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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

    

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

    

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

    

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

    

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report _______________________

For the transition period from _________________ to _______________________

Commission file number 001-38261

Kaixin Auto Holdings

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

N/A

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

9/F, Tower A, Dongjin International Center

Huagong Road,

Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015

People’s Republic of China

(Address of principal executive offices)

Yi Yang

Chief Financial Officer

Kaixin Auto Holdings

9/F, Tower A, Dongjin International Center

Huagong Road,

Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015

People’s Republic of China

Phone: +86 10 6720 4948

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

    

Trading Symbol(s)

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

Ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share

KXIN

Nasdaq Capital Market

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

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Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

As of December 31, 2021, there were 170,453,102 ordinary shares issued and outstanding, par value of US$0.00005 per share.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.   Yes No

Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.   Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).   Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer    

    

Accelerated filer    

Non-accelerated filer    

Emerging growth company    

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.   

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP

    

International Financial Reporting Standards
as issued by the International Accounting
Standards Board

    

Other

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.    Item 17 Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).   Yes No

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.   Yes No

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

4

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

4

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

4

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

4

ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

57

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

92

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECT

92

ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

106

ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

115

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

119

ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING.

120

ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

121

ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

135

ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES.

136

PART II

137

ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES.

137

ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS.

137

ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES.

137

ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT.

139

ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS.

139

ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES.

139

ITEM 16D. EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES.

139

ITEM 16E. PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS.

139

ITEM 16F. CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT.

140

ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.

140

ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

140

PART III

140

ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

140

ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

140

ITEM 19. EXHIBITS.

141

i

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INTRODUCTION

Conventions Used in this Annual Report

In this Annual Report, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references to:

“Business Combination” are the transactions contemplated by the share exchange agreement dated as of November 2, 2018 by and among CM Seven Star Acquisition Corporation, KAG and Renren, pursuant to which we acquired 100% of the equity interests of KAG from Renren on April 30, 2019;
“CAGR” are to compound annual growth rate;
“car parc” are to the total number of light vehicles, including cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks in a region or market at a specific point in time;
“China” or the “PRC” are to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this Annual Report only, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan;
“Dealerships” are to our dealership businesses operated by special purpose holding companies in which we possess majority ownership and voting control;
“Dealership Outlets” are to retail premises operated by our Dealerships;
“Haitaoche” are to Haitaoche Limited;
“Haitaoche Acquisition” are to the transaction closed on June 25, 2021 in which Kaixin issued to shareholders of Haitaoche an aggregate of 74,035,502 ordinary shares of Kaixin in exchange of 100% share capital of Haitaoche;
“Haitaoche VIEs” are to Ningbo Jiusheng Automobile Sales and Services Co., Ltd. (“Ningbo Jiusheng”), and Qingdao Shengmeilianhe Import Automobile Sales Co., Ltd. (“Qingdao Shengmeilianhe”);
“Jieying Legal Representative” are to the legal representative of Zhejiang Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd., Mr. Xiaolei Gu;
“KAG” are to Kaixin Auto Group, our wholly-owned subsidiary acquired from Renren;
“Kaixin”, “we”, “us”, “our company” or “our” are to Kaixin Auto Holdings, our Cayman Islands holding company, and its subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities;
“Kaixin VIEs” are to Shanghai Qianxiang Changda Internet Information Technologies Development Co., Ltd. (“Qianxiang Changda”) and Zhejiang Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd. (“Zhejiang Jieying”, former name as Shanghai Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd.);
“Zhejiang Taohaoche” are to Zhejiang Taohaoche Technology Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary;
“Renren” are to Renren Inc.;
“RMB” or “Renminbi” are to the legal currency of China;
“Shanghai Auto” are to Shanghai Renren Automotive Technology Group Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary;
“SaaS” are to “software-as-a-service”;

1

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“US$”, “U.S. dollars”, “$” or “dollars” are to the legal currency of the United States;
“U.S. GAAP” are to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States;
“variable interest entity” or “VIE” are to our variable interest entities, Shanghai Qianxiang Changda Internet Information Technologies Development Co., Ltd. (“Qianxiang Changda”), Zhejiang Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd. (“Zhejiang Jieying”, former name as Shanghai Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd.), Ningbo Jiusheng Automobile Sales and Services Co., Ltd. (“Ningbo Jiusheng”), and Qingdao Shengmeilianhe Import Automobile Sales Co., Ltd. (“Qingdao Shengmeilianhe”), which are 100% owned by PRC citizens and a PRC entity owned by PRC citizens, and are consolidated into our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP as if they were our wholly-owned subsidiaries; and
“Zhejiang Kaixin” are to Zhejiang Kaixin Automobile Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary.

Our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. This Annual Report contains translations of Renminbi amounts into U.S. dollars at specific rates solely for the convenience of the reader. The conversion of Renminbi into U.S. dollars in this Annual Report is based on the rate certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this Annual Report were made at a rate of RMB 6.3726 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate in effect as of December 30, 2021 set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. We make no representation that any Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate, the rates stated below, or at all.

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FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. These forward looking statements are made under the “safe-harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors”, may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

You can identify these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “aim”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “likely to”, “potential”, “continue” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:

our goals and strategies;
our future business development, financial conditions and results of operations;
the expected growth of the PRC used car and related industries;
our expectations regarding the demand for and market acceptance of our products and services;
our expectations regarding our relationships with distributors, customers, suppliers, strategic partners and other stakeholders;
competitions in our industry;
relevant government policies and regulations relating to our industry; and
assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing.

These forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. Although we believe that our expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, our expectations may later be found to be incorrect. Our actual results could be materially different from our expectations. Other sections of this Annual Report include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should read thoroughly this Annual Report and the documents that we refer to with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from, or worse than, what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

This Annual Report contains certain data and information that we obtained from various government and private publications. Statistical data in these publications also include projections based on a number of assumptions. The PRC used car industry may not grow at the rate projected by market data, or at all. Failure of this market to grow at the projected rate may have a material adverse effect on our business and the market price of our ordinary shares. Furthermore, if any one or more of the assumptions underlying the market data are later found to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

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PART I

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

Not applicable.

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements with Our Consolidated VIEs and Their Respective Individual Shareholders

Kaixin Auto Holdings is not an operating company in China, but a Cayman Islands holding company. We conduct our operations in China through our PRC subsidiaries and our VIEs. We rely on contractual arrangements among our PRC subsidiaries, our VIEs and their shareholders to control the business operations of our VIEs with no equity ownership in the VIEs. Revenues contributed by our VIEs and their subsidiaries accounted for 100% of our total revenues in each year from 2019 to 2021. As used in this Annual Report, “we”, “us”, “our Company”, “the Company” or “our” refers to Kaixin Auto Holdings, a Cayman Islands company, its subsidiaries, and, in the context of describing its operations and consolidated financial information, its consolidated affiliated entities in China. Investors of our ordinary shares are not purchasing equity interest in our operating entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company.

A series of contractual agreements have been entered into by and among our wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries Shanghai Auto, Zhejiang Kaixin, Zhejiang Taohaoche, the VIEs and the shareholders of the VIEs. For more details of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — C. Organizational Structure — Contractual Agreements with Our VIEs and Their Shareholders”.

The contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our consolidated VIEs and we may incur substantial costs to enforce the terms of the arrangements. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors —Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure — Any failure by our VIEs or their respective shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business” and “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure — The shareholders of our VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us. We do not have any arrangements in place to address such potential conflicts”.

Our corporate structure is subject to risks associated with our contractual arrangements with our VIEs. Investors may never directly hold equity interests in our VIEs. If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our business do not comply with the PRC laws and regulations, or if these regulations or their interpretations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations. Our holding company, our PRC subsidiaries, our VIEs, and investors of our Company face uncertainty about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the enforceability of the contractual arrangements with our VIEs and, consequently, significantly affect the financial performance of our VIEs and our company as a whole.

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There are also substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules regarding the status of the rights of our Cayman Islands holding company with respect to its contractual arrangements with our VIEs and their respective shareholders. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. If we or any of our VIEs is found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, or fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion to take action in dealing with such violations or failures. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure — If the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish its interests in those operations” and “— Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law, and it may materially and adversely affect the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations”.

We face various legal and operational risks and uncertainties associated with being based in or having our operations primarily in China and the complex and evolving PRC laws and regulations. For instance, we face risks associated with regulatory approvals on offerings conducted overseas by and foreign investment in China-based issuers, the use of our VIEs, anti-monopoly regulatory actions, and oversight on cybersecurity and data privacy. These risks could result in a material adverse change in our operations and the value of our ordinary shares, significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, or cause the value of such securities to significantly decline. For a detailed description of risks related to doing business in China, see “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China.”

PRC government’s significant authority in regulating our operations and its oversight and control over offerings conducted overseas by, and foreign investment in, China-based issuers could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors. Implementation of industry-wide regulations in this nature may cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be of little or no value. For more details, see “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — The Chinese government exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. We are currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to issue securities to foreign investors, however, if our subsidiaries or the holding company were required to obtain approval in the future and were denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, we will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors”.

As of the date of this Annual Report, our Company, the VIEs and their subsidiaries have not been involved in any investigations or review initiated by any PRC regulatory authority, not has any of them received any inquiry, notice or sanction for the business operation, accepting foreign investment or listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market. However, since these statements and regulatory actions by China’s government are newly published, official guidance and related implementation rules have not been issued. It is highly uncertain what future impact such modified or new laws and regulations will have on our daily business operations, the ability to accept foreign investments and our continued listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Risks and uncertainties arising from the legal system in China, including risks and uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws and quickly evolving rules and regulations in China, could result in a material adverse change in our operations and the value of our ordinary shares. For more details, see “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us”.

Permissions Required from the PRC Authorities for Our Operations

We conduct our business primarily through our subsidiaries, our VIEs and their subsidiaries in China. Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. As of the date of this Annual Report, our Company, the VIEs and their subsidiaries have not been involved in any investigations or review initiated by any PRC regulatory authority, not has any of them received any inquiry, notice or sanction for our operations or our issuance of securities to investors. Nevertheless, the Standing Committee of the National people’s Congress (the “SCNPC”) or PRC regulatory authorities may in the future promulgate laws, regulations or implementing rules that requires us, our subsidiaries, the VIEs or their subsidiaries to obtain permissions from PRC regulatory authorities to approve the VIE operations.

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According to Article 7 of the Measures of Cybersecurity Review which was promulgated on December 28, 2021 and entered into force and effect on February 15, 2022, a network platform operator that holds personal information of more than one million users shall report to Cybersecurity Review Office for cybersecurity review when it seeks to list its securities overseas. Kaixin VIEs who operate online platforms in the PRC will be recognized as network platform operators. Therefore, the Measures of Cybersecurity Review shall apply to such network platform operators. As of the date of this Annual Report, for entities that have been listed overseas before the implementation of the Measures of Cybersecurity Review and intend to issue additional shares rather than doing a public listing, the Measures of Cybersecurity Review do not clearly stipulate that such entities or their subsidiaries, as network platform operators, shall report to Cybersecurity Review Office for cybersecurity review. The Measures of Cybersecurity Reviews remains unclear on whether such requirements will be applicable to companies which are already listed in the United States, such as us. It also remains uncertain whether any future regulatory changes would impose additional restrictions on companies like us. The aforementioned policies and any related implementation rules to be enacted may subject us to additional compliance requirements in the future. As these opinions were recently issued, official guidance and interpretation of the opinions remain unclear in several respects at this time. Therefore, we cannot assure you that we will remain fully compliant with all new regulatory requirements of these opinions or any future implementation rules on a timely basis, or at all.

In addition, as of the date of this Annual Report, except for business license, foreign investment information report to the commerce administrative authority and foreign exchange registration or filing, our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities do not have to obtain any requisite licenses and permits from the PRC government authorities that are material for the business operations of our holding company, our subsidiaries and our VIEs in China. However, given the uncertainties of interpretation and implementation of relevant laws and regulations and the enforcement practice by government authorities, we may be required to obtain certain licenses, permits, filings or approvals for the functions and services that we provided in the future.

Cash and Asset Flows through Our Organization

Kaixin Auto Holdings transfers cash to its wholly-owned Hong Kong subsidiaries, by making capital contributions or providing loans, and the Hong Kong subsidiaries transfer cash to the subsidiaries in China by making capital contributions or providing loans to them. Because Kaixin and its subsidiaries control our VIEs through contractual arrangements, they are not able to make direct capital contribution to our VIEs and their subsidiaries. However, they may transfer cash to our VIEs by loans or by making payment to the VIEs for inter-group transactions. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, our VIEs received financial support for daily operation of nil, nil, and US$3.88 million from our non-VIE subsidiaries, and our non-VIE subsidiaries received financial support of nil, nil and US$3.90 million from our VIEs and their subsidiaries, respectively.

For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, no dividends or distributions were made to Kaixin by our subsidiaries. Under the PRC laws and regulations, our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs are subject to certain restrictions with respect to paying dividends or otherwise transferring any of their net assets to us. Remittance of dividends by a wholly foreign-owned enterprise out of China is also subject to examination by the banks designated by SAFE. The amounts restricted include the paid-up capital and the statutory reserve funds of our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs, totalling US$5.5 million, US$7.6 million and US$117.1 million as of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Furthermore, cash transfers from our PRC subsidiaries to entities outside of China are subject to PRC government control of currency conversion. Shortages in the availability of foreign currency may temporarily delay the ability of our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs to remit sufficient foreign currency to pay dividends or other payments to us, or otherwise satisfy their foreign currency denominated obligations. For risks relating to the fund flows of our operations in China, see “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — We may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements that we may have, and any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to make payments to us could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business”.

For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, no assets other than cash were transferred through our organization.

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Kaixin has not declared or paid any cash dividends, nor does it have any present plan to pay any cash dividends on its ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business. See “Item 8. Financial Information — A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information — Dividend Policy”. For the Cayman Islands, PRC and U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to an investment in our ordinary shares, see “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation”.Kaixin has not declared or paid any cash dividends, nor does it have any present plan to pay any cash dividends on its ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business. See “Item 8. Financial Information — A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information — Dividend Policy”. For the Cayman Islands, PRC and U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to an investment in our ordinary shares, see “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation”.

The cash flows that have occurred between our Company, its subsidiaries and the VIEs are summarized as follows:

    

For the year ended December 31,2021

Transfer to

VIEs and their

Non-VIE

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Transfer from

    

Parent

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

(in thousands)

Parent

$

$

$

VIEs and their subsidiaries

$

$

$

3,897

Non-VIE subsidiaries

$

$

3,880

$

    

For the year ended December 31,2020

Transfer to

VIEs and their

Non-VIE

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Transfer from

    

Parent

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

Parent

$

$

$

VIEs and their subsidiaries

$

$

$

Non-VIE subsidiaries

$

$

$

    

For the year ended December 31,2019

Transfer to

VIEs and their

Non-VIE

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Transfer from

   

Parent

   

Consolidated

   

Consolidated

Parent

$

$

$

VIEs and their subsidiaries

$

$

$

Non-VIE subsidiaries

$

$

$

Financial Information Related to the VIEs

The following tables present the condensed consolidating schedule of financial information for our Company, our subsidiaries, our VIEs and our VIEs’ subsidiaries for the periods indicated.

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Disaggregated Financial Information relating to the VIEs

Selected Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

    

As of December 31, 2021

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

   

Company

   

Consolidated

   

Consolidated

   

elimination

   

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Amount due from VIE

$

$

42,495

$

$

(42,495)

$

Total current assets

$

$

49,449

$

51,983

$

(42,495)

$

58,937

Investments in subsidiaries and VIEs

$

29,662

$

$

$

(29,662)

$

Total non-current assets

$

29,662

$

14,897

$

326

$

(29,662)

$

15,223

Total assets

$

29,662

$

64,346

$

52,309

$

(72,157)

$

74,160

Amount due to non-VIE

$

$

$

42,495

$

(42,495)

$

Total current liabilities

$

$

52,518

$

19,360

$

(42,495)

$

29,383

Total non-current liabilities

$

$

6,698

$

$

$

6,698

Total liabilities

$

$

59,216

$

19,360

$

(42,495)

$

36,081

    

As of December 31, 2020

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

   

Company

   

Consolidated

   

Consolidated

   

elimination

   

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Total current assets

$

$

$

1,753

$

$

1,753

Investments in subsidiaries and VIEs

$

6,163

$

$

$

(6,163)

$

Total non-current assets

$

6,163

$

$

4,840

$

(6,163)

$

4,840

Total assets

$

6,163

$

$

6,593

$

(6,163)

$

6,593

Total current liabilities

$

$

$

430

$

$

430

Total non-current liabilities

$

$

$

$

$

Total liabilities

$

$

$

430

$

$

430

Selected Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations Data

    

For the year ended December 31,2021

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

   

Company

   

Consolidated

   

Consolidated

   

elimination

   

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Revenue

$

$

$

253,840

$

$

253,840

Cost of revenue

$

$

$

248,583

$

$

248,583

Gross profit

$

$

$

5,257

$

$

5,257

Operating expenses

$

$

186,691

$

1,179

$

$

187,870

(Loss) income from operations

$

$

(186,691)

$

4,078

$

$

(182,613)

Share of loss from subsidiaries

$

(196,579)

$

$

$

196,579

$

Net loss

$

(196,579)

$

(195,160)

$

(768)

$

196,579

$

(195,928)

Less: net income attributable to non-controlling interests

$

$

$

651

$

  

$

651

Net loss attributable to the Company’s shareholders

$

(196,579)

$

(195,160)

$

(1,419)

$

196,579

$

(196,579)

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For the years ended December 31,2020

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

    

Company

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

    

elimination

    

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Revenue

$

$

$

1,207

$

$

1,207

Cost of revenue

$

$

$

1,207

$

$

1,207

Gross profit

$

$

$

$

$

Operating expenses

$

$

$

276

$

$

276

Loss from operations

$

$

$

(276)

$

$

(276)

Share of loss from subsidiaries

$

(166)

$

$

$

166

$

Net loss

$

(166)

$

$

(166)

$

166

$

(166)

Less: net loss attributable to non-controlling interests

$

$

$

$

$

Net loss attributable to the Company’s shareholders

$

(166)

$

$

(166)

$

166

$

(166)

    

For the years ended December 31,2019

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

    

Company

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

    

elimination

    

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Revenue

$

$

$

45,848

$

$

45,848

Cost of revenue

$

$

$

45,662

$

$

45,662

Gross profit

$

$

$

186

$

$

186

Operating expenses

$

$

$

322

$

$

322

Loss from operations

$

$

$

(136)

$

$

(136)

Share of loss from subsidiaries

$

(110)

$

$

$

110

$

Net loss

$

(110)

$

(1)

$

(109)

$

110

$

(110)

Less: net loss attributable to non-controlling interests

$

$

$

$

$

Net loss attributable to the Company’s shareholders

$

(110)

$

(1)

$

(109)

$

110

$

(110)

Selected Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

    

For the year ended December 31,2021

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

    

Company

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

    

elimination

    

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

$

$

989

$

(3,092)

$

$

(2,103)

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

$

$

(6,332)

$

2,822

$

7,777

$

4,267

Net cash provided by financing activities

$

$

9,777

$

$

(7,777)

$

2,000

Effect of exchange rate changes

$

$

$

492

$

  

$

492

Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

$

$

4,434

$

222

$

$

4,656

    

For the years ended December 31,2020

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

    

Company

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

    

elimination

    

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Net cash used in operating activities

$

$

$

(1,135)

$

$

(1,135)

Net cash used in investing activities

$

$

$

(290)

$

$

(290)

Net cash provided by financing activities

$

$

$

2,132

$

$

2,132

Effect of exchange rate changes

$

$

$

(104)

$

  

$

(104)

Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

$

$

$

603

$

$

603

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For the year ended December 31,2019

Non-VIE

VIEs and their

Parent

Subsidiaries

subsidiaries

Inter-company

Group

    

Company

    

Consolidated

    

Consolidated

    

elimination

    

Consolidation

(in thousands)

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

$

2

$

158

$

$

160

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

$

$

$

$

$

Net cash used in financing activities

$

$

$

(318)

$

$

(318)

Effect of exchange rate changes

$

$

$

144

$

  

$

144

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

$

$

2

$

(16)

$

$

(14)

A.[Reserved]

B.

