also reduced his stake in Li Auto several times at the end of March last year.

On March 29 and March 30, 2022, Wang cashed in about HK$210 million by reducing his holdings in Li Auto's Hong Kong and US shares.

Wang was one of the earliest backers of Li Auto, leading the car company's Series C funding round in 2019 with a personal contribution of up to $285 million.

In June 2020, Li Auto received $550 million in Series D funding, $500 million of which was led by Meituan.

At the time of Li Auto's US IPO, Meituan subscribed $300 million and Wang personally subscribed $30 million.

Wang and the entities he controls own a total of 22.82 percent of Li Auto, the automaker's 2022 interim report showed.

Li Auto delivered 20,823 vehicles in March, the second time it has exceeded 20,000 after last December, figures it released on April 1 showed.

The deliveries were the second highest for a single month since Li Auto's inception, after a record high of 21,233 vehicles last December.

Li Auto delivered 52,584 vehicles in the first quarter, up 65.8 percent year-on-year and up 13.53 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.

Li Auto was down 3.85 percent to HK$93.7 in Hong Kong at press time. The company is up about 11 percent so far this year in Hong Kong.

($1 = HK$7.8490)

Li Auto delivers 20,823 vehicles in Mar, up 25% from Feb