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Baidu-backed Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up WM Motor Holdings has reportedly cut cut staff salaries by up to 50 per cent as its financial condition deteriorated.
The Shanghai-based carmaker, which has an annual production capacity of 250,000 units, cut senior managers’ salaries by half and reduced the salaries of other employees by 30 per cent this month, according to financial media outlet Jiemian.
Two executives of WM’s supply-chain vendors attributed the company’s financial troubles to weak sales, highlighting that WM Motor was struggling to sustain its operations.
WM Motor booked a total loss of 1.95 billion yuan (US$270 million) in 2021, up 68% from a year earlier.
In the first eight months of 2022, the company sold 25,158 vehicles in China, which is tiny numbers compared Its domestic rivals. Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio routinely sold about 10,000 vehicles each in one month.
WM Motor priced its vehicles between 150,000 yuan (US$20,574) and 200,000 yuan that medium-to-low market. In comparison, Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio are priced above 200,000 yuan and compete against Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.
In June, WM filed an IPO application to the Hong Kong stock exchange, joining the ranks of EV peers Leapmotor Technology, XPeng, Li Auto and Nio, all of which have either applied to list or are already listed on the Hong Kong exchange,
WM motor was founded by automotive veteran Freeman Shen in 2015, who held various senior management position at Volvo, Fiat and Geely in China. WM Motor is partnering with Baidu on Project Apollo, one of the world’s largest and most diversified open autonomous driving alliance platforms.
Hong Kong and Singapore’s wealthy elite are growing more interested in crypto and digital assets investment, KMPG and Aspen Digital suggested.
According to a Oct 24 report from KPMG China and Aspen Digital titled “Investing in Digital Assets, more than 90% of family offices and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) are interested in investing in the digital assets sector or have already done so.
The report focuses on surveying family offices and HNWIs in Hong Kong and Singapore that manage assets between $10 million and $500 million, it showed that 58% of family offices and HNWI of respondents are already investing in digital assets, and 34% “plan to do so.”
The report indicated that institutions have increased engagement in digital asset financial products, including regulated products.
Driven by institutional adoption and attention, super riches feel a lot more confident in crypto sector.
DBS, Singapore’s largest bank, expected approximately 100,000 wealth clients using crypto services on its digital exchange (DDEx). However, the allocations remain relatively small, with most allocating less than 5% of their portfolio to digital assets — mainly in Bitcoin and Ether.
In July, KPMG highlighted in its report that Asia Pacific is in the midst of a major business shift as fast-growing companies tap the potential of new technologies particularly Web 3. Based on a survey of 6,472 Asian Pacific technology startups with valuations up to USD500 million, KPMG and HSBC found that over 25 percent (1,780 out of 6472) emerging giants tied to blockchain sectors.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (Defi) took top two spot of the top 20 industry subsectors where Asian Pacific “emerging giants” were active, blockchain real estate and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) were also present among the top 20 subsector, reflecting the current focus across the region on digital assets and Web3.0.