Capitalization and indebtedness.

Not applicable.

C.

Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds.

Not applicable.

D.

Risk factors.

Summary of the Risk Factors

An investment in our capital stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the other information included in this Annual Report, before making an investment decision. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations could suffer. In that case, the trading price of our capital stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Below please find a summary of the principal risks we face, organized under the relevant headings.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

Risks and uncertainties related to our business and industry include, but are not limited to, the following:

We have a history of losses and negative cash flows from operating activities, and we may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future.
We have a limited operating history in the automobile sales business. Our historical financial and operating performance may not be indicative of, or comparable to, its future prospects and results of operations.
Our Dealerships conduct various aspects of our business, and we face risks associated with our Dealerships, their employees and other personnel.
We may not be able to successfully expand or maintain our network of Dealerships.
Any difficulties in identifying, consummating and integrating acquisitions, investments or alliances may expose us to potential risks and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
The quality of the premium used automobiles that we offer is critical to the success of our business.
Our success depends upon the continued contributions of our sales representatives.

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We rely on a limited number of financial institutions to fund the consumer auto financing transactions that we facilitate, and any adverse changes in our relationships with such financial institutions may materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
We may need additional capital to pursue our business objectives and respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances, and financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.

Risks Related to Our Carve-out from Renren and Our Relationship with Renren

Risks and uncertainties related to our carve-out from Renren include, but are not limited to, the following:

We have limited experiences operating as a stand-alone public company.
We are not expected to receive the same level of support from Renren, and if our collaboration with Renren is terminated or curtailed or if we are no longer able to benefit from the synergies of our cooperation with Renren, our business may be adversely affected.

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

Risks and uncertainties related to our corporate structure include, but are not limited to, the following:

oInvesting in our securities is highly speculative and involves a significant degree of risk as we are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and operate our business through VIE structure.
oAny failure by our VIEs or their respective shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business.
oThe shareholders of our VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us. We do not have any arrangements in place to address such potential conflicts.
oIf the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs do not comply with the PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish its interests in those operations.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

Risks and uncertainties related to conducting business in China include, but are not limited to, the following:

oChinese government exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. It remains whether we are currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to issue securities to foreign investors, however, if our subsidiaries or the holding company were required to obtain approval in the future and were denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, we will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors.
oChanges in PRC laws and regulations governing the VIE structure and its contractual arrangements could materially and adversely affect our business.
oChanges in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
oUncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.

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oWe may be adversely affected by the complexity and uncertainties of and changes in PRC regulation of Internet business and related companies.

The following are detailed descriptions of the risk factors.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a history of losses and negative cash flows from operating activities, and we may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future.

We had not been profitable since 2018. We incurred net losses of US$0.1 million, US$0.2 million and US$195.9 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. The significant increase in net loss in 2021 was primarily due to impairment of goodwill of US$143.7 million recognized in the reverse acquisition in the consolidated statements of operations in 2021 in connection with the Haitaoche Acquisition. We also had cash outflows from operating activities of US$1.1 million and US$2.1 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively. In addition, after the acquisition of KAG, we incurred significantly greater legal, accounting and other expenses than we incurred as a blank check company and KAG incurred as a subsidiary of Renren. As a result of these increased expenditures, we will have to generate and sustain increased revenues and contain costs to achieve profitability.

We have experienced recurring losses from operations. As of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of US$198.3 million.

We expect that we will continue to incur losses at least in the near term as we invest in and strive to grow our business. We may also incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, including possible changes in general economic conditions and regulatory environment, slowing demand for used and new cars and related products and services, increasing competitions, weakness in the automotive retail industry generally, as well as other risks described in this Annual Report, and we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications and delays in generating revenues or profitability. In addition, if we reduce variable costs to respond to losses, this may limit our ability to acquire customers and grow our revenues. Accordingly, we may not achieve or maintain profitability and may continue to incur significant losses in the future.

We have a limited operating history in the automobile sales business. Our historical financial and operating performance may not be indicative of, or comparable to, its future prospects and results of operations.

Although KAG was formed in 2011, it has changed its business model significantly since its initial launch. KAG began as primarily an internet-based financing business and, by that time it was acquired by us, had developed into a used car retailer with strong online and offline presence. In addition, in 2021 we started to implement our plan to expand into electronic vehicle and other business areas.

As a result, our business model has not been fully proven, and we have only a limited operating history with our new business model against which to evaluate our business and future prospects, which subjects us to a number of uncertainties. Accordingly, our historical financial results should not be considered indicative of our future performance and may be less comparable to financial results for future periods.

Additionally, we have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries, including achieving market acceptance of our brand, attracting and retaining customers, increasing competitions, and increasing expenses as we continue to grow our business. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in addressing these and other challenges that we may face in the future, and if we do not manage these risks successfully, our business may be adversely affected. In addition, we may not achieve sufficient revenues or maintain positive cash flows from operations or profitability in any given periods. If our assumptions regarding these risks and uncertainties which we use to plan our business are incorrect, or if we do not address these risks successfully, our operating and financial results could differ materially from our expectations, and our business could suffer.

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As the market, the regulatory environment and other conditions evolve, our existing solutions and services may not continue to deliver the expected business results. As our business develops and responds to competitions, we may continue to introduce new services or make adjustments to our existing services, business model or operations in general. Any significant changes to our business model or failure to achieve the intended business results may have a material and adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations. Therefore, it may be difficult to effectively assess our future prospects.

Our Dealerships conduct various aspects of our business, and we face risks associated with our Dealerships, their employees and other personnel.

We rely on our Dealerships to conduct significant aspects of our business. As of December 31, 2021, we had 14 Dealerships. Our control over our Dealerships may not be as effective as if we fully owned these partners’ businesses, which could potentially make it difficult for us to manage them.

Our Dealerships and their employees directly interact with consumers and other dealerships, and their performance directly affects our reputation and brand image. If our service personnel or those of our Dealerships fail to satisfy the needs of the consumers, respond effectively to their complaints, or provide services to their satisfaction, our reputation and the customers’ loyalty could be negatively affected. As a result, we may lose customers or experience a decline in business volume, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We do not directly supervise the services provided by our Dealerships and their personnel and may not be able to successfully maintain and improve the quality of their services. Dealerships may also fail to implement sufficient control over their sales, maintenance and other personnel. As a result of the conduct of our business, we may suffer financial losses, incur liabilities and suffer reputational damages. In addition, while violation of laws and regulations by Dealerships has not led to any material claims against us in the past, there can be no assurance that such a claim will not arise in the future which may harm our brand or reputation or have other adverse impacts.

Further, suspension or termination of a Dealership’s or a Dealership Outlet’s services in a particular geographic area may cause interruption to or failure in our services in the corresponding geographic area. A Dealership operator may suspend or terminate his or her services or cooperation with us for various reasons, many of which are outside our control. For example, due to the intense competition in our industry, existing Dealerships may choose to discontinue their cooperation with us and work with our competitors instead. We may not be able to promptly replace our Dealerships or find alternative ways to serve their geographic areas in a timely, reliable and cost-effective manner, or at all. As a result of any service disruptions associated with Dealerships, our customers’ satisfaction, brand, reputation, operations and financial performance may be materially and adversely affected.

During 2019 and 2020, due to disagreements with certain non-controlling shareholders on operational matters, some non-controlling shareholders illegally detained our inventories in our Dealerships and significant uncertainty arose on the realizability and collectability of the prepayments to purchase used cars for these Dealerships and amounts due from these non-controlling shareholders. As a result, we wrote down US$17.8 million inventory, and wrote off US$22.3 million prepayments for the year ended December 31, 2019. By early 2021, we have reached agreement to resume used car business operations with a majority of the non-controlling shareholders. We are in the process of negotiating with the remaining non-controlling shareholders and may initiate legal proceedings where necessary. If these disputes cannot be resolved in our favor, our business and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.

We may not be able to successfully expand or maintain our network of Dealerships.

As of December 31, 2021, we had a network of 14 Dealerships. We have not expanded our network since May 2018. Our Dealership network is a foundation of our used car sales operations, and we rely on our Dealerships in providing services to car buyers and financial institutions. As China is a large and diverse market, business practices and demands may vary significantly by regions and our experience in the markets in which we currently operate may not be applicable in other parts of China. As a result, we may not be able to leverage our experiences to expand our Dealership network into other parts of China.

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Further, we may have difficulties in managing our relationships with our Dealership operators once they have earned the share payouts to which they are entitled. Pursuant to our equity purchase agreements with the Dealership operators, they are entitled to payment of consideration in our ordinary shares based on the Dealerships’ performance over five 12-month performance benchmark periods. Following the completion of these performance benchmark periods, we may need to enter into new arrangements with our Dealership operators in order to strengthen our relationships with them and incentivize their performance or begin to directly operate our Dealerships, notwithstanding our ownership and operational control over our Dealerships. For additional information, please see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Certain Legal Arrangements — Legal Arrangements with Dealerships”.

Any difficulties in identifying, consummating and integrating acquisitions, investments or alliances may expose us to potential risks and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

We have in the past made and may in the future seek to make acquisitions and investments and enter into strategic alliances to further expand our business. If presented with appropriate opportunities, we may acquire additional businesses, services, resources, or assets, including auto dealerships, that are accretive to our core business. For example, on December 31, 2020 we entered into definitive agreement to effectuate the Haitaoche Acquisition and issued an aggregate of 74,035,502 ordinary shares on June 25, 2021 through private placement to several former shareholders of Haitaoche in exchange of 100% of the share capital of Haitaoche. Moreover, the Company reached a binding term sheet to acquire 100% equity of Henan Yujie Times Automobile Co., Ltd. (“Yujie”) through new share issuance on August 26, 2021, which, if successfully completed, would be the first major transaction following the establishment of Kaixin’s New Energy Vehicle Unit and marks Kaixin’s official entry into China’s small size EV market. However, at the moment, the Company is still negotiating specific terms of the acquisition of Yujie and there is no definitive or binding agreement being reached yet. There can be no assurance that we will always be able to complete such acquisitions successfully or on terms acceptable to us. Integration of acquired entities or assets into our business may not be successful and may prevent us from expanding into new services, customer segments or operating locations. This could significantly affect the expected benefits of these acquisitions. Moreover, the integration of any acquired entities or assets into our operations could require significant attention from our management. The diversion of the attention of our management and any difficulties encountered in the integration process could have an adverse effect on our ability to manage our business.

Our possible future acquisitions of auto dealerships, other acquisitions, investments or strategic alliances may also expose us to other potential risks, including but not limited to:

risks associated with unforeseen or hidden liabilities which we failed to identify in our pre-acquisition due diligence;
the diversion of resources from our existing businesses and technologies;
our inability to generate sufficient revenues to offset the costs, expenses of acquisitions;
we may not be able to integrate newly-acquired businesses and operations in an efficient and cost-effective manner; and
potential loss of, or harm to, relationships with Dealerships, employees, customers as a result of our integration of new businesses.

In addition, we may recognize impairment losses on goodwill arising from our acquisitions. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to manage our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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The quality of the premium used automobiles that we offer is critical to the success of our business.

We offer a wide selection of premium used cars for sale at our Dealerships. We have implemented high standards for the used car inventory that we offer for sale and only the vehicles that pass our thorough inspection process consisting of over 140 steps are offer for sale. We do not offer for sale the vehicles in poor condition or vehicles with a history of accidents, water or fire damage, extensive mileage or other unacceptable attributes. However, there can be no assurance that these inspections and other measures will be effective, and there is a risk that the vehicles offered for sale by our Dealerships could have defects. As a result, we and our Dealerships are exposed to product liability claims relating to personal injury or property damage and may require product recalls or other actions. Third parties subject to such injury or damage may bring claims or legal proceedings against us or our Dealerships as a result of the sale of such products.

Our success depends upon the continued contributions of our sales representatives.

Our sales representatives, who are primarily employed by our Dealerships, are a driving force of our success. We believe that one factor that distinguishes us from other competitors is our culture centered on valuing all sales representatives. Any failure to maintain this culture or to continue recruiting, developing and retaining the sales representatives that drive our success could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations. We also face risks related to the loyalty of our sales representatives. Referrals of leads by sales representatives to friends or others in side deals is a common phenomenon in our industry in China, and if our sales representatives seek to profit themselves personally at the expenses of us, that could hurt our business and results of operations. Our ability to recruit sales representatives while controlling related costs is subject to numerous external and internal factors, including but not limited to, the unemployment levels, prevailing wage rates, growth plans, changes in employment legislation, and competition for qualified employees in the industry and regions in which we operate. This competition is especially fierce for qualified service technicians. Our ability to recruit sales representatives while controlling related costs is also subject to our ability to maintain positive employee relations. If we are unable to do so, or if, despite our efforts, becomes subject to successful unionization efforts, it could increase costs, limit our ability to respond to competitive threats and have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

Our success also depends upon the continued contributions of our Dealerships and our regional and corporate management teams. Consequently, the loss of the services of any key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations. In addition, an inability to build our management bench strength to support business growth could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, sales and results of operations.

We may need additional capital to pursue our business objectives and respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances, and financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.

KAG has historically relied on Renren, our former controlling shareholder, to support its operations, the expansion of its Dealerships and the growth of its business. We have also relied on certain third party financing sources, including financial institutions. As we intend to continue to make investments to support the growth of our business, we may require additional capital to pursue our business objectives and respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances, for instance, increasing the number of cars that we sell, developing new solutions and services, increasing our sales and marketing expenditures to improve brand awareness and engage car buyers through expanded online channels, enhancing our operating infrastructure and acquiring complementary businesses and technologies. However, additional funds may not be readily available on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. Repayment of debt may divert a substantial portion of cash flow to repay principal and service interest on such debt, which would reduce the funds available for expenses, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes; and we may suffer default and foreclosure on our assets if our operating cash flow is insufficient to service debt obligations, thus result in the acceleration of obligations to repay the indebtedness and limit our sources of financing.

Volatility in the credit markets may also have an adverse effect on our ability to obtain debt financing. If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing shareholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities that we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those holders of our ordinary shares. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to pursue our business objectives, fund our Dealerships and respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances could be significantly limited, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected.

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We operate in a highly competitive industry. Failure to develop and execute strategies to maintain our market position and to adapt to the increasing use of the internet to market, buy, sell and finance used vehicles could adversely affect our business, sales and results of operations.

Automotive retailing is a highly competitive and highly fragmented industry in China. Our competitors include publicly and privately owned used and new car dealers, online and mobile sales platforms, as well as millions of private individuals. Competitors buy and sell the same or similar makes of vehicles that we offer in the same or similar markets at competitive prices.

Retail Competition. Some of our competitors have announced plans for rapid expansion, including into markets where we operate, and some of them have begun to execute those plans. If we fail to respond effectively to our retail competitors, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

Online Sales and Facilitation. Although mobile apps and online marketing are important to our own business model, our competitors’ increasing use of the internet to market, buy and sell used vehicles and to provide vehicle financing could have a material adverse effect on our sales and results of operations. Emerging competitors using online focused business models, both for direct sales and consumer-to-consumer facilitation, could materially impact our current business model. The online availability of used vehicle information from other sources, including pricing information, could make it more difficult for us to differentiate our offerings from competitors’ offerings, could result in lower-than-expected retail margins, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations. In addition, our competitive standing is affected by companies, including search engines and online classified sites, that are not direct competitors but that may direct online traffic to the websites of competing automotive retailers. The increasing activities of these companies could make it more difficult for us to attract users to our mobile app. These companies could also make it more difficult for us to otherwise market our vehicles online.

The increasing use of the internet to facilitate consumers’ purchases and sales of their current vehicles could have a material adverse effect on our ability to source vehicles, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our vehicle acquisition costs and results of operations. For example, certain websites provide online appraisal tools to consumers that generate offers and facilitate purchases by dealers other than us.

