(Aug 14): NIO Inc., the electric-car maker backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings, filed for a US$1.8 billion ($2.5 billion) initial public offering as it gears up to compete against the likes of Tesla Inc.

The company applied to list its American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NIO, and the US$1.8 billion registration amount is a placeholder to calculate filing fees.

NIO and other Chinese electric-car makers are raising money to develop new products and fund an expansion as the world’s biggest automobile market signals a shift to battery-powered vehicles in a bid to cut pollution and reduce dependence on imported oil. That technology drive has spawned a clutch of startups from China, all wanting to take on legacy carmakers and Tesla, whose owner Elon Musk is considering taking the company private.

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