China approves autonomous driving startup Momenta’s US IPO

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator said on Monday it has approved autonomous driving startup Momenta Global Limited’s initial public offering (IPO) in the United States.

Momenta plans to issue up to 63,352,856 ordinary shares and list on the Nasdaq Stock Market or the New York Stock Exchange, the regulator said in a statement.

China in June granted approval to a first group of nine automakers to carry out tests on vehicles with advanced autonomous driving technologies on public roads, as part of a plan to accelerate adoption of self-driving cars.

The auto industry has defined five levels of autonomous driving, spanning driver assistance features such as cruise control at level one to fully self-driving cars at level five.

China issued the guideline of the nationwide scheme last November to start accepting applications from companies that seek to roll out more fully autonomous driving vehicles for mass adoption.

In the plan, drivers in the test vehicles are allowed to take their hands off the steering wheels, with automakers and fleet operators taking responsibility for safety.

Reporting by Farah Master and Ella Cao; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Shri Navaratnam