In addition to the direct competition and increasing use of the internet described above, there are companies that sell software and data solutions to used and new car dealers to enable those dealers to, among other things, more efficiently source and price inventory. Although these companies do not compete with us, the increasing use of such products by dealers who compete with us could reduce the relative competitive advantage of our internally developed proprietary systems.

If we fail to respond effectively to competitive pressures or to changes in the used vehicle marketplace, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

We operate in an evolving and fast-changing market.

The PRC automotive retail market, including the consumer automotive finance market, is highly dynamic and is at an early stage of development. While it has undergone significant growth in the past few years, there is no assurance that it can continue to grow rapidly. As part of our business, we offer retail auto sales of premium used vehicles, financing, including consumer loans provided by our financing partners, automobile insurance providers and value-added services to various participants in the automotive transaction value chain, including dealers, financial institutions, car buyers, service providers and other industry participants. Helping more industry participants to recognize the value of our services in a rapidly-evolving market is critical to increasing the number and amount of used cars and other transactions that we complete and to the success of our business.

You should consider our business and prospects in light of the risks and challenges we encounter or may encounter given the rapidly-evolving market in which we operate and our limited operating history. These risks and challenges include our ability to, among other things:

source, market and sell used and new automobiles in substantial volumes and on favorable terms;
effectively manage and expand our network of Dealerships;

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facilitate automotive financing to a growing number of car buyers;
maintain and enhance our relationships and business collaboration with dealers and financial institutions;
improve our operational efficiency;
attract, retain and motivate talented employees, particularly sales and marketing and technology personnel to support our business growth;
adapt to technological changes, such as the development of autonomous vehicles, new products and services, new business models and new methods of travel;
enhance our technology infrastructure to support the growth of our business and maintain the security of our system and the confidentiality of the information provided and collected across our system;
navigate economic conditions and fluctuations in the pandemic environment;
implement our business strategies, including the offering of new services; and
defend ourselves against legal and regulatory actions, such as actions involving intellectual property or data privacy claims.

If we are unable to adapt to any of these factors in the rapidly-evolving market, our business, performance and results of operations could suffer.

Our success depends on our ability to attract prospective car buyers.

The growth of our business depends on our ability to attract prospective car buyers. We primarily purchase car models that we believe are reliable, reasonably priced and appealing to car buyers in lower-tier cities. We price cars based on insights derived from automotive transaction data associated with the facilitation of automotive financing solutions as well as data from other automotive transactions. We have limited experiences in the purchase of cars for sale, and there is no assurance that we will be able to do so effectively. Demand for the type of cars that we purchase can change significantly between the time the cars are purchased and the time of sale. In addition, the models offered by our Dealerships may not be popular among prospective car buyers, which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Demand may be affected by new car launches, changes in the pricing of such cars, defects, changes in consumer preference and other factors. We may also need to adopt more aggressive pricing strategies for the cars we purchase than originally anticipated to stoke consumer demand. We face inventory risk in connection with the cars purchased, including the risk of inventory obsolescence, decline in value, and significant inventory write-downs or write-offs. If we were to adopt more aggressive pricing strategies, our profit margin may be negatively affected as well. We may also face increasing costs associated with the storage of inventory. Any of the above may materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

In order to expand our base of car buyers, we must continue to invest significant resources in the development of new solutions and services and build our relationships with financial institutions and auto dealers. Our ability to successfully launch, operate and expand our solutions and services and to improve user experience to attract prospective car buyers depends on many factors, including our ability to anticipate and effectively respond to the changing interests and preferences of car buyers, anticipate and respond to changes in the competitive landscape, and develop and offer solutions and services that address the needs of car buyers. If our efforts in these regards are unsuccessful, our base of car buyers may not expand at the rate which we anticipated, and it may even shrink. As a result, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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In the meantime, we also seek to maintain our relationships with existing car buyers and cross-sell new solutions and services, such as insurance and wealth management products. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain or deepen such relationships.

The growth of our business relies on our branding efforts and these efforts may not be successful.

Our Kaixin Auto brand was newly launched in the first half of 2018 and we believe that an important component of our growth will be the growth of visitors to our website and Dealerships. Because Kaixin Auto is a consumer brand, brand visibility is critical for our engagement with potential customers. We currently advertise through a blend of brand and direct marketing channels with the goal of increasing the strength, recognition and trust in the Kaixin Auto brand. We recorded selling and marketing expenses of approximately US$195 thousand, US$11 thousand and US$481 thousand in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Our business model relies on our ability to scale rapidly and to appropriately manage customer acquisition costs as we grow. If we are unable to establish a strong and trusted brand and recover our marketing costs through the increases in customer traffic and in the number of sales transactions, or if our broad marketing campaigns are not successful or are terminated, it could have a material adverse effect on our growth, results of operations and financial condition.

Any harm to our brand or reputation or any damage to the reputation of third parties or failure to enhance our brand recognition could have a material adverse effect on its results of operations and growth prospects.

Enhancing the recognition and reputation of our brand is critical to our business and competitiveness. Factors that are vital to this objective include but are not limited to our ability to:

establish and maintain the awareness of our brand in auto sales and new energy vehicles business;
maintain and develop relationships with strategic partners, auto dealers and financial institutions;
provide prospective car buyers and existing car buyers with superior service experiences;
effectively manage and resolve any complaints of car buyers, strategic partners, auto dealers that we work with or financial institutions; and
effectively protect personal information and privacy of car buyers and any sensitive data received from financial institutions.

Any malicious or inadvertent negative allegations made by the media or other parties about the foregoing or other aspects of us, including but not limited to our management, business, compliance with laws, financial condition or prospects, whether with or without merits, could severely hurt our reputation and harm our business and results of operations.

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Negative publicity about China’s automotive finance industry in general may also have a negative impact on our reputation, regardless of whether we have engaged in any inappropriate activities. Furthermore, any negative development in the automotive retailing industry, such as bankruptcies or failures of platforms providing automotive retailing services, and especially a large number of such bankruptcies or failures, or negative perception of the industry as a whole, even if factually incorrect or based on isolated incidents, could compromise our image, undermine the trust and credibility that we have established and impose a negative impact on our ability to attract new dealers, financial institutions and car buyers. Negative developments in the automotive retailing industry may also lead to tightened regulatory scrutiny of the sector and limit the scope of permissible business activities that may be conducted by companies like us. If any of the foregoing takes place, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We collaborate with various automotive transaction industry participants in providing our solutions and services. Such participants include dealers, financial institutions, sales agents, insurance brokers and companies and other business partners. Negative publicity about such counterparties, including any failure by them to adequately protect the personal information of car buyers, to comply with applicable laws and regulations or to otherwise meet required quality and service standards could harm our reputation.

Our ability to grow our complementary product and service offerings may be limited, which could negatively impact our growth rate, revenues and financial performance.

If we introduce or expand additional offerings, such as services or products involving new cars, financing, leasing or detailing, we may incur losses or otherwise fail to enter these markets successfully. Our expansion into these markets will place us in competitive and regulatory environments with which we are unfamiliar and involve various risks, including the need to invest significant resources and the possibility that returns on such investments will not be achieved within several years, if at all. In attempting to establish new service or product offerings, we expect to incur significant expenses and face various other challenges, such as expanding our customer service and management personnel to cover these markets and complying with complicated regulations that apply to these markets. In addition, we may not successfully demonstrate the value of these complementary products and services to consumers, and failure to do so would compromise our ability to successfully expand into these additional streams of revenues. Any of these risks, if realized, could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The automotive retail industry in general and our business in particular are sensitive to economic conditions. These conditions could adversely affect our business, sales, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to national and regional economic conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, recession, inflation, interest rates, unemployment levels, gasoline prices, consumer credit availability, consumer credit delinquency and loss rates, personal discretionary spending levels, and consumer sentiment about the economy in general. These conditions and the economy in general could be affected by significant national or international events such as acts of terrorism. When these economic conditions worsen or stagnate, it can have a material adverse effect on consumer demand for vehicles generally, on demand from particular consumer categories or demand for particular vehicle types. It can also negatively impact availability of credit to finance vehicle purchases for all or certain categories of consumers. This could result in lower sales, decreased margins on units sold, and decreased profits for our business. Worsening or stagnating economic conditions can also have a material adverse effect on the supply of premium used vehicles, as automotive manufacturers produce fewer new vehicles and consumers retain their current vehicles for longer periods of time. This could result in increased costs to acquire used vehicle inventory and decreased margins on units sold.

Any significant changes or deterioration in economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales, results of operations and financial condition.

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Our business generates and processes a large quantity of data, and improper handling of or unauthorized access to such data may adversely affect our business.

We face risks regarding the compliance with the applicable laws, rules and regulations relating to the collection, usage, disclosure and security of personal information, as well as any requests from regulatory and government authorities relating to such data. For instance, our Dealer SaaS system utilizes and generates substantial volumes of data on consumers and dealers, and we and our Dealerships rely on them for our operations and inventory management. These data include the information customers provide when purchasing a vehicle and applying for vehicle financing. In the event that we experienced a failure of our information systems, our operations and financial performance could be materially harmed, and if the information is accessed by third parties or publicized without authorization, our reputation or competitive position could suffer.

The PRC regulatory and enforcement regime with regard to data security and data protection has continued to evolve. There are uncertainties on how certain laws and regulations will be implemented in practice. PRC regulators have been increasingly focused on regulating data security and data protection. We expect that these areas will receive greater attention from regulators, as well as attract public scrutiny and attention going forward. This greater attention, scrutiny and enforcement, including more frequent inspections, could increase our compliance costs and subject us to heightened risks and challenges associated with data security and protection. If we are unable to manage these risks, our reputation and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. For further details, please see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulation —Regulations Relating to Information Security”.

We also grant limited access to specified data in our information system to certain other parties, such as our Dealerships. Our Dealerships face the same challenges and risks inherent in handling and protecting large volumes of data. Any system failure or security breach or lapse on our part or on the part of any of such third parties that results in the leakage of user data, or failure to respond thereto, could harm our reputation and brand and, consequently, our business, in addition to exposing us to potential legal liabilities.

In addition, we may become subject to additional laws in other jurisdictions. The laws, rules and regulations of other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. and Europe, may impose more stringent or conflicting requirements and penalties than those in China, compliance with which could require significant resources and costs. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with any regulatory requirements or privacy protection-related laws, rules and regulations could result in proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities or others. These proceedings or actions could subject us to significant penalties and negative publicity, which require us to change our business practices, increase our costs and severely disrupt our business.

We rely on information systems to run our business. The failure of these systems, any service disruptions or outages, or the inability to enhance our capabilities, could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

Our business and reputation are dependent upon the performance, reliability, availability, integrity and efficient operation of our information systems. In particular, we rely on our information systems to manage sales, inventory, customer information. There is no assurance that we will be able to protect our computer systems against, among others, damage or interruptions from natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures, air quality issues, environmental conditions, software errors, bugs or defects, configuration errors, computer viruses, denial-of-service attacks, security breaches, hacking attempts or criminal acts at all times. In the event of a service disruption or outage in our computer systems, our computer systems may not be able to store, retrieve, process and manage data. For example, we may experience temporary service disruptions or data losses during data migrations between old and new systems or system upgrades. We may not be able to recover all data and services in the event of a service disruption or outage. Additionally, our insurance policies may not adequately compensate us for any losses that we may incur during service disruptions or outages.

Any interruptions or delays in our services, whether as a result of third-party error or our own error, natural disasters or security breaches, whether accidental or willful, could harm our relationships with our customers and damage our reputation, thus subject us to liabilities and cause customers to abandon our Dealership network, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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A severe or prolonged downturn in the Chinese or global economy could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

COVID-19 had a severe and negative impact on the Chinese and the global economy since the first quarter of 2020. In addition, various geographic locations in China continue to experience COVID-19 outbreak in 2022 and in response certain quarantine measures have been undertaken. Whether this will lead to a prolonged downturn in the Chinese economy is still unknown. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, the global macroeconomic environment was facing numerous challenges. The growth rate of the Chinese economy had already been slowing since 2010. There are considerable uncertainties over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States and China, even before 2020. Unrest, terrorist threats and the outbreak of wars in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and elsewhere may increase market volatility across the globe. There have also been concerns about the relationship between China and other countries, including the surrounding Asian countries, which may potentially have adverse economic effects. In particular, there is significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and China with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs. Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions, as well as changes in domestic economic and political policies and the expected or perceived overall economic growth rate in China. Any severe or prolonged slowdown in the global or Chinese economy may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Cyber-attacks, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins or other unauthorized access to our or our business partners’ computer systems could result in the misuse of confidential information and misappropriation of funds of our customers, which subject us to liabilities, cause reputational harm and adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

Our Dealerships collect, store and process certain personal information and other sensitive data from our customers. The massive data that we have processed and stored makes us and our server hosting service providers the targets of, and potentially vulnerable to, cyber-attacks, computer viruses, hackers, denial-of-service attacks, physical or electronic break-ins or other unauthorized access. While we have taken steps to protect such confidential information, our security measures may be breached. Because techniques used to sabotage or obtain unauthorized access into systems change frequently and generally are not recognized until they are launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Any accidental or willful security breaches or other unauthorized access to our or our server hosting service providers’ systems could cause confidential customers’ information to be stolen and used for criminal purposes. As personally identifiable and other confidential information is subject to legislation and regulations in numerous domestic and international jurisdictions, the inability to protect confidential information of our customers could result in additional cost and liabilities for us, damage our reputation, and harm our business. The Administrative Measures for the Security of the International Network of Computer Information Network, issued in December 1997 and amended in January 2011, requires us to report any data or security breaches to the local offices of the PRC Ministry of Public Security within 24 hours of any such breach. The Cyber Security Law of the PRC, issued in November 2016, requires us to take immediate remedial measures when we discover that our products or services are subject to risks, such as security defects or bugs. Such remedial measures include, informing our customers of the specific risks and reporting such risks to the relevant competent departments.

We also face indirect technology and cybersecurity risks relating to our business partners, including our third-party payment service providers who manage the transfer of customer funds. As a result of increasing consolidation and interdependence of computer systems, a technology failure, cyber-attack or other information or security breach that significantly compromises the systems of one entity could have a material impact on its business partners. Although our agreements with third-party payment service providers provide that each party is responsible for the cybersecurity of its own systems, any cyber-attacks, computer viruses, hackers, denial-of-service attacks, physical or electronic break-ins or similar disruptions of such third-party payment service providers could, among other things, adversely affect our ability to serve our customers, and could even result in the misappropriation of funds of our customers. If that were to occur, we and our third-party payment service providers could be held liable to customers who suffer losses from the misappropriation.

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Our business is sensitive to changes in the prices of used and new vehicles.

Any significant changes in retail prices for used and new vehicles could have a material adverse effect on our sales and results of operations, including our gross margin. For example, if retail prices for used vehicles rise relative to retail prices for new vehicles, it could make buying a new vehicle more attractive to our customers than buying a used vehicle, which could have a material adverse effect on our sales and results of operations and could result in a decrease in our gross margin. Manufacturer incentives could contribute to narrowing this price gap. Our new car sales would also be affected by changes in the price of new cars, both in terms of consumer sensitivity to prices as well as our margins on such sales.

Our business is sensitive to conditions affecting automotive manufacturers, including manufacturer recalls.

Adverse conditions affecting one or more automotive manufacturers could have a material adverse effect on our sales and results of operations and could impact the supply of vehicles, including the supply of new and used vehicles. In addition, manufacturer recalls are a common occurrence that have accelerated in frequency and scope in recent years. Because we do not have manufacturer authorization to complete recall-related repairs, some vehicles we sell may have unrepaired safety defects. Such recalls, and our lack of authorization to make recall-related repairs, could adversely affect the sales or valuations of used vehicles, hence could cause us to temporarily remove vehicles from inventory, could force us to incur increased costs and could expose us to litigations and adverse publicity related to the sale of recalled vehicles, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

Our business is dependent upon access to vehicle inventory. Obstacles to acquiring inventory, whether because of supply, competition, or other factors, or a failure to expeditiously liquidate that inventory could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

Our purchases of used vehicles are based in large part on projected demand. A reduction in the availability of or access to sources of inventory could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations. Although the supply of premium used vehicles has been increasing, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue or that it will benefit us.

As our business is dependent on our appraisal of the value of inventory that we purchase, if we fail to adjust appraisal offers to stay in line with broader market trade-in offer trends, or fail to recognize those trends, or if our appraisal process is not accurate, it could adversely affect our ability to acquire inventory. Our appraisal process could also be affected by competition, both from used and new car dealers directly and through third-party websites driving appraisal traffic to those dealers. See the risk factor titled “We operate in a highly competitive industry. Failure to develop and execute strategies to maintain our market position and to adapt to the increasing use of the internet to market, buy, sell and finance used vehicles could adversely affect our business, sales and results of operations” for additional discussion of this risk. Our ability to source vehicles from third-party auctions could be affected by an increase in the number of closed auctions that are open only to new car dealers who have franchise relationships with automotive manufacturers. An over-supply of used vehicle inventory will generally cause downward pressure on our product sales prices and margins and increase our average days to sale.

Used vehicle inventory has typically represented a significant portion of our total assets. Having such a large portion of our total assets in the form of used vehicle inventory for an extended period of time subjects us to depreciation and other risks that affect our results of operations. Accordingly, if we have excess inventory or our average days to sale increases, we may be unable to liquidate such inventory at prices that allow us to meet margin targets or to recover our costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our new energy vehicles (“NEV”) business may not achieve expected returns.

We have set up the New Energy Vehicles Department in 2021 and are working on the R&D for producing a NEV prototype around mid 2022 and targeting to deliver the NEV to customers towards the end of 2022. Nevertheless, our NEV business may not achieve expected results. For instance, our vehicles may not have the durability or longevity of other comparable vehicles in the market, and may not be as easy and convenient to repair. Any product defects or any other failure of our vehicles to perform as expected could harm our reputation and result in adverse publicity, revenue loss, delivery delays, product recalls, product liability claims, harm to our brand and reputation, and significant warranty and other expenses, and could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.

