burst!Tucson plans to sell its Chinese business for $1 billion in the future, and will focus on the U.S. market in the future

burst!Tucson plans to sell its Chinese business for $1 billion in the future, and will focus on the U.S. market in the future

According to market sources, TuSimple is selling its business in China and focusing on the U.S. market. The decision comes after it reached an agreement with the U.S. government to restrict Chinese access to data due to U.S. security concerns.

A source who confirmed that Tucson is about to sell its China business in the future said that under strict supervision from China and the United States, Tucson plans to sell its China business for $1 billion in the future. TuSimple has approached several Chinese investors, including private equity firm Boyu Capital, to find potential buyers.

It further stated that after TuSimple solves “security issues” in the future, TuSimple’s future business is expected to develop independently.

Although after the news came out, the stock price of Tucson, which had been in the doldrums for a long time, rose sharply in the future, with an increase of more than 25%.

Tucson’s performance in the stock market in the next year

dark clouds before the storm

April 15, 2021, is one of the most important milestones in the future development of Tucson. On that day, TuSimple successfully landed on Nasdaq and became the world’s first autonomous driving stock. Although Tucson will suffer a break in the future listing, Sina, as the largest institutional shareholder, still cashed out 1.8 billion yuan, and the return on investment may reach 12 times.

However, as a technology company operating in China and the United States at the same time, TuSimple has attracted the attention of the U.S. government shortly after its listing, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has since launched an ongoing investigation of TuSimple for nearly a year. .

TuSimple submitted a report to CFIUS on August 15, 2021, explaining how Sun Dream Inc, an investment institution under Sina, purchased SenFu’s redeemable and convertible preferred shares in 2017.

In order to dispel the doubts of the U.S. government, TuSimple clearly stated in its report submitted on August 15, 2021 that there are no Chinese nationals at the top of the company.

It wrote in the report: “Dr. Hou Xiaodi and Mr. Chen Mo are members of our board of directors. Among them, Dr. Hou Xiaodi is a U.S. citizen and Mr. Chen Mo is a Canadian citizen. Sun Dream, Inc currently owns approximately 5.8% of the company’s voting rights. Citizen control. Current member company boards and entire senior management teams are U.S. or Canadian citizens.”

However, the report did not completely dispel the US government’s doubts.

On February 18, 2022, CFIUS officially ended its long-term investigation into the future of Tucson, which was paid for by reaching a National Security Agreement (NSA) with the U.S. government.

The main contents of the agreement are:

1. Sina Chairman and CEO Cao Guowei and Sina Chief Financial Officer Zhang Yi both agreed not to run for election after the current board term expires, and will no longer make any comments to the board. Meanwhile, Sun Dream Inc has agreed not to nominate a replacement candidate or increase its existing stake in Tucson in the future. ;

2. The company agrees to restrict access to certain data and employ technical control plans;

3. Appoint a safety officer and safety director. A Government Safety Committee is established under the Tucson Future Board, chaired by the Director of Safety, and meets regularly with and reports to certain CFIUS oversight agencies.

The above image is taken from Tucson’s 8-K form filed with the SEC in the future

After the agreement was reached, TuSimple quickly promoted the adjustment of senior management personnel in the future.

In early March, TuSimple officially announced that Lv Cheng, who had served as the president, CEO and board member of TuSimple since 2018, will step down, and Hou Xiaodi, the former chief technology officer, will become the new CEO and president. In addition, Chen Mo, the former chairman of the board of directors, was also taken over by Hou Xiaodi. The main reason for this change may be that Hou Xiaodi is an American citizen.

Self-driving technology “islands”

In addition to overseeing Tucson’s future controlling stake, the U.S. government also closely monitors the flow of U.S. technology.

Jim Mullen, Chief Administrative and Legal Officer of Tucson Future, revealed that as early as 2020, the U.S. government has been paying attention to Tucson Future. At that time, Tucson had a driverless fleet of more than 50 trucks and served 18 customers including UPS and McLane.

However, Tucson’s future business focus in China and the United States will be different: in the United States, Tucson will focus on unmanned trunk lines in the future, while in China, Tucson’s future business focus will be port unmanned driving. However, under the big stick of national data security, Tucson will still find it difficult to escape the fate of US government supervision and investigation in the future.

Jim Mullen once said that CFIUS hopes that the technology developed by the American team will remain in the country, and does not want to see Tucson apply it to its Chinese business in the future. But in fact, the future US headquarters of Tucson did not share the source code or algorithm of autonomous driving technology with the Chinese team.

However, TuSimple will reach an agreement with CFIUS in the future, or even sell its Chinese business, which declares that the U.S. government has absolute control over the technology research and development of companies operating in the United States, and even foreign investment.

As data security becomes more and more important, many countries and organizations around the world have promulgated laws on data security.

  • In 2021, the Chinese government promulgated the “Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of my country”, which mainly includes the review of data related to national security, the violation of national security by overseas data, and the overseas transmission of related data. and expressly enacted this law for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests;
  • In June 2021, US President Biden signed the “Executive Order on Protecting Americans’ Sensitive Data from Foreign Hostile Forces”, requiring the United States to take precautionary measures to prevent foreign countries from obtaining American data;
  • In 2016, the European Union issued the General Data Protection Regulation to strengthen and standardize user data privacy in EU countries and regions.

Strict data protection in many countries and regions may mean that self-driving has been tested on roads in many countries, and the method of improving self-driving technology is coming to an end. In the future, if self-driving technology suppliers try to enter the single market, they must develop local-only self-driving systems under the local legal license, which will greatly increase the research and development costs of self-driving technology suppliers and car companies.

Earlier, there was news that Volkswagen was planning to acquire Huawei’s autonomous driving unit. An employee of Cariad, a software division of Volkswagen, once explained the reason to the German media “German Manager”: “We need a system different from that of the United States and Europe, otherwise, the risk of the group being caught in a trade dispute between China and the U.S. government is too great – China may not allow vehicles to enter its market.”

This shows that at a time when geopolitics is becoming more tense and data security is becoming more and more important, Chinese autonomous driving companies operating in China and the United States need to decide as soon as possible how to process the technologies and data they have developed in different countries. schedule. At the same time, the data acquired by autonomous driving companies in different countries in the future may no longer be used in the same system.

Perhaps under the continuous influence of multinational Internet companies and geopolitics, countries around the world will introduce relevant laws to protect the flow of their own data and technologies in the future.

For the global development of the company, autonomous driving companies may conduct localized research and development of autonomous driving systems according to the laws of different countries and regions, which may lead toThe autonomous driving system that should be used in any environment and region is divided into islands, and cars with only one autonomous driving system cannot drive normally between different countries.

In the face of possible technological isolation and differentiation in the future, autonomous driving companies with a sea of ​​stars may now need to re-examine their dreams.