Orange Electric Travel, A Didi and Li Auto Joint Venture, Files for Bankruptcy

On August 11, Beijing Orange Electric Travel Technology Co., Ltd., added a new bankruptcy review case. Both the applicant and the respondent were Beijing Orange Electric Travel Technology Co., Ltd., and the handling court was the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.

In March 2018, Didi, a car-hailing giant in China, reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Li Auto, a new energy automobile enterprise. The two companies jointly invested 400 million yuan ($59.35 million) to establish “Orange Electric Travel”, with Didi holding 51% and Li Auto holding 49%. Yang Jun, vice president of DiDi Global, was made the chairman and legal person of Orange Electric Travel, and Shen Yanan, co-founder and president of Li Auto, was the CEO.

At that time, the purpose of the joint venture was to create new travel products and services, including intelligent electric vehicle products exclusive to travel applications, operations and the service of intelligent fleets, while also building out the large-scale application of automated driving.

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Since then, the two sides have cooperated to develop a pure electric MPV. According to LatePost, the internal code of this electric vehicle is D01, which was to use the same chassis as the Li Auto One and was tailored for Didi’s “exclusive” and “carpooling” business.

It is worth noting that this car was originally planned to be mass-produced in early 2020, but it has been held up in production since neither side has continued to make additional investments.

In April 2020, Li Xiang, founder of Li Auto, and Cheng Wei, founder of Didi, re-discussed the companies’ cooperation and decided to separate Orange Electric Travel from Li Auto. The idea was then to build it into an independent main engine plant and travel company before introducing new strategic shareholders.

According to one commercial inquiry website, there are 2 pieces of information about the person subjected to the outstanding debts of Orange Electric Travel, and the total debt amount is 16.30807 million yuan ($2.42 million). Among them, in February this year, Beijing Orange Electric Travel was listed as the main debtor by the Beijing Chaoyang People’s Court, with the subject of enforcement of 13.8596 million yuan ($2.06 million).