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In addition, our vehicles may contain defects in design and manufacture that may cause them not to perform as expected or that may require repair. Our vehicles use a substantial amount of software code to operate and software products are inherently complex and often contain defects and errors when first introduced. Albeit we will perform extensive internal testings on our vehicles’ software and hardware systems, we have a limited frame of reference by which to evaluate the long-term performance of our systems and vehicles. There can be no assurance that we will be able to detect and fix any defects in the vehicles prior to their sale to consumers. If any of our vehicles fail to perform as expected, we may need to delay deliveries, initiate the NEV business product recalls and provide services or updates under warranty at our expenses, which could negatively impact our business, prospects and results of operations as a whole.

Any delays in the manufacturing and launch of the commercial production of NEV in our pipeline could have a material adverse effect on our business operations.

Automobile manufacturers often experience delays in the design, manufacturing and commercial release of new vehicle models. We plan to target a broader market with our future NEV, and to the extent we need to delay the launch of our vehicles, our growth prospects could be adversely affected as we may fail to grow our market share. Furthermore, we rely on third-party suppliers for the design of new vehicle models and the provision and development of various key components and materials used in manufacturing our vehicles. To the extent our suppliers experience any delays in developing new models or providing us with necessary components, we could experience delays in delivering on our timelines. Any delay in the manufacturing or launching of the future models could subject us to customer complaints and materially and adversely affect our reputation, demand for our NEV, results of operations and growth prospects.

The unavailability, reduction or elimination of government and economic incentives or government policies which are favorable for NEV could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.

Our future sales growth of our NEV depends significantly on the availability and amounts of government subsidies, economic incentives and government policies that support the growth of NEV. Favourable government incentives and subsidies in China include one-time government subsidies, exemption from vehicle purchase tax, exemption from license plate restrictions in certain cities, preferential utility rates for charging facilities and more. Changes in government subsidies, economic incentives and government policies to support new energy vehicles could adversely affect our results of operations.

Our future NEV sales may be impacted by government policies such as tariffs on imported cars. The tariff in China on imported passenger vehicles (other than those originating in the United States of America) was reduced to 15% starting from July 1, 2018. As a result, pricing advantage of domestically manufactured vehicles could be diminished. There used to be certain limit on foreign ownership of automakers in China, but for automakers of NEV, such limit was lifted in 2018. Further, pursuant to the currently effectively Special Administrative Measures for Market Access of Foreign Investment (2021 Version) (the “2021 Negative List”), which came into effect on January 1, 2022, the limit on foreign ownership of automakers has been lifted since 2022. As a result, foreign NEV competitors could build wholly-owned facilities in China without the need for a domestic joint venture partner. These changes could affect the competitive landscape of the NEV industry and reduce our pricing advantage.

Furthermore, China’s central government provides certain local governments with funds and subsidies to support the roll-out of a charging infrastructure. These policies are subject to changes and beyond our control. We cannot assure you that any changes would be favourable to our business. Furthermore, any reduction, elimination, delayed payment or discriminatory application of government subsidies and economic incentives because of policy changes, the reduced need for such subsidies and incentives due to the perceived success of NEV, fiscal tightening or other factors may result in the diminished competitiveness of the alternative fuel vehicle industry generally or our NEV in particular. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

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Changes in international trade policies and international barriers to trade may have an adverse effect on our business and expansion plans.

Changes to trade policies, treaties and tariffs in the jurisdictions in which we operate, or the perception that these changes could occur, could adversely affect the financial and economic conditions in China, our financial condition and results of operations. For example, the current U.S. administration has advocated greater restrictions on trade generally and significant increases in tariffs on goods imported into the United States, particularly from China, and has recently taken other steps towards restricting trade in certain goods. The current U.S. administration has created uncertainties with respect to, among other things, existing and proposed trade agreements, free trade generally, and potential significant increases on tariffs on goods imported into the U.S., particularly from China.

In addition, China may alter its trade policies, including in response to any new trade policies, treaties and tariffs implemented by the United States or other jurisdictions, which could include restrictions on the import of used vehicles into China. Such policy retaliations could also ultimately result in further trade policy responses by the United States and other countries, and result in an escalation which leading to a trade war, hence would have an adverse effect on manufacturing levels, trade levels and industries, including automotive sales and other businesses and services that rely on trade, commerce and manufacturing. Any such escalation in trade tensions or a trade war could affect the cost of our inventory, the sales prices of used and new cars or our overall business performance and have a material and adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Chinese policies to relax certain import taxes, such as taxes on used and/or new cars may also impact our business. For instance, if import taxes and similar duties on new cars are reduced, demand for used cars could be harmed and the margins of our used car sales business could be negatively impacted, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Increased restrictions on trade or certain other changes to trade policies could have an adverse effect on the PRC economy, the used automobile sales industry and our business and results of operations.

We may from time to time be subject to claims, controversies, lawsuits and legal proceedings, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and reputation.

We may from time to time become subject to or involved in various claims, controversies, lawsuits, and legal proceedings. See “Item 8. Financial Information — A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information — Legal Proceedings” for information about ongoing legal proceedings in which we are involved. Lawsuits and litigations may cause us to incur additional defense costs, utilize a significant portion of our resources and divert management’s attention from its day-to-day operations, any of which could harm our business. Any settlements or judgments against us could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, negative publicity regarding claims or judgments made against us, no matter with or without merits, may damage our reputation and may result in a material adverse impact on us.

We may be unable to prevent others from the unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could harm our business and competitive position.

We regard our trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, know-how, proprietary technologies and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on a combination of intellectual property laws and contractual arrangements, including confidentiality, invention assignment and non-compete agreements with our employees and others to protect our proprietary rights. See also “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Intellectual Property”. Despite these measures, any of our intellectual property rights could be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, preempted or misappropriated, or such intellectual property may not be sufficient to provide us with competitive advantages.

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In March 2018, Renren transferred to KAG the kaixin.com domain name, and in May 2018, an affiliate of Renren granted KAG an exclusive license to use the “Kaixin” brand. Further, we have successfully registered our brand name “心汽” (which translates to “Kaixin Auto”) in class 35 for services, including promotion for others, purchase for others, providing online markets for sellers and purchasers of goods and services, marketing, etc., which is crucial to our business. However, we have not obtained trademark registrations in other categories related but less crucial to our business, including automobile maintenance. Therefore, we may be unable to prevent any third parties from using the Kaixin brand for some businesses that are the same or similar to ours. As China has adopted a “first-to-file” trademark registration system, if trademarks similar to our brand have been registered in those categories that are related to our business, we may not be able to successfully register our brand or may even be exposed to risk of infringement with respect to third-party trademark rights. We believe that our brand is vital to our competitiveness and our ability to attract new customers. Any failure to protect these rights could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

We cannot assure you that the measures we have taken will be sufficient to prevent any misappropriation or infringement upon our intellectual properties. In addition, because of the rapid pace of technological changes in our industry, parts of our business rely on technologies developed or licensed by third parties, and we may not be able to obtain or continue to obtain licenses and technologies from these third parties on reasonable terms, or at all.

It is often difficult to maintain and enforce the intellectual property rights in China. Statutory laws and regulations are subject to judicial interpretation and enforcement and may not be applied consistently due to the lack of clear guidance on statutory interpretation. Confidentiality, invention assignment and non-compete agreements may be breached by counterparties, and there may not be adequate remedies available to us for any such breach. Accordingly, we may not be able to effectively protect our intellectual property rights or to enforce our contractual rights in China. Preventing any unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and costly and the steps we take may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our intellectual property. In the event that we resort to litigations to enforce our intellectual property rights, such litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our managerial and financial resources. We can provide no assurance that we will prevail in any such litigation. In addition, our trade secrets may be leaked or otherwise become available to our competitors, or our competitors may independently discover them. To the extent that our employees or consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in the related know-how and inventions. Any failure in protecting or enforcing our intellectual property rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims, which may be expensive to defend and may disrupt our business and operations.

We cannot be certain that our operations or any aspects of our business does not or will not infringe upon or otherwise violate trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights held by third parties. We may from time to time, in the future, become subject to legal proceedings and claims relating to the intellectual property rights of others. In addition, there may be third-party trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights that are infringed by our products, services or other aspects of our business without our awareness. Holders of such intellectual property rights may seek to enforce such intellectual property rights against us in China, the United States or other jurisdictions. If any third-party infringement claims are brought against us, we may be forced to divert management’s time and other resources from our business and operations to defend against these claims, regardless of their merits.

Additionally, the application and interpretation of China’s intellectual property rights laws and the procedures and standards for granting trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights in China are still evolving and full of uncertainties, and we cannot assure you that the PRC courts or regulatory authorities would agree with our analysis or that of our counsel. If we were found to have violated the intellectual property rights of others, we may be subject to liabilities for our infringement activities or may be prohibited from using such intellectual property, and we may incur licensing fees or be forced to develop alternatives of our own. As a result, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud.

In 2019 and 2020, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting relating to (i) inadequate technical competency of financial staff in charge of significant and complex transactions to ensure that those transactions are properly accounted for in accordance with U.S. GAAP; (ii) lack of an effective and continuous risk assessment procedure to identify and assess the financial reporting risks; (iii) lack of evaluations to ascertain whether the components of internal control are present and functioning; and (iv) inadequate controls over prepayment for vehicle purchase at local dealerships. A “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weakness identified relates to inadequate controls designed over the accounting of significant and complex transactions to ensure that those transactions are properly accounted for in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We have taken measures and plan to continue to take measures to remedy these deficiencies. However, the implementation of these measures may not fully address the material weakness and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting, and we cannot conclude that they have been fully remedied.

Since the completion of the Haitaoche Acquisition in June 2021, the management of the combined group has taken measures to enhance the financial expertise of accounting staff and strengthen internal control over financial reporting and business operations, including, among others: (i) hiring additional financial professionals and accounting consultants with relevant experiences, skills and knowledge in accounting and disclosure for complex transactions under the requirements of U.S. GAAP and SEC reporting requirements, including disclosure requirements for complex transactions under U.S. GAAP, to provide the necessary level of leadership to our finance and accounting function and increase the number of qualified financial reporting personnel; (ii) improving the capabilities of the existing financial reporting personnel through trainings and education on the accounting and reporting requirements under U.S. GAAP, SEC rules and regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and (iii) designing and implementing robust financial reporting and management controls over future significant and complex transactions.

However, we believe material weaknesses persisted in (i) inadequate technical competency of financial staff in charge of significant and complex transactions to ensure that those transactions are properly accounted for in accordance with U.S. GAAP; (ii) the lack of an effective and continuous risk assessment procedure to identify and assess the financial reporting risks; (iii) lack of evaluations to ascertain whether the components of internal control are present and functioning; and (iv) inadequate controls over prepayment for vehicle purchase at local dealerships as of December 31, 2021.

Our failure to address such other material weaknesses or control deficiencies could result in the inaccuracies of our financial statements and could also impair our ability to comply with the applicable financial reporting requirements and related regulatory filings on a timely basis. Moreover, ineffective internal control over financial reporting significantly hinders our ability to prevent fraud.

We are a public company subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that we include a report of management on our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F beginning with our annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. In addition, once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined under the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our management may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective. Moreover, even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm, after conducting its own independent assessment, may issue a report that is qualified if it is not satisfied with our internal controls or the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed, or if it interprets the relevant requirements differently from us. In addition, as a public company, our reporting obligations may place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems in the foreseeable future. We may be unable to timely complete our evaluation and any required remediations.

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During the course of documenting and testing our internal control procedures, in order to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Generally, if we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause the investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could in turn limit our access to capital markets, harm our results of operations, and lead to a decline in the trading price of our ordinary shares. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions.

Our business depends on the continued efforts of our senior management. If one or more of our key executives were unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, our business may be severely disrupted.

Our business operations depend on the continued services of our senior management, particularly the executive officers named in this Annual Report. While we have provided different incentives to our management, we cannot assure you that we can continue to retain their services. If one or more of our key executives were unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, we may not be able to replace them readily or at all, our future growth may be constrained, our business may be severely disrupted and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. We may incur additional expenses to recruit, train and retain qualified personnel. If any dispute arises between our current or former officers and us, we may have to incur substantial costs and expenses in order to enforce such agreements in China or we may be unable to enforce them at all.

We may not be able to attract and retain the qualified and skilled employees needed to support our business.

We believe our success depends on the efforts, effectiveness and talent of our employees, including automotive engineers, technicians, sales representatives, research and development personnel. Our future success depends on our continued ability to attract, develop, motivate and retain qualified and skilled employees. Competition for highly skilled personnel is extremely intense. We may not be able to hire and retain such personnel at levels consistent with our existing compensation and salary structure. Some of the companies with which we compete for experienced employees have greater resources than we do and may be able to offer more attractive terms of employment.

In addition, we invest significant time and resources in training our employees, which increases their value to competitors who may seek to recruit them. If we fail to retain our employees, we could incur significant expenses in hiring and training their replacements, and the quality of our services and our ability to serve our customers could diminish, resulting in a material adverse effect on our business.

Increases in labor costs in the PRC may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The economy in China has experienced increases in inflation and labor costs in recent years. As a result, average wages in the PRC are expected to continue to increase. In addition, we are required by PRC laws and regulations to pay various statutory employee benefits, including pension, housing fund, medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance to designated government agencies for the benefit of our employees. Unless we are able to control our labor costs or pass on these increased labor costs to our customers by increasing the fees of our services, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

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Our quarterly results may fluctuate significantly partly due to seasonality and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.

Our quarterly results of operations, including the levels of our revenues, operating cost and expenses, net loss and other key metrics, may vary significantly in the future due to a variety of factors, some of which are outside of our control, and period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful, especially given our limited operating history. Accordingly, the results for any one quarter are not necessarily an indication of future performance. Fluctuations in quarterly results may adversely affect the value of our ordinary shares. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly financial results include:

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our ability to attract new car buyers;

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our ability to maintain existing relationships with business partners and establish new relationships with additional business partners, such as financial institutions;

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our ability to access capital;

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the mix of solutions and services that we offer;

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the amount and timing of our operating cost and expenses and the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations and infrastructure;

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financial institutions willingness and ability to fund financing transactions through our Dealerships on reasonable terms;

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our emphasis on experience of car buyers, instead of near-term growth;

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the timing of expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses;

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proper and sufficient accounting policies with respect to our risk reserve liabilities and implementation;

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network outages or security breaches;

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general economic, industry and market conditions; and

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changes in the applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in our revenues and results of operations. Trends of our revenues are a reflection of car purchase patterns by car buyers. Sales of used cars tend to be lower in the first quarter of each year than in the other three quarters due to the effect of the Chinese New Year holiday. As a result of these factors, our revenues may vary from quarter to quarter and our quarterly results may not be comparable to the corresponding periods of the prior years. Our actual results may differ significantly from our targets or estimated quarterly results. Therefore, you may not be able to predict our annual results of operations based on a quarter-to-quarter comparison of our results of operations. The quarterly fluctuations in our revenues and results of operations could result in volatility and cause the price of our shares to fall. As our revenues grow, these seasonal fluctuations may become more pronounced.

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The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly disrupted our operations and adversely affected our results of operations and could continue to do so.

China has recently experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel and highly contagious form of coronavirus. The severity of the outbreak in certain provinces, such as the Hubei Province, and municipalities, such as Wuhan, resulted in travel restrictions, delay in resumption of service and mass production and the related quarantine measures imposed by the government across China and materially affected general commercial activities in China. Because substantially all of our operations are conducted in China, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a disruption to our business, especially one of our Dealerships is located in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the outbreak. In late January 2020, in response to intensifying efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we closed all of our Dealership Outlets and corporate offices. In March 2020, we gradually resumed our operations in various cities, but customer traffic to our Dealership Outlets has remained significantly lower than comparable periods before the COVID-19 outbreak. Around mid-2020, we decided to put a halt to business operations in our Dealership Outlets due to severe decline in sales volume and profit margin. With the business disruption and reduced customers’ demand, we experienced a significant decrease in our 2020 sales revenue. With the improved control over the COVID-19 and recovery of overall economy in 2021, we reached agreements with a majority of non-controlling shareholders of the Dealerships to resume used car business operations in the second half of 2021.

Any similar future outbreak of a contagious disease, other adverse public health developments in China and around the world, or the measures taken by the governments of China or other countries in response to a future outbreak of a contagious disease may restrict economic activities in affected regions, resulting in reduced business volumes, temporary closure of our production facilities and offices or otherwise disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations.

We face risks related to natural disasters, which could significantly disrupt our operations.

We are vulnerable to natural disasters and other calamities such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and other adverse weather and climate conditions. Although we have servers that are hosted in an offsite location, our backup system does not capture data on a real-time basis and we may be unable to recover certain data in the event of a server failure. We cannot assure you that any backup systems will be adequate to protect us from the effects of fire, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, power loss, telecommunications failures, break-ins, wars, riots, terrorist attacks or similar events. Any of the foregoing events may give rise to interruptions, breakdowns, system failures, or internet failures, which could cause the loss or corruption of data or malfunctions of software or hardware as well as adversely affect our ability to conduct business.

We are subject to local conditions in the geographic areas in which we operate our business.

Our performance is subject to local economic, competitive and other conditions prevailing in the geographic areas where we operate our business. Since a large portion of our sales are generated in second- and third-tier cities in China, our results of operations depend substantially on the general economic conditions and consumer spending habits in these markets. In the event that any of these geographic areas experience a downturn in economic conditions, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations.

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We may be exposed to greater than anticipated tax liabilities.

We are subject to enterprise income tax, value-added tax, and other taxes in each province and city in China where we have operations. Our tax structure is subject to review by various local tax authorities. The determination of our provision for income tax and other tax liabilities requires significant judgment. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. For example, since 2018, we have entered into a series of ancillary agreements to facilitate our sale of used cars for value-added tax optimization purposes. Under these ancillary agreements, when we source a used car, the legal title of the car is transferred to the legal representative of Zhejiang Jieying and the registration is transferred to the name of one of the Dealership’s employees. When the used car is sold, the relevant legal ownership is transferred from the Jieying Legal Representative to the purchaser, and the registration is transferred from the Dealership employee’s name to the name of the purchaser. Under PRC laws and regulations, if the seller is an individual selling a personal automobile, the seller is exempted from value-added tax. Thus, structuring the purchase and subsequent sale such that the legal title and automobile registration are placed under the names of Jieying Legal Representative and Dealership employees, respectively, as described above results in our recognizing no value-added tax on the sales of the used cars. Viewed as a service provider from a value-added tax perspective in the used car transactions structured this way, we are only subject to value-added tax on the difference between the original purchase price and retail price of the used cars. Although we believe that the transaction structure created by the ancillary agreements and our estimates of our value-added taxes are reasonable, the ultimate decisions by the relevant tax authorities may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and if the conclusion were reached by relevant tax authorities that we were subject to additional value-added taxes as a result of using the employees as agents in this structure, such a determination would have a material adverse effect on our financial results in the period or periods for which such determinations are made.

Restoration of limits on cross-regional flows of used cars would adversely affect our sourcing and sales of used cars.

To create a freely circulating market of used cars, the Chinese central government has implemented multiple policies in recent years aimed at removing restrictions on cross-regional flows of used cars. In March 2016, the State Council issued a guideline to promote more convenient transactions of used vehicles. This required the removal, in all cities other than key regions for air pollution prevention and control, such as Beijing and 14 others, of curbs previously implemented to prevent vehicles from one city or province being sold in another, provided that the subject vehicle meets the emission standards of the destination locality. Further, the Government Work Report 2018 states that more efforts will be made to scrap any limits on cross-region flows of used cars. We do not expect that any new restrictions will be imposed to prevent cross-region used car transactions. However, if such restrictions were to be imposed by local governments, it would adversely affect our sourcing and sales of used cars.

Government policies on automobile purchases and ownership may materially affect our results of operations.

Government policies on automobile purchases and ownership may have a material effect on our business due to their influences on consumer behaviors. With an effort to alleviate traffic congestion and improve air quality, some local governmental authorities issued regulations and relevant implementation rules in order to control urban traffic and the number of automobiles within particular urban areas. For example, local Beijing governmental authorities adopted regulations and relevant implementing rules in December 2010 to limit the total number of license plates issued to new automobile purchases in Beijing each year. Local Guangzhou governmental authorities also announced similar regulations, which came into effect in July 2013. There are similar policies that restrict the issuance of new automobile license plates in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. In September 2013, the State Council released a plan for the prevention and remediation of air pollution, which requires large cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, to further restrict the number of motor vehicles. On August, 23, 2013, the Notice of The General Office of Beijing Municipal People’s Government on Printing and Distributing the Key Task Breakdown of Beijing Clean Air Action Plan for 2013-2017 was published to limit the total number of vehicles in Beijing to no more than six million by the end of 2017. Such regulatory developments, as well as other uncertainties, may adversely affect the growth prospects of China’s automotive industry, which in turn may have a material adverse impact on our business.

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Negative media coverage could adversely affect our business.

Negative publicity about us or our business, shareholders, affiliates, directors, officers or other employees, as well as the industry in which we operate, can harm our business prospects and results of operations. Such negative publicity could be related to a variety of matters, including but not limited to:

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alleged misconduct or other improper activities committed by our shareholders, affiliates, directors, officers and other employees;

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false or malicious allegations or rumors about us or our shareholders, affiliates, directors, officers and other employees;

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users complaints about the quality of our products and services;

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security breaches of confidential user information; and

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governmental and regulatory investigations or penalties resulting from our failure to comply with the applicable laws and regulations.

In addition to traditional media, there has been an increasing use of social media platforms and similar devices in China, including instant messaging applications, such as WeChat, social media websites and other forms of internet-based communications that provide individuals with access to a broad base of users and other interested persons. The availability of information on instant messaging applications and social media platforms is virtually immediate as is its impact without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. The opportunity for dissemination of information, including inaccurate information, is seemingly limitless and readily available. Information concerning our Company, shareholders, directors, officers and employees may be posted on such platforms at any time. The risks associated with any such negative publicity or inaccurate information cannot be completely eliminated or mitigated and may materially harm our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have limited insurance coverage which could expose us to significant costs and business disruption.

The insurance industry in China is still at an early stage of development, and insurance companies in China currently offer limited business-related insurance products. We do not maintain business interruption insurance or general third-party liability insurance, nor do we maintain property insurance. We consider our insurance coverage to be reasonable in light of the nature of our business and the insurance products that are available in China and in line with the practices of other companies in the same industry of similar size in China, but we cannot assure you that our insurance coverage is sufficient to prevent any loss or that we will be able to successfully claim our losses under our current insurance policies on a timely basis, or at all. If we incur any losses that is not covered by our insurance policies, or the compensated amount is significantly less than our actual loss, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Risks Related to Our Carve-out from Renren and Our Relationship with Renren

We have limited experiences operating as a stand-alone public company.

Prior to 2019, Renren had provided KAG with financial, administrative, sales and marketing, human resources and legal services, as well as the services of a number of its executives and employees. With the closing of the Haitaoche Acquisition in mid 2021, there was significant turnover of the management team. We may encounter operational, administrative and strategic difficulties as we adjust to operate as a stand-alone public company. Any failure or significant disruptions to our own financial or administrative systems could have an adverse impact on its business operations, such as paying its suppliers and employees, executing foreign currency transactions or performing other administrative services, on a timely basis. The difficulties we may encounter may also cause us to react more slowly than our competitors to industry changes and may divert our management’s attention from running our business or otherwise harm our operations.

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In addition, our management team need to develop the expertise necessary to comply with the numerous regulatory and other requirements applicable to public companies, including the requirements relating to corporate governance, listing standards, securities and investor relations matters. As a stand-alone public company, our management has to evaluate our internal control system independently with new thresholds of materiality, and to implement necessary changes to our internal control system. We cannot guarantee that we are able to do so in a timely and effective manner.

We are not expected to receive the same level of support from Renren, and if our collaboration with Renren is terminated or curtailed or if we are no longer able to benefit from the synergies of our cooperation with Renren, our business may be adversely affected.

We have benefitted from Renren’s financial and technological support in the past. However, Renren is no longer the controlling shareholder of our Company upon the completion of the Haitaoche Acquisition in June 2021. Therefore, we are not expected to receive the same level of support from Renren.

Although we have entered into a series of agreements with Renren relating to our ongoing business partnership and service arrangements with Renren, there can be no assurance that we will continue to receive the same level of support from Renren. Our customers may react negatively to our separation from Renren. To the extent that we cannot maintain our cooperative relationships with Renren on commercially reasonable terms or at all, we will need to develop relationships with other business partners, which could result in material and adverse effects to our business and results of operations. We may also need to obtain financing through other means if Renren ceases to provide financial support to us. Our inability to maintain a cooperative relationship with Renren could materially and adversely affect our business, growth and prospects.

Our agreements with Renren may be less favorable to us than similar agreements negotiated between unaffiliated third parties. In particular, our non-competition agreement with Renren limits the scope of business that we are allowed to conduct.

We have entered into a series of agreements with Renren and the terms of such agreements may be less favorable to us than would be the case if they were negotiated with unaffiliated third parties. In particular, under the non-competition agreement that we entered into with Renren on April 30, 2019, we agreed not to compete with Renren in respect of the business that was conducted by Renren as of that date, as described in its periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), prior to that date, other than the used and new consumer automotive business. Such contractual limitations significantly affect our ability to diversify sources of revenues and may materially and adversely impact our business and prospects should the growth of the used and new consumer automotive business in China slow down. In addition, pursuant to the master transaction agreement that we entered into with Renren on the same date, we agreed to indemnify Renren for liabilities arising from litigations and other contingencies related to our business and assume these liabilities as part of our carve-out from Renren. The allocation of assets and liabilities between Renren and us may not reflect the allocation that would have been reached by two unaffiliated parties.

Our sales, marketing and brand promotion have benefited significantly from our association with Renren. Any negative development in our market position or brand recognition may materially and adversely affect our marketing efforts and the strength of our brand.

Renren had been our controlling shareholder until the closing of the Haitaoche Acquisition in June 2021. We have benefited significantly from our association with Renren in marketing our brand. For example, we have benefited from Renren’s strong brand and industry recognition in China, which has enhanced our credibility and marketing reach. Any negative publicity associated with Renren may still have an adverse impact on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, reputation and brand.

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Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

Investing in our securities is highly speculative and involves a significant degree of risk as we are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and operate our business through VIE structure.

As a holding company with no material operations of our own, we conduct our operations through our subsidiaries and VIEs organized under the laws of the PRC. We control and receive the economic benefits of the VIEs and their subsidiaries through certain contractual arrangements (the “VIE agreements”), which enables us to consolidate the financial results of the VIEs and their subsidiaries in our consolidated financial statements under U.S. GAAP, and the structure involves unique risks to investors. Our Ordinary Shares offered in this offering are shares of our offshore holding company instead of shares of the VIE or its subsidiaries in China. The VIE structure provides contractual exposure to foreign investment in China-based companies where Chinese law prohibits direct foreign investment in the operating companies. For a description of the relevant VIE Agreements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — C. Organizational Structure”. As a result of our use of the VIE structure, you may never directly hold equity interests in the VIE or its subsidiaries.

The Chinese regulatory authorities could disallow our structure, which could result in a material change in our operations and the value of our securities could decline or become worthless. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China” for recent regulatory initiatives implemented by the relevant PRC government entities.

In addition, any actions by the Chinese government to exert more oversight and control over securities that are listed overseas or foreign investment in China-based issuers could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Changes in PRC laws and regulations governing the VIE structure and its contractual arrangements could materially and adversely affect our business.”

Any failure by our VIEs or their respective shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business.

We, through our wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries, Shanghai Auto, Zhejiang Kaixin and Zhejiang Taohaoche, entered into a series of contractual arrangements with our VIEs and their respective shareholders. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — C. Organizational Structure”. If our VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, we may incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. We may also have to rely on legal remedies under PRC laws, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which we cannot assure you will be effective under the PRC laws. For example, if the shareholders of our VIEs were to refuse to transfer their equity interests in the VIEs to us or our designee when we exercise the purchase option pursuant to these contractual arrangements, or if they were otherwise to act in bad faith towards us, then we may have to take legal actions to compel them to perform their contractual obligations. Further, if we fail to maintain effective control over our VIEs, our business would be materially and adversely affected.

All the agreements under our contractual arrangements are governed by the PRC laws and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with the PRC laws and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with the PRC legal procedures. The legal system in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements.

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Meanwhile, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a VIE should be interpreted or enforced under PRC laws. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of such arbitration should legal action become necessary. In addition, under PRC laws, rulings by arbitrators are final and parties cannot appeal arbitration results in court unless such rulings are revoked or determined unenforceable by a competent court. If the losing parties fail to carry out the arbitration awards within a prescribed time limit, the prevailing parties may only enforce the arbitration awards in PRC courts through arbitration award recognition proceedings, which would require additional expenses and result in delay. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delay or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, we may not be able to exert effective control over our VIEs and relevant rights and licenses held by them that we require in order to operate our business, and our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us”.

The shareholders of our VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us. We do not have any arrangements in place to address such potential conflicts.

We have designated individuals who are PRC citizens to be nominee shareholders of our VIEs in China. Although the shareholders of our VIEs are contractually obligated to act in good faith and in our best interest, we cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise, any or all of these individuals will act in our best interest. If these individuals were to act in bad faith towards us, they may breach or cause our VIEs and their subsidiaries to breach or refuse to renew the existing contractual arrangements with us.

Currently, we do not have arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest that the shareholders of our VIEs may encounter, on one hand, and as beneficial owners of our company, on the other hand. We, however, could, at all times, exercise our option under the exclusive option agreement for the Kaixin VIEs and upon the Agreement on Disposal of Equity and Assets for the Haitaoche VIEs to cause them to transfer all of their equity ownership in our VIEs to a PRC entity or individual designated by us as permitted by the then applicable PRC laws. In addition, if such conflicts of interest arise, we could also, in the capacity of attorney-in-fact of the then existing shareholders of our VIEs as provided under the power of attorney for Zhejiang Jieying and Haitaoche VIEs, directly appoint new directors of our VIEs.

We rely on the shareholders of our VIEs to comply with the PRC laws and regulations, which protect contracts and provide that directors and executive officers owe a duty of loyalty to the Company and require them to avoid conflicts of interest and not to take advantage of their positions for personal gains, and the laws of the Cayman Islands, which provide that directors have a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to act in good faith in our best interests. However, the legal frameworks of China and the Cayman Islands do not provide guidance on resolving conflicts in the event of a conflict with another corporate governance regime. If we cannot resolve any conflicts of interest or disputes that arises between us and the shareholders of the VIEs, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in the disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainties as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

If the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs do not comply with the PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish its interests in those operations.

The PRC government regulates telecommunications-related businesses through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. These laws and regulations also include limitations on foreign ownership of PRC companies that engage in telecommunications-related businesses. Specifically, foreign investors are generally not allowed to own more than a 50% equity interest in any PRC company engaging in value-added telecommunications businesses. The primary foreign investor must also have experience and a good track record in providing value-added telecommunications services (“VATS”) overseas.

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Because we are an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are classified as a foreign enterprise under the PRC laws and regulations, and our wholly owned enterprises in the PRC are each a foreign invested enterprise (“FIE”). Accordingly, our subsidiaries are not eligible to operate VATS or provide certain other restricted services related to our business in China. We relied on Qianxiang Changda and one of its subsidiaries to operate a peer-to-peer financing platform, until the end of 2017 when both the platform and subsidiary were transferred to Renren. We used to rely on Shanghai Jieying (currently renamed as Zhejiang Jieying) to operate our used auto sales online platform and app which we believe are considered to be VATS by the PRC government. Accordingly, we entered into contractual arrangements with Qianxiang Changda, Zhejiang Jieying, Ningbo Jiusheng, and Qingdao Shengmei, namely the VIEs, and their respective shareholders, to operate our business. However, we are no longer engaged in VATS service. Our PRC subsidiaries Shanghai Auto, Zhejiang Kaixin and Zhejiang Taohaoche have entered into a series of contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders, which enable us to (i) exercise effective control over the VIEs; (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits of the VIEs; and (iii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests and assets in the VIEs when and to the extent permitted by the PRC law.

As a result of these contractual arrangements, we have control over the VIEs and hence consolidate their financial results as our consolidated affiliated entities under U.S. GAAP. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — C. Organizational Structure”.

We believe that our corporate structure and contractual arrangements comply with the current applicable PRC laws and regulations. Our PRC legal counsel, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, based on its understanding of the relevant PRC laws and regulations currently in effect, is of the opinion that each of the Contractual Agreements among our relevant wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, our VIEs and their respective shareholders is, and taken as a whole are, (i) valid and legally binding on each party thereto; and (ii) enforceable in accordance with the terms thereof, subject as to enforceability to applicable bankruptcy, insolvency, moratorium, reorganization and similar laws affecting creditors’ rights generally, the discretion of relevant Government Agencies in exercising their authority in connection with the interpretation and implementation thereof and the application of relevant PRC laws and policies thereto, and to general equity principles. However, we have been further advised by our PRC legal counsel that there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulations. Thus, the PRC government may ultimately take a view contrary to the opinion of our PRC legal counsel. There can be no assurance that the PRC government authorities, such as the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), or the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”), or other authorities that regulate the telecommunications industry, would agree that our corporate structure or any of the above contractual arrangements comply with the PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. PRC laws and regulations governing the validity of these contractual arrangements are uncertain and the relevant governmental authorities have broad discretion in interpreting these laws and regulations.

If our corporate structure and contractual arrangements are deemed by the MIIT or the MOFCOM or other regulators having competent authority to be illegal, either in whole or in part, we may lose control of our VIEs and have to modify such structure to comply with the regulatory requirements. However, there can be no assurance that we can achieve this without material disruption to our business. Further, if our corporate structure and contractual arrangements are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, the relevant regulatory authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations, including:

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revoking our business and operating licenses;

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levying fines on us;

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confiscating any of our income that they deem to be obtained through illegal operations;

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shutting down our services;

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discontinuing or restricting our operations in China;

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imposing conditions or requirements with which we may not be able to comply;

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requiring us to change our corporate structure and contractual arrangements;

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restricting or prohibiting our use of the proceeds from overseas offerings to finance our VIEs business and operations; and

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taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to our business.

Furthermore, new PRC laws, rules and regulations may be introduced to impose additional requirements that may be applicable to our corporate structure and contractual arrangements. See “—Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law, and it may materially and adversely affect the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations”.

Occurrence of any of these events could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if the imposition of any of these penalties or requirements to restructure our corporate structure causes us to lose the rights to direct the activities of our VIEs or our right to receive their economic benefits, we would no longer be able to consolidate the financial results of such VIE in our consolidated financial statements. However, we do not believe that such actions would result in the liquidation or dissolution of our Company, our wholly-owned subsidiary in China or our VIEs or their subsidiaries. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — C. Organizational Structure”.

Contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that our VIEs owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our financial condition and the value of our ordinary shares.

Under the applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law requires every enterprise in China to submit its annual enterprise income tax return together with a report on transactions with its related parties to the relevant tax authorities. The tax authorities may impose reasonable adjustments on taxation if they have identified any related party transactions that are inconsistent with arm’s length principles.

We may face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements among our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, our VIEs and their respective shareholders were not entered into on an arm’s length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under the applicable PRC laws, regulations and rules, and adjust their income in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment.

A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary or VIEs for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase their tax liabilities without reducing their tax expenses. In addition, if our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary requests the shareholders of our VIEs to transfer their equity interests in our VIEs at nominal or no value pursuant to these contractual arrangements, such transfer could be viewed as a gift and subject the relevant subsidiary to PRC income tax. Furthermore, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on our PRC subsidiary and VIEs for adjusted but unpaid taxes according to applicable regulations. Our financial position could be materially and adversely affected if the tax liabilities of our PRC subsidiary and VIEs increase, or if they are required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.

We may lose the ability to use and enjoy assets held by our VIEs that are material to the operation of our business if either entity goes bankrupt or becomes subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

Our VIEs hold substantially all of our assets. Under the contractual arrangements, our VIEs may not and their respective shareholders may not cause the VIEs to, in any manner, sell, transfer, mortgage or dispose of the VIEs’ assets or legal or beneficial interests in the business without our prior consent. However, in the event that the shareholders of our VIEs breach these contractual arrangements and voluntarily liquidate our VIEs, or our VIEs declare bankruptcy and all or part of VIEs’ assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, or are otherwise disposed of without our consent, we may be unable to continue some or all of our business activities, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If our VIEs undergo a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, independent third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We do not have any insurance which covers the risks relating to the contractual arrangements and the transactions contemplated thereunder.

We do not intend to purchase any insurance to cover the risks relating to the contractual arrangements and the transactions contemplated thereunder. If any risk arises from the contractual arrangements in the future, such as those affecting the enforceability of relevant agreements, our results may be adversely affected.

If the custodians or authorized users of our controlling non-tangible assets, including chops and seals, fail to fulfill their responsibilities, or misappropriate or misuse these assets, our business and operations may be materially and adversely affected.

Under the existing PRC laws, legal documents for corporate transactions, including agreements and contracts that our business relies on, are executed using the chop or seal of the signing entity or with the signature of a legal representative whose designation is registered and filed with the relevant local branch of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”). We generally execute legal documents by affixing chops or seals, rather than having the designated legal representatives sign the documents.

We have three major types of chops: corporate chops, contract chops and finance chops. We use corporate chops generally for documents to be submitted to government agencies, such as applications for changing business scope, directors or company name, and for legal letters. We use contract chops for executing leases and commercial contracts. We use finance chops generally for making and collecting payments, including issuing invoices. The use of corporate chops must be approved by both of our legal department and administrative department, the use of contract chops must be approved by our legal department, and the use of finance chops must be approved by our finance department. The chops of our subsidiaries and VIEs are generally held by the relevant entities so that the documents can be executed locally.

In order to maintain the physical security of our chops, we generally have them stored in secured locations accessible only to the designated key employees of our legal, administrative or finance departments. Our designated legal representatives generally do not have access to the chops. Although we have approval procedures in place and monitor our key employees, including the designated legal representatives of our subsidiaries and VIEs, the procedures may not be sufficient to prevent all instances of abuse or negligence. There is a risk that our key employees or designated legal representatives could abuse their authority, for example, by binding our subsidiaries or VIEs with contracts against our interests, as we would be obligated to honor these contracts if the other contracting party acts in good faith in reliance on the apparent authority of our chops or signatures of our legal representatives. If any designated legal representative obtains control of a chop with an effort to obtain control over the relevant entity, we would need to have a shareholder or board resolution to designate a new legal representative and to take legal actions to seek the return of the chop, apply for a new chop with the relevant authorities, or otherwise seek legal remedies for the legal representative’s misconduct. If any of the designated legal representatives obtains and misuses or misappropriates our chops and seals or other controlling intangible assets for whatever reason, we could experience disruption to our normal business operations. We may have to take corporate or legal actions, which could involve significant time and resources to resolve while distracting management from our operations, and our business prospects and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law, and it may materially and adversely affect the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

On March 15, 2019, the Foreign Investment Law was enacted by the National People’s Congress and it became effective on January 1, 2020. The Foreign Investment Law replaced the Law on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, the Law on Sino-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures and the Law on Foreign-Capital Enterprises to become the legal foundation for foreign investment in the PRC. On December 26, 2019, the Implementing Regulations of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China was promulgated by the State Council and became effective on January 1, 2020. The Foreign Investment Law embodies an expected PRC regulatory trend to rationalize its foreign investment regulatory regime in line with prevailing international practice and the legislative efforts to unify the corporate legal requirements for both foreign and domestic investments.

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The “variable interest entity” structure (“VIE structure”), has been adopted by many PRC-based companies, including us, to conduct business in the industries that are currently subject to foreign investment restrictions in China. Although the Foreign Investment Law does not explicitly classify the VIE structure as a form of foreign investment, it contains a catch-all provision under the definition of “foreign investment” which includes investments made by foreign investors through means stipulated in laws or administrative regulations or other methods prescribed by the State Council. Therefore, it still reserves certain leeway for future legislation by the State Council to provide the VIE structure as a form of foreign investment, in which case it will be uncertain as to whether our contractual arrangements with our VIEs will be deemed to be in violation of the market access requirements for foreign investments under the PRC laws and regulations, such as the 2021 Edition of the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access (“Negative List”), issued by the MOFCOM on December 27, 2021 and came into effect on January 1, 2022. According to the Guidance Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment, which was promulgated and as amended from time to time by the MOFCOM and the NDRC, and the Negative List, the provision of internet content services, which we conduct through our VIEs, is subject to foreign investment restrictions. Therefore, such foreign investment restrictions will be imposed on our VIEs if our contractual arrangements with our VIEs are further defined or regarded as a form of foreign investment by any future provisions stipulated in laws or administrative regulations or other methods prescribed by the State Council. In addition, if future laws, administrative regulations or provisions prescribed by the State Council mandate require further actions to be taken by companies with respect to existing contractual arrangements, we may face substantial uncertainties as to whether we could complete such actions in a timely manner, or at all, and our business and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected. Given the foregoing, uncertainties still exist in relation to the interpretation and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, which may result in an adverse impact on our current corporate structure.

If our contractual arrangements with our VIEs are defined or regarded as a form of foreign investment in the future, our corporate governance practice may be impacted and our compliance costs may increase. For instance, as stipulated in the Measures on Reporting of Foreign Investment Information, it requires foreign investors or foreign-funded enterprises to submit the investment information to competent governmental authorities for review. Although the contents and scope of such information shall be determined under the principle of necessity and the information that can be obtained through interdepartmental information sharing will not be required to be resubmitted, foreign investors or foreign-funded enterprises which fail to report their investment information as requested will be required to take corrective measures or be subject to fines. Moreover, the Foreign Investment Law provides that a security examination mechanism will be established to examine any foreign investment activity that affects or may affect national security. The decision made upon the security examination may impact the operations of the foreign-funded enterprises.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

The Chinese government exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. It remains that we are currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to issue securities to foreign investors, however, if our subsidiaries or the holding company were required to obtain approval in the future and were denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, we will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors.

The Chinese government has exercised and continues to exercise substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through regulation and state ownership. Under the current government leadership, the government of the PRC has been pursuing reform policies which have adversely affected China-based operating companies whose securities are listed in the United States, with significant policies changes being made from time to time without notice. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the laws and regulations governing our business, or the enforcement and performance of our contractual arrangements with borrowers in the event of the imposition of statutory liens, death, bankruptcy or criminal proceedings. Our ability to operate in China may be harmed by changes in its laws and regulations, including those relating to taxation, environmental regulations, land use rights, property and other matters. The central or local governments of these jurisdictions may impose new, stricter regulations or interpretations of existing regulations that would require additional expenditures and efforts on our part to ensure our compliance with such regulations or interpretations. Accordingly, government actions in the future, including any decision not to continue to support recent economic reforms and to return to a more centrally planned economy or regional or local variations in the implementation of economic policies, could have a significant effect on economic conditions in China or particular regions thereof, and could require us to divest ourselves of any interest we then hold in Chinese properties.

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Given recent statements by the Chinese government indicating an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, any such action could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless.

Recently, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued the Opinions on Severely Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities. According to Law, (the “Opinions”), which was made available to the public on July 6, 2021. The Opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities, and the need to strengthen the supervision over overseas listings by Chinese companies. Effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems, will be taken to deal with the risks and incidents of China-concept overseas listed companies. As of the date of this Annual Report, we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, or sanctions from PRC government authorities in connection with the Opinions.

On June 10, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China (the “SCNPC”), promulgated the PRC Data Security Law, which took effect in September 2021. The PRC Data Security Law imposes data security and privacy obligations on entities and individuals carrying out data activities, and introduces a data classification and hierarchical protection system based on the importance of data in economic and social development, and the degree of harm it will cause to national security, public interests, or legitimate rights and interests of individuals or organizations when such data is tampered with, destroyed, leaked, illegally acquired or used. The PRC Data Security Law also provides for a national security review procedure for data activities that may affect national security and imposes export restrictions on certain data an information.

In early July 2021, regulatory authorities in China launched cybersecurity investigations with regard to several China-based companies that are listed in the United States. The Chinese cybersecurity regulator announced on July 2, 2021 that it had begun an investigation of Didi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI) and two days later ordered that the company’s app be removed from smartphone app stores. On July 5, 2021, the Chinese cybersecurity regulator launched the same investigation on two other Internet platforms, China’s Full Truck Alliance of Full Truck Alliance Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YMM) and Boss of KANZHUN LIMITED (Nasdaq: BZ). On July 24, 2021, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly released the Guidelines for Further Easing the Burden of Excessive Homework and Off-campus Tutoring for Students at the Stage of Compulsory Education, pursuant to which foreign investment in such firms via mergers and acquisitions, franchise development, and variable interest entities are banned from this sector.

On August 17, 2021, the State Council promulgated the Regulations on the Protection of the Security of Critical Information Infrastructure (the “Regulations”), which took effect on September 1, 2021. The Regulations supplemented and specified the provisions on the security of critical information infrastructure as stated in the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which was issued on April 13, 2020 and was amended on December 28, 2021. The Regulations provide, among others, that protection department of certain industry or sector shall notify the operator of the critical information infrastructure in time after the identification of certain critical information infrastructure.

On August 20, 2021, the SCNPC promulgated the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC (the “Personal Information Protection Law”), which took effect in November 2021. As the first systematic and comprehensive law specifically for the protection of personal information in the PRC, the Personal Information Protection Law provides, among others, that (i) an individual’s consent shall be obtained to use sensitive personal information, such as biometric characteristics and individual location tracking; (ii) personal information operators using sensitive personal information shall notify individuals of the necessity of such use and impact on the individual’s rights; and (iii) where personal information operators reject an individual’s request to exercise his or her rights, the individual may file a lawsuit with a People’s Court.

As such, the Company’s business segments may be subject to various government and regulatory interference in the provinces in which they operate. The Company could be subject to regulations by various political and regulatory entities, including various local and municipal agencies and government sub-divisions. The Company may incur increased costs necessary to comply with the existing and newly adopted laws and regulations or penalties for any failure to comply. Additionally, the governmental and regulatory interference could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless.

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Furthermore, it is uncertain when and whether the Company will be required to obtain permission from the PRC government to continue listing on U.S. exchanges, and even when such permission is obtained, whether it will be denied or rescinded. Although the it is unclear whether Company is currently required to obtain permission from any of the PRC federal or local government to obtain such permission and has not received any denial to list on the U.S. exchange, our operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future laws and regulations relating to its business or industry.

On December 24, 2021, the CSRC, together with other relevant government authorities in China issued the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments), and the Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) (“Draft Overseas Listing Regulations”). The Draft Overseas Listing Regulations requires that a PRC domestic enterprise seeking to issue and list its shares overseas (“Overseas Issuance and Listing”) shall complete the filing procedures of and submit the relevant information to CSRC. The Overseas Issuance and Listing includes direct and indirect issuance and listing. Where an enterprise whose principal business activities are conducted in PRC seeks to issue and list its shares in the name of an overseas enterprise (“Overseas Issuer”) on the basis of the equity, assets, income or other similar rights and interests of the relevant PRC domestic enterprise, such activities shall be deemed an indirect overseas issuance and listing (“Indirect Overseas Issuance and Listing”) under the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations. The Draft Overseas Listing Regulations remain unclear on whether the relevant requirements will be applicable to companies, which have been listed in the United States, such as us. It also remains uncertain whether the future regulatory changes would impose additional restrictions on companies like us. We cannot predict the impact of the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations.

In addition, on December 28, 2021, the CAC, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), and several other administrations jointly issued the revised Measures for Cybersecurity Review (the “Revised Review Measures”), which became effective and replaced the Measures for Cybersecurity Review on February 15, 2022. According to the Revised Review Measures, if an “online platform operator” that is in possession of personal data of more than one million users intends to list in a foreign country, it must apply for a cybersecurity review. Based on a set of Q&A published on the official website of the State Cipher Code Administration in connection with the issuance of the Revised Review Measures, an official of the said administration indicated that an online platform operator should apply for a cybersecurity review prior to the submission of its listing application with non-PRC securities regulators. Given the recency of the issuance of the Revised Review Measures, there is a general lack of guidance and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to their interpretation and implementation. For example, it is unclear whether the requirement of cybersecurity review applies to follow-on offerings by an “online platform operator” that is in possession of personal data of more than one million users where the offshore holding company of such operator that is already listed overseas. Furthermore, the CAC released the draft of the Regulations on Network Data Security Management in November 2021 for public consultation, which among other things, stipulates that a data processor listed overseas must conduct an annual data security review by itself or by engaging a data security service provider and submit the annual data security review report for a given year to the municipal cybersecurity department before January 31 of the following year. If the draft Regulations on Network Data Security Management are enacted in the current form, we, as an overseas listed company, will be required to carry out an annual data security review and comply with the relevant reporting obligations.

We have been closely monitoring the development in the regulatory landscape in China, particularly regarding the requirement of approvals, including on a retrospective basis, from the CSRC, the CAC or other PRC authorities, as well as regarding any annual data security review or other procedures that may be imposed on us. If any approval, review or other procedure is in fact required, we are not able to guarantee that we will obtain such approval or complete such review or other procedure timely or at all. For any approval that we may be able to obtain, it could nevertheless be revoked and the terms of its issuance may impose restrictions on our operations and offerings relating to our securities.

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Changes in PRC laws and regulations governing the VIE structure and its contractual arrangements could materially and adversely affect our business.

There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws, rules and regulations governing the validity and enforcement of the VIE contractual arrangements. We conduct certain aspects of our businesses in China through our VIEs by means of contractual arrangements. Although we believe that we comply and will continue to comply with current PRC regulations, the PRC government may not agree that these contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing requirements or policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. If the PRC government determines that we are not in compliance with the applicable laws or if the governing law changed or were interpreted differently, the PRC government may revoke our business and operating licenses, require us to discontinue or restrict our operations, restrict our right to collect revenues, block our websites, require us to restructure our operations, impose additional conditions with which we may not be able to comply, impose restrictions on our business operations or on our customers, or take other regulatory or enforcement actions against us that could be harmful to our business. The imposition of any of these penalties would severely disrupt our ability to conduct our business and we might not be able to assert contractual control rights over the assets of our PRC subsidiaries that conduct substantially all of our operations, and cause material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

On 15 March 2019, the National People’s Congress promulgated the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC, (the “Foreign Investment Law”), which came into effect on 1 January 2020. The Foreign Investment Law replaced the Law on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, the Law on Sino-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures and the Law on Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises as the legal foundation for foreign investments in China. The Foreign Investment Law stipulates certain forms of foreign investment, which do not include the contractual arrangements as a form of foreign investment but stated that foreign investment includes “foreign investors invest through any other methods under laws, administrative regulations or provisions prescribed by the State Council”. There are uncertainties in determining whether our contractual arrangements constitute foreign investments and there is no guarantee that our VIE contractual arrangements and the business of our PRC operating subsidiaries will not be materially and adversely affected in the future.

Rules and regulations in China can change quickly with little advance notice and the PRC government may intervene or influence a registrant’s operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws, rules or regulations affecting our VIE structure will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us”. There can be no assurance that the VIE Arrangements will be deemed by the relevant governmental or judicial authorities to be in compliance with the existing or future applicable PRC laws and regulations, or the relevant governmental or judicial authorities may in the future interpret the existing laws or regulations with the result that the contractual arrangements will be deemed to be in compliance of the PRC laws and regulations.

Changes in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

Substantially all of our assets and operations are located in China. Accordingly, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic and social conditions in China generally.

The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the level of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and the allocation of resources. Although the Chinese government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government. In addition, the Chinese government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The Chinese government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

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While the Chinese economy has experienced significant growth over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The Chinese government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall Chinese economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. In addition, the Chinese government has implemented certain measures in the past, including lifting the interest rate and to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause the decline of economic activities in China, and since 2012, the Chinese economy has slowed down. Any prolonged slowdown in the Chinese economy may reduce the demand for our products and services, thus materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.

The PRC legal system is based on written statutes. Unlike under common law systems, decided legal cases have little value as precedents in subsequent legal proceedings. In 1979, the PRC government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws and regulations governing economic matters in general and forms of foreign investment (including in respect of wholly foreign owned enterprises) in particular. These laws, regulations and legal requirements are relatively new and are often changing, and their interpretation and enforcement depend to a large extent on relevant government policy and involve significant uncertainties that could limit the reliability of the legal protections available to us.

The Chinese government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and foreign investment in China-based issuers. In addition, the enforcement of laws and regulations in China can change quickly with little advance notice. In 2021, the PRC government initiated a series of regulatory actions and statements to regulate business operations in China with little advance notice, including cracking down on illegal activities in the securities market, enhancing supervision over China-based companies listed overseas, adopting new measures to extend the scope of cybersecurity reviews, and expanding the efforts in anti-monopoly enforcement. Since these statements and regulatory actions are new, it is highly uncertain how soon legislative or administrative regulation making bodies will respond and what existing or new laws or regulations or detailed implementations and interpretations will be modified or promulgated, if any, and the potential impact such modified or new laws and regulations will have on our daily business operation, the ability to accept foreign investments and list on an U.S. or other foreign exchange.

We cannot predict the effects of future developments in government policy or the PRC legal system in general. We may be required in the future to procure additional permits, authorizations and approvals for our existing and future operations, which may not be obtainable in a timely fashion or at all, or may involve substantial costs and unforeseen risks. An inability to obtain, or the incurrence of substantial costs in obtaining, such permits, authorizations and approvals may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be adversely affected by the complexity and uncertainties of and changes in PRC regulation of Internet business and related companies.

The PRC government extensively regulates the Internet industry, including with respect to foreign ownership of and licensing and permit requirements pertaining to companies in the Internet industry. These Internet-related laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. As a result, in certain circumstances, it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed to be in violation of the applicable laws and regulations. Issues, risks and uncertainties relating to PRC regulation of Internet businesses include, but are not limited to:

there are uncertainties relating to the regulation of Internet businesses in China, including evolving licensing practices. This means that permits, licenses or operations at some of our companies may be subject to challenges, or we may fail to obtain permits or licenses that may be deemed necessary for our operations, or we may not be able to obtain or renew certain permits or licenses.

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the evolving PRC regulatory system for the Internet industry may lead to the establishment of new regulatory agencies. For example, the Cyberspace Administration of China was established in 2014, as the central Internet censorship, oversight and control agency for the PRC. Further, new laws, regulations or policies may be promulgated or announced that will regulate Internet activities, including the online video and online advertising businesses. If these new laws, regulations or policies are promulgated, additional licenses may be required for our operations. If our operations do not comply with these new regulations after they become effective, or if we fail to obtain any licenses required under these new laws and regulations, we could be subject to penalties.

The interpretation and application of the existing PRC laws, regulations, policies and possible new laws, regulations or policies relating to the Internet industry have created substantial uncertainties regarding the legality of existing and future foreign investments in and the businesses and activities of, Internet businesses in China, including our business. We cannot assure you that we have obtained all the permits or licenses required for conducting our business in China or will be able to maintain our existing licenses or obtain any new licenses required under any new laws or regulations. There are also risks that we may be found to violate the existing or future laws and regulations given the uncertainty and complexity of China’s regulation of Internet business.

You may experience difficulties in effecting service of legal process, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing actions in China against us or our management named in this Annual Report based on foreign laws.

We are a company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands, we conduct all of our operations in China and all of our assets are located in China. In addition, all of our senior executive officers reside within China for a significant portion of the time and most of our directors and senior executive officers are PRC nationals. As a result, it may be difficult for you to effect service of process upon us or those persons inside the mainland China. In addition, China does not have treaties providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts with the Cayman Islands and many other countries and regions. Therefore, recognition and enforcement in China regarding the judgments of a court in any of these non-PRC jurisdictions in relation to any matters not subject to a binding arbitration provision may be difficult or even impossible.

We may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements that we may have, and any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to make payments to us could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business.

We are a Cayman Islands holding company, and we rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries for our cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders and repay any debt that we may incur. The ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends is based upon their distributable earnings. Current PRC regulations permit our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to their respective shareholders only out of their accumulated profits, if any, which is determined in accordance with the PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, according to the PRC Company Law, each of our PRC subsidiaries, as a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in China, is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve until the aggregate amount of such reserve reaches 50% of its registered capital. At its discretion, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to staff welfare and bonus funds. These reserve funds and staff welfare and bonus funds are not distributable as cash dividends. If our PRC subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may also restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends or other payments to their respective shareholders could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our business, pay dividends or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

In addition, the PRC tax authorities may require our PRC subsidiary that entered into contractual arrangement with our PRC VIEs to adjust its taxable income under the VIE arrangements it currently has in place with our VIEs and their respective shareholders in a manner that would materially and adversely affect its ability to pay dividends and other distributions to us. See “—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure — Contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that our VIEs owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our financial condition and the value of our ordinary shares”.

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PRC regulation of loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may cause a delay in or prevent us from using offshore funds to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.

We are an offshore holding company which primarily conducts our operations in China. Any funds that we transfer to our PRC subsidiaries, either as a shareholder loan or as an increase in registered capital, are subject to the registration or filing with relevant governmental authorities in China.

According to the relevant PRC regulations on FIEs, capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries are subject to the requirement of making the investment information report to the competent departments for commerce through the enterprise registration system and the enterprise credit information publicity system. Any loans to our PRC subsidiaries, which are treated as FIEs under PRC law, are subject to PRC regulations and foreign exchange loan registrations. For example, any foreign loan procured by our PRC subsidiaries is required to be registered with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”), or its local branches; and our PRC subsidiaries may not procure loans which exceed either the cross-border financing risk weighted balance calculated based on a special formula or the difference between their respective registered capital and their respective total investment amount as approved by, or filed with, the MOFCOM or its local branches. Any medium- or long-term loan to be provided by us to our PRC subsidiaries must be filed and registered with the National Development and Reform Committee (“NDRC”), and the SAFE or their local branches. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulation — Regulations on Offshore Investment by PRC Residents”. We may not obtain these government approvals or complete such filings or registrations on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future capital contributions or foreign loans by us to its PRC subsidiaries. If we fail to receive such approvals or complete such registrations, our ability to use offshore funds and to capitalize our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.

On March 30, 2015, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming the Management Approach Regarding the Foreign Exchange Capital Settlement of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (“SAFE Circular 19”) and was last amended on December 30, 2019 by Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Repealing and Invalidating Five Normative Documents Concerning Administration of Foreign Exchange and Some Articles of Seven Normative Documents Concerning Administration of Foreign Exchange. SAFE Circular 19 launched a nationwide reform of the administration of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of FIEs and allows FIEs to settle their foreign exchange capital at their discretion, but continues to prohibit FIEs from using the Renminbi fund converted from their foreign exchange capital for expenditure beyond their business scopes, providing entrusted loans or repaying loans between non-financial enterprises. On June 9, 2016, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming and Standardizing the Administrative Provisions on Capital Account Foreign Exchange (“SAFE Circular 16”). SAFE Circular 16 reiterates some of the rules set forth in SAFE Circular 19, but changes the prohibition against using Renminbi capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of an FIE to issue Renminbi entrusted loans to a prohibition against using such capital to issue loans to non-associated enterprises. Violations of these circulars could result in severe monetary or other penalties. SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16 may significantly limit our ability to use Renminbi converted from offshore funds to fund the establishment of new entities in China by our VIEs, to invest in or acquire any other PRC companies through our PRC subsidiaries or to establish new consolidated variable interest entities in the PRC, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are required to obtain certain licenses and permits for our business operations, and we may not be able to obtain or maintain such licenses or permits.

The PRC government regulates the internet and automotive industries extensively, including through licensing and permit requirements pertaining to companies in these industries. Relevant laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretations and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. As a result, under certain circumstances, it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed as violations of the applicable laws and regulations.

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To enable our customers to receive vehicles purchased from our Dealerships and other in-network dealers, we rely initially on the use of our own capital during the waiting period between customers and our financing partners. As our financing partners generally approve and release funds within a period of up to a few weeks to a Dealership or in-network dealer, we first release the funds in advance to the relevant Dealership or in-network dealership so that it can in turn release vehicles to its customers earlier than would otherwise be the case. As the vehicle purchase loan relationship is ultimately between the relevant customers and our financing partners, we do not consider our service as constituting a financial service requiring us to obtain any approval or license. However, we cannot assure you that the relevant PRC government agencies would reach the same conclusion. As of the date of this Annual Report, we have not been subject to any fines or other penalties under any PRC laws or regulations related to the foregoing solutions we provide. However, given the evolving regulatory environment of the financial industry, we cannot assure you that we will not be required in the future by relevant governmental authorities to obtain approval or license to continue to provide such interim financing solutions used to speed up the vehicle purchasing procedure.

In addition, pursuant to the relevant laws and regulations, as Zhejiang Jieying and our Dealerships are regarded as operators of used car sales business, these entities are required to complete filing with the MOFCOM at the provincial level. We may fail to complete such filings in certain locations since the relevant authorities in those areas do not accept such filing application in practice due to the lack of local implementation rules and policies in such respects. We plan to submit our filing application as soon as the relevant governmental authorities are ready to accept such application. However, we cannot assure you that we can successfully complete the filing in a timely manner, or at all. Failure to comply with the filing requirements may subject our business to restrictions. As a result, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

Under the existing PRC laws and regulations, companies responsible for the construction projects are required to prepare environmental impact reports, environmental impact statements, or environmental impact registration forms based on the level of potential environmental impact of the projects. Environmental impact reports (required in the case of potentially serious environmental impact) and environmental impact statements (required in the case of potentially mild environmental impact) are subject to review and approval by the applicable governmental authorities and the failure to satisfy such requirements may result in the discontinuation of the construction projects, imposing fines of 1% to 5% of the total investment in the projects or an order of restoration. Environmental impact registration forms (required in the case of very little environmental impact) are required to be filed with the competent authority and failure to satisfy such requirement may result in the imposition of fines up to RMB50,000 (US$7,971). We do not regularly conduct construction projects in the ordinary course of our business. However, some of our projects, including the building and overall decoration of our after- sales service centers, could be deemed as construction projects where a timely filing or submission for approval is required and failure to do so may subject us to fines and other enforcement actions as mentioned above.

Considerable uncertainties exist regarding the interpretation and implementation of existing and future laws and regulations governing our business activities. If we fail to complete, obtain or maintain any of the required licenses or approvals or make necessary filings, we may be subject to various penalties, such as confiscation of illegal gains, imposition of fines and discontinuation or restriction of our operations. Any such penalties may disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our business, financial condition and operations.

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Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of our ordinary shares.

The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions in China and by China’s foreign exchange policies. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its decade-old policy of pegging the value of the Renminbi to the U.S. dollar, and the Renminbi appreciated more than 20% against the U.S. dollar over the following three years. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar remained within a narrow band. Since June 2010, the Renminbi has fluctuated against the U.S. dollar, at times significantly and unpredictably. On November 30, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund completed the regular five-year review of the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right (“SDR”), and decided that with effect from October 1, 2016, the Renminbi is determined to be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Renminbi depreciated significantly in the backdrop of a surging U.S. dollar and persistent capital outflows of China. With the development of the foreign exchange market and progress towards interest rate liberalization and Renminbi internationalization, the PRC government may in the future announce further changes to the exchange rate system, and we cannot assure you that the Renminbi will not appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollar in the future. It is difficult to predict how market forces, PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar in the future.

Our revenues and costs are mostly denominated in Renminbi. Significant revaluation of the Renminbi may have a material and adverse effect on the value of our ordinary shares. For example, to the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars into Renminbi for our operations, appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the Renminbi amount we would receive from the conversion. Conversely, if we decide to convert our Renminbi into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends on our ordinary shares or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Renminbi would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us. In addition, appreciation or depreciation in the value of the Renminbi relative to U.S. dollars would affect our financial results reported in U.S. dollar terms regardless of any underlying change in its business or results of operations.

Very limited hedging options are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions with an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedges may be limited, and we may not be able to adequately hedge our exposure, or at all. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by the PRC exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currency.

Governmental control of currency conversion may limit our ability to utilize our revenues effectively and affect the value of our ordinary shares.

The PRC government imposes controls on the convertibility of the Renminbi into foreign currencies and, in certain cases, the remittance of currency out of China. Historically we received all of our revenues in Renminbi. Under our current corporate structure, our Cayman Islands holding company primarily relies on the dividend payments from our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements that we may have. Under the existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments, trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be all made in foreign currencies without prior approval of the SAFE by complying with certain procedural requirements. Specifically, under the existing exchange restrictions, without prior approval of the SAFE, cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries in China may be used to pay dividends to us. However, approval from or registration with appropriate governmental authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. As a result, we need to obtain SAFE approval to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs to pay off their respective debt in a currency other than Renminbi owed to entities outside China, or to make other capital expenditure payments outside China in a currency other than Renminbi.

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In light of the substantial capital outflows of China in 2016 due to the weakening Renminbi, the PRC government has imposed more restrictive foreign exchange policies and stepped up scrutiny of major outbound capital movement. More restrictions and substantial vetting process are put in place by the SAFE to regulate cross-border transactions falling under the capital account. The PRC government may at its discretion further restrict access in the future to foreign currencies for current account transactions. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currencies to satisfy our foreign currency demands, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders.

Certain PRC regulations may make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions.

The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors (“M&A Rules”), adopted by six PRC regulatory agencies in 2006 and amended in 2009, and some other regulations and rules concerning mergers and acquisitions established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. Such regulations require, among other things, that the MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor acquires control of a PRC domestic enterprise, if (i) any important industry is concerned; (ii) such transaction involves factors that impact or may impact national economic security; or (iii) such transaction will lead to a change in the control of a domestic enterprise which holds a famous trademark or PRC time-honored brand. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law that became effective in 2008 requires that transactions that are deemed concentrations and involve parties with specified turnover thresholds must be cleared by the MOFCOM before they can be completed. In addition, PRC national security review rules, consisting of the Provisions of MOFCOM on Implementation of Security Review System for Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, which became effective in September 2011, and the Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Establishment of Security Review System pertaining to Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, which became effective in March 2011, require acquisitions by foreign investors of PRC companies engaged in military-related or certain other industries that are crucial to national security be subject to security review before consummation of any such acquisition. In the future, we may grow our business by acquiring complementary businesses. Complying with the requirements of these regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approvals or clearance from the MOFCOM, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect its ability to expand its business or maintain its market share.

Any failure by us to make full contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by PRC laws may expose us to potential penalties.

Companies operating in China are required to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance schemes and housing funds, and contribute to the plans in amounts equal to certain percentages of salaries, including bonuses and allowances, of the employees up to a maximum amount specified by the local governments from time to time at locations where they operate businesses. The requirement of employee benefit plans has not been implemented consistently by the local governments in China given the different levels of economic development in different locations. We did not pay, or were not able to pay, certain past social security and housing fund contributions in strict compliance with the relevant PRC regulations for and on behalf of our employees due to differences in local regulations and inconsistent implementation or interpretation by local authorities in the PRC. For example, we engage third-party agents to make contributions for our employees in some cities and failure to make such contributions directly may expose us to penalties by the local authorities. We may also incur additional costs for any alternative arrangement if we were asked to terminate any existing arrangements with the third-party agents.

PRC regulations relating to offshore investment activities by PRC residents may limit the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us or otherwise expose us or our PRC resident beneficial owners to liability and penalties under PRC laws.

In July 2014, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Special Purpose Vehicles (“SAFE Circular 37”). SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents (including PRC individuals and PRC corporate entities) to register with the SAFE or its local branches in connection with their direct or indirect offshore investment activities. SAFE Circular 37 further requires amendment to the SAFE registrations in the event of any changes with respect to the basic information of the offshore special purpose vehicle, such as the change of a PRC individual shareholder, name and operation term, or any significant changes with respect to the offshore special purpose vehicle, such as the increase or decrease of capital contributions, share transfer or exchange, or mergers or divisions. SAFE Circular 37 is applicable to our shareholders who are PRC residents.

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If our shareholders who are PRC residents fail to make the required registration or to update the previously filed registration, our PRC subsidiaries may be prohibited from distributing their profits or the proceeds from any capital reduction, share transfer or liquidation to us, and we may also be prohibited from making additional capital contributions into our PRC subsidiaries. On February 13, 2015, the SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015 and was last amended on December 30, 2019 by Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Repealing and Invalidating Five Normative Documents Concerning Administration of Foreign Exchange and Some Articles of Seven Normative Documents Concerning Administration of Foreign Exchange. Under SAFE Notice 13, applications for foreign exchange registration of inbound foreign direct investments and outbound overseas direct investments, including those required under SAFE Circular 37, should be filed with qualified banks instead of the SAFE. The qualified banks will directly examine the applications and accept registrations under the supervision of the SAFE.

We have urged all of our shareholders who, to our knowledge, are subject to the SAFE regulations to register with the local SAFE branch. There can be no assurance, however, that all of these shareholders will continue to make required filings or updates on a timely manner, or at all. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that we are or will in the future continue to be informed of the identities of all the PRC residents holding direct or indirect interest in us. Any failure or inability by such shareholders to comply with the SAFE regulations may prevent us from making distributions or paying dividends or subject us to fines or legal sanctions. For example, there may be restrictions on our ability to engage in cross-border investment activities or the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends to, or obtain loans denominated in foreign curries from us. As a result, our business operations and our ability to make distributions to the shareholders could be materially and adversely affected.

Measures for the Administration of Overseas Investment was issued on September 6, 2014 and came into effect on October 6, 2014. In December 2017, the NDRC further promulgated the Administrative Measures of Overseas Investment of Enterprises, which became effective in March 2018. Pursuant to these regulations, any outbound investment of PRC enterprises in the area and industry that are not sensitive is required to be filed with the MOFCOM and the NDRC or their local branches.

Any failure or inability by enterprises to comply with SAFE and outbound investment related regulations may subject the responsible officers of such enterprises to fines or legal sanctions, and may result in an adverse impact on us, such as restrictions on the ability to contribute capital and receive dividends.

Any failure to comply with the PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee stock incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

In February 2012, the SAFE promulgated the Notices on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plan of Overseas Publicly Listed Company. Pursuant to these rules, PRC citizens and non-PRC citizens who reside in China for a continuous period of not less than one year who participate in any stock incentive plan of an overseas publicly listed company, subject to a few exceptions, are required to register with the SAFE through a domestic qualified agent, which could be the PRC subsidiaries of such overseas-listed company, and complete certain other procedures. In addition, an overseas-entrusted institution must be retained to handle matters in connection with the exercise or sale of stock options and the purchase or sale of shares and interests. We and our directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC citizens or who reside in the PRC for a continuous period of not less than one year and who have been granted options are subject to these regulations. Failure to complete the SAFE registrations may subject them to fines and legal sanctions, and may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiaries and limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to us. We also face regulatory uncertainties that could restrict our ability to adopt additional incentive plans for our directors, executive officers and employees under the PRC laws. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulation — Regulations on Employee Stock Options Plans”.

In addition, the State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”), has issued certain circulars concerning employee share options and restricted shares. Under these circulars, our employees working in China who exercise share options or are granted restricted shares will be subject to PRC individual income tax. Our PRC subsidiaries have the obligations to file documents related to employee share options or restricted shares with relevant tax authorities and to withhold individual income taxes of those employees who exercise their share options. If our employees fail to pay or we fail to withhold their income taxes according to the relevant laws and regulations, we may face sanctions which imposed by the tax authorities or other PRC governmental authorities. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulation — Regulations on Employee Stock Options Plans”.

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If we are classified as a PRC resident enterprise for PRC income tax purposes, such classification could result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC shareholders.

Under the Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules, enterprises that are registered in countries or regions outside the PRC but have their “de facto management bodies” located within China may be considered as PRC resident enterprises and are therefore subject to PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on their worldwide income. For detailed discussions of the applicable laws, regulations and implementation rules, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview —Regulation — Regulations on Taxation — Enterprise Income Tax”.

We believe that none of our entities outside China is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulation — Regulations on Taxation — Enterprise Income Tax”. However, the tax resident status of an enterprise is subject to determination by the PRC tax authorities, and uncertainties remain with respect to the interpretation of the term “de facto management body”. If the PRC tax authorities determine that we or any of our subsidiaries outside of China is a PRC resident enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes, then we or any such subsidiaries could be subject to PRC tax at a rate of 25% on worldwide income, which could materially reduce our net income. In addition, we would also be subject to PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. Furthermore, if the PRC tax authorities determine that we are a PRC resident enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes, gains realized on the sale or other disposition of our ordinary shares and dividends distributed to its non-PRC shareholders may be subject to PRC withholding tax, at a rate of 10% in the case of non-PRC enterprises or 20% in the case of non-PRC individuals (in each case, subject to the provisions of any applicable tax treaty), if such gains are deemed to be from PRC sources. Any such tax may reduce the value of our ordinary shares.

We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies, and heightened scrutiny over acquisition transactions by the PRC tax authorities may have a negative impact on potential acquisitions that we may pursue in the future.

The SAT has issued several rules and notices to tighten the scrutiny over acquisition transactions in recent years, including the Notice on Certain Corporate Income Tax Matters Related to Indirect Transfer of Properties by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises issued in February 2015 and amended in 2017 (“SAT Circular 7”), and the Announcement on Issues Relating to Withholding at Source of Income Tax of Non-resident Enterprises (“SAT Circular 37”). Pursuant to these rules and notices, except for a few circumstances falling into the scope of the safe harbor provided by SAT Circular 7, such as open market trading of stocks in public companies listed overseas, if a non-PRC resident enterprise indirectly transfers PRC taxable properties (that is, properties of an establishment or a place in the PRC, real estate properties in the PRC or equity investments in a PRC tax resident enterprise) by disposing of equity interests or other similar rights in an overseas holding company, without a reasonable commercial purpose and resulting in the avoidance of PRC enterprise income tax, such indirect transfer should be deemed as a direct transfer of PRC taxable properties and gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to the PRC withholding tax at a rate of up to 10%. SAT Circular 7 sets out several factors to be taken into consideration by tax authorities in determining whether an indirect transfer has a reasonable commercial purpose, such as whether the main value of equity interests in an overseas holding company is derived directly or indirectly from PRC taxable properties. An indirect transfer satisfying all the following criteria will be deemed to lack reasonable commercial purpose and be taxable under PRC laws without considering other factors set out by SAT Circular 7: (i) 75% or more of the equity value of the intermediary enterprise being transferred is derived directly or indirectly from the PRC taxable properties; (ii) at any time during the one-year period before the indirect transfer, 90% or more of the asset value of the intermediary enterprise (excluding cash) is comprised directly or indirectly of investments in the PRC, or 90% or more of its income is derived directly or indirectly from the PRC; (iii) the functions performed and risks assumed by the intermediary enterprise and any of its subsidiaries that directly or indirectly hold the PRC taxable properties are limited and are insufficient to prove their economic substance; and (iv) the foreign tax payable on the gains derived from the indirect transfer of the PRC taxable properties is lower than the potential PRC income tax on the direct transfer of such assets. Each of the foreign transferor and the transferee, and the PRC tax resident enterprise whose equity interests are being transferred may voluntarily report the transfer by submitting the documents required in SAT Circular 7.

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Although SAT Circular 7 provides clarity in many important areas, such as reasonable commercial purpose, there are still uncertainties on the tax reporting and payment obligations with respect to future private equity financing transactions, share exchange or other transactions involving the transfer of shares in non-PRC resident companies. The PRC tax authorities have discretion under SAT Circular 7 to make adjustments to the taxable capital gains based on the difference between the fair value of the equity interests transferred and the cost of investments. We may pursue acquisitions in the future that may involve complex corporate structures. If we are considered a non-PRC resident enterprise under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and if the PRC tax authorities make adjustments to the taxable income of these transactions under SAT Circular 7, our income tax expenses associated with such potential acquisitions will increase, which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

SAT Circular 37 took effect on February 3, 2015 and was last amended on December 29, 2017. SAT Circular 37 purports to clarify certain issues in the implementation of the above regime, by providing, among other things, the definition of equity transfer income and tax basis, the foreign exchange rate to be used in the calculation of withholding amount, and the date of occurrence of the withholding obligation.

We have conducted and may in the future conduct acquisitions or restructuring that may be subject to the aforesaid tax regulations. There can be no assurance that the PRC tax authorities will not, at their discretion, impose tax return filing obligations on us or our subsidiaries, require us or our subsidiaries to provide assistance to an investigation conducted by the PRC tax authorities with respect to these transactions or adjust any capital gains. Any PRC tax imposed on a transfer of our shares or equity interests in our PRC subsidiaries, or any adjustment of such gains, would cause us to incur additional costs and may have a negative impact on our results of operations.

We face certain risks related to the real properties that we lease.

We lease offices, showrooms and warehouse spaces from third parties for our operations in China. Any defects in lessors’ title to the leased properties may disrupt the use of such offices, showrooms or warehouses, which may in turn adversely affect our business operations. For example, certain buildings and the underlying lands are not allowed to be used for industrial or commercial purposes without relevant authorities’ approval, and the lease of such buildings to companies like us may subject the lessor to pay premium fees to the PRC government. There can be no assurance that the lessor has obtained all or any approvals from the relevant governmental authorities. In addition, some of our lessors have not provided us with documentation evidencing their title to the relevant leased properties. There can be no assurance that title to these properties which we currently lease will not be challenged. In addition, we have not registered any of our lease agreements with the relevant PRC governmental authorities as required by the PRC law, and although failure to do so does not invalidate the leases per se, we may not be able to defend these leases against bona fide third parties.

We are not aware of any actions, claims or investigations being contemplated by the governmental authorities with respect to the defects in our leased real properties or any challenges by third parties to our use of these properties. However, if third parties who purport to be property owners or beneficiaries of the mortgaged properties challenge our right to use the leased properties, we may not be able to protect our leasehold interests and may be ordered to vacate the affected premises, thus materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.

If the PCAOB is unable to inspect our auditors as required under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, the SEC will prohibit the trading of our shares. A trading prohibition for our shares, or the threat of a trading prohibition, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment. Additionally, the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of our auditors, if any, would deprive our investors of the benefits of such inspections.

The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (the “HFCA Act”) was enacted on December 18, 2020. The HFCA Act states if the SEC determines that we have filed audit reports issued by a registered public accounting firm that has not been subject to inspection by the PCAOB for three consecutive years beginning in 2021, the SEC shall prohibit our shares from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter trading market in the U.S.

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On March 24, 2021, the SEC adopted interim final rules relating to the implementation of certain disclosure and documentation requirements of the HFCA Act. A company will be required to comply with these rules if the SEC identifies it as having a “non-inspection” year under a process to be subsequently established by the SEC. The SEC is assessing how to implement other requirements of the HFCA Act, including the listing and trading prohibition requirements described above. Furthermore, on June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which, if enacted, would amend the HFCA Act and require the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three. On September 22, 2021, the PCAOB adopted a final rule implementing the HFCA Act, which provides a framework for the PCAOB to use when determining, as contemplated under the HFCA Act, whether the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms located in a foreign jurisdiction because of a position taken by one or more authorities in that jurisdiction. On December 2, 2021, the SEC issued amendments to finalize rules implementing the submission and disclosure requirements in the HFCA Act. The rules apply to registrants that the SEC identifies as having filed an annual report with an audit report issued by a registered public accounting firm that is located in a foreign jurisdiction and that PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by an authority in foreign jurisdictions. On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a Determination Report which found that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in: (i) China, and (ii) Hong Kong.

Our current auditor, Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP, or MBP, the independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit report included elsewhere in this annual report,is registered with the PCAOB. The PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess its compliance with the applicable professional standards. Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP is headquartered in New York, New York, and, as of the date of this annual report, was not included in the list of PCAOB Identified Firms in the PCAOB Determination Report issued in December 2021.

Our ability to retain an auditor subject to the PCAOB inspection and investigation, including but not limited to inspection of the audit working papers related to us, may depend on the relevant positions of U.S. and Chinese regulators. MBP’s audit working papers related to us are located in China. With respect to audits of companies with operations in China, such as our Company, there are uncertainties about the ability of the auditor to fully cooperate with a request by the PCAOB for audit working papers in China without the approval of Chinese authorities.

Whether the PCAOB will be able to conduct inspections of our auditor, including but not limited to inspection of the audit working papers related to us, in the future is subject to substantial uncertainty and depends on a number of factors out of our, and our auditor’s, control. If our shares and ADSs are prohibited from trading in the United States, there is no certainty that we will be able to list on a non-U.S. exchange or that a market for our shares will develop outside of the United States. Such a prohibition would substantially impair your ability to sell or purchase our ADSs when you wish to do so, and the risk and uncertainty associated with delisting would have a negative impact on the price of our ADSs. Also, such a prohibition would significantly affect our ability to raise capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all, which would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and prospects.

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Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

The market price movement of our ordinary shares may be volatile.

The trading prices of our ordinary shares are likely to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to factors beyond our control. This may happen because of the broad market and industry factors, such as the performance and fluctuation in the market prices or the underperformance or deteriorating financial results of other listed companies based in China. The securities of some of these companies have experienced significant volatility since their initial public offerings, including, in some cases, substantial price declines in the trading prices of their securities. The trading performances of other Chinese companies’ securities after their offerings, including internet companies, online retail and mobile commerce platforms and consumer finance service providers, may affect the attitudes of investors towards Chinese companies listed in the United States, which consequently may impact the trading performance of our ordinary shares, regardless of our actual operating performance. In addition, any negative news or perceptions about inadequate corporate governance practices or fraudulent accounting, corporate structure or matters of other Chinese companies may also negatively affect the attitudes of investors towards Chinese companies as a whole, including us, regardless of whether we have conducted any inappropriate activities. Furthermore, securities markets may from time to time experience significant price and volume fluctuations that are not related to our operating performance, such as the large decline in share prices in the United States, China and other jurisdictions in late 2008, early 2009, the second half of 2011 and in 2015, which may have a material and adverse effect on the trading price of our ordinary shares.

In addition to the above factors, the price and trading volume of our ordinary shares may be highly volatile due to multiple factors, including the following:

regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;
announcements of studies and reports relating to the quality of our service offerings or those of our competitors;
changes in the economic performance or market valuations of other automobile retailers;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations and changes or revisions of our expected results;
changes in financial estimates by securities research analysts;
conditions in the market for automobile retailers;
announcements by us or our competitors of new product and service offerings, acquisitions, strategic relationships, joint ventures, capital raisings or capital commitments;
announcements and implementation of business mergers and acquisitions, including the pending merger with Haitaoche Limited;
additions to or departures of our senior management;
fluctuations of exchange rates between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar; and
release or expiry of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding shares, and sales or perceived potential sales of additional ordinary shares.

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The sale or availability for sale of substantial amounts of our ordinary shares could adversely affect their market price.

Sales of substantial amounts of our ordinary shares in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, may adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares. As of March 31, 2022, we had 174,859,644 ordinary shares outstanding, including 47,804,300 ordinary shares that are freely transferable without restriction or additional registration under the Securities Act. The remaining ordinary shares outstanding will be available for sale, subject to volumes and other restrictions as applicable under Rules 144 and 701 of the Securities Act. Certain holders of our ordinary shares may cause us to register under the Securities Act of the sale of their shares. Sales of these registered shares in the public market could adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares.

If securities or industry analysts cease to publish research or reports about our business, or if they adversely change their recommendations regarding our ordinary shares, the market price for our ordinary shares and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our ordinary shares will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If research analysts do not establish and maintain adequate research coverage or if one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our ordinary shares or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the market price for our ordinary shares would likely decline. If analysts fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which, in turn, could cause the market price or trading volume for our ordinary shares to decline.

Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future, you must rely on price appreciation of our ordinary shares for return on your investment.

We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Therefore, you should not rely on an investment in our ordinary shares as a source for any future dividend income.

Our board of directors (the “Board”) has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain restrictions under Cayman Islands law, namely that our company may only pay dividends out of profits or share premium account, and provided that in no circumstances may a dividend be paid if this would result in our Company being unable to pay its debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business. In addition, our shareholders may by ordinary resolution declare a dividend, but no dividend may exceed the amount recommended by our Board. Even if our Board decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on, among other things, our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our Board. Accordingly, the return on your investment in our ordinary shares will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of our ordinary shares. There is no guarantee that our ordinary shares will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which you purchased our ordinary shares. You may not realize a return on your investment in our ordinary shares and you may even lose your entire investment in our ordinary shares.

We may need additional capital, and the sale of additional ordinary shares or other equity securities could result in the additional dilution to our shareholders, while the incurrence of debt may impose restrictions on our operations.

We may require additional cash resources due to changing business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions that we may decide to pursue. If these resources are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to sell equity or debt securities or obtain a credit facility. The sale of equity securities would result in dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in the increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations. We cannot assure you that financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all.

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Our memorandum and articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions that could adversely affect the rights of holders of our ordinary shares.

Our current memorandum and articles of association contain provisions to limit the ability of others to acquire control of our Company or cause us to engage in change-of-control transactions, including a provision that grants authority to our Board to establish and issue from time to time one or more series of preferred shares without action by our shareholders and to determine, with respect to any series of preferred shares, the terms and rights of that series, any or all which may be greater than the rights associated with our ordinary shares. These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transaction. For example, our Board has the authority, without further action by our shareholders, to issue preferred shares in one or more series and to fix their designations, powers, preferences, privileges, and relative participating, optional or special rights and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption and liquidation preferences, any or all of which may be greater than the rights associated with our ordinary shares. Preferred shares could be issued quickly with terms calculated to delay or prevent a change in control of our Company or make removal of management more difficult. If our Board decides to issue preferred shares, the price of our ordinary shares may fall and the voting and other rights of the holders of our ordinary shares may be materially and adversely affected.

We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to United States domestic public companies.

Because we are a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the securities rules and regulations in the United States that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including:

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K with the SEC;
the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents, or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;
the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and
the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material non-public information under Regulation FD.

We are required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. In addition, we intend to publish our results on a quarterly basis through press releases, distributed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Press releases relating to financial results and material events will also be furnished to the SEC on Form 6-K. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and less timely compared to that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, you may not be afforded the same protections or information which would be made available to you were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.

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If we are a passive foreign investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes for any taxable year, U.S. holders of our ordinary shares could be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.

A non-United States corporation will be a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”), for U.S. federal income tax purposes for any taxable year if either: (i) at least 75% of its gross income for such year is passive income; or (ii) at least 50% of the value of its assets (based on an average of the quarterly values of the assets) during such year is attributable to assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income. A separate determination must be made after the close of each taxable year as to whether a non-United States corporation is a PFIC for that year. Although the law in this regard is unclear, we intend to treat our VIE (and its subsidiaries) as being owned by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes, not only because we exercise effective control over the operations of such entities but also because we are entitled to substantially all of their economic benefits, and, as a result, we consolidate their results of operations in our consolidated financial statements. Assuming that we are the owner of our VIE (and its subsidiaries) for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and based upon our current and expected income and assets, including goodwill and other unbooked intangibles, and the market value of our ordinary shares, we do not believe that we were a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the taxable year ended December 31, 2021 and we do not expect to be a PFIC for the current taxable year or in the foreseeable future.

While we do not expect to become a PFIC, because the value of our assets for purposes of the asset test may be determined by reference to the market price of our ordinary shares, fluctuations in the market price of our ordinary shares may cause us to become a PFIC for the current or subsequent taxable years. Further, if it were determined that we do not own the stock of our VIE for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our risk of being a PFIC may substantially increase. Because PFIC status is a factual determination made annually after the close of each taxable year, there can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for the current taxable year or any future taxable year.

If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder (as defined in “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Tax Considerations”) holds our ordinary shares, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could apply to such U.S. Holder. See “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Tax Considerations — Passive Foreign Investment Company Considerations”.

Since shareholder rights under Cayman Islands law differ from those under U.S. law, you may have difficulty protecting your shareholder rights.

We are an exempted company limited by shares incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and Articles of Association, the Companies Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against our directors, actions by our minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedents in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records, other than the Memorandum and Articles of Association and any special resolutions passed by such companies, and the registers of mortgages and charges of such companies, or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have discretion under our current memorandum and Articles of Association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

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Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. Nasdaq Stock Market rules permit a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of its home country. We have elected to following our home country practice in lieu of certain corporate government requirements of the Nasdaq Stock Market. See “Item 16G. Corporate Governance”. As a result, our shareholders may be afforded less protections than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to the U.S. domestic issuers.

As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulties in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by our management, our Board members or our controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.

We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Securities Act and may take advantage of certain reduced reporting requirements.

We are an “emerging growth company”, as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from requirements applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies which including, most significantly, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for so long as we remain an emerging growth company. As a result, if we elect not to comply with such auditor attestation requirements, our investors may not have access to certain information which they may deem important.

The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards.

We will incur increased costs as a result of being a public company, particularly after we cease to qualify as an “emerging growth company.”

After the completion of the Business Combination, we have been a stand-alone public company and expect to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a subsidiary of another public company, including additional costs associated with our public company reporting obligations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and the Nasdaq Stock Market, impose various requirements on the corporate governance practices of public companies. As a company with less than US$1.07 billion in revenues for our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the assessment of the emerging growth company’s internal control over financial reporting. The JOBS Act also permits an emerging growth company to delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We rely on such exemption provided by the JOBS Act. As a result, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates.

We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some corporate activities more time-consuming and costly. If we are no longer an “emerging growth company”, we expect to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management efforts towards ensuring the compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the other rules and regulations of the SEC. For example, operating as a public company makes it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. In addition, we will incur additional costs associated with our public company reporting requirements. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these rules and regulations, and we cannot predict or estimate with any degree of certainty the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.