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Table of Contents

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, 2023

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 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)

Unit B2-303-137,198 Qidi Road

Beigan Community, Xiaoshan District

Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province

People’s Republic of China

(Address of principal executive offices)

Yi Yang

Chief Financial Officer

Kaixin Holdings

9/F, Tower A, Dongjin International Center

Huagong Road,

Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015

People’s Republic of China

Phone: +86 10 6720 4948

Email: lucy.yang@kaixin.com

(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

Class A ordinay shares, par value US$0.00075 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)

Table of Contents

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, 2023, there were 49,806,556 Class A ordinary shares issued and outstanding, par value of US$0.00075 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.   

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.   

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).   

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

Table of Contents

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.

42

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

66

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECT.

66

ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES.

79

ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS.

89

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION.

89

ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING.

90

ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

91

ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

107

ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES.

108

PART II

109

ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES.

109

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

109

ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES.

109

ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT.

111

ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS.

111

ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES.

111

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

111

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

112

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

112

ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.

112

ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE.

112

ITEM 16I. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS.

112

ITEM 16J. INSIDER TRADING POLICIES.

112

ITEM 16K. CYBERSECURITY.

113

PART III

115

ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

115

ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

115

ITEM 19. EXHIBITS.

116

i

Table of Contents

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 Moatable, pursuant to which we acquired 100% of the equity interests of KAG from Moatable on April 30, 2019;
“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;
“Jieying Legal Representative” are to the former legal representative of Anhui Xin Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd., Mr. Xiaolei Gu;
“KAG” are to Kaixin Auto Group, our wholly-owned subsidiary acquired from Moatable;
“Kaixin”, “we”, “us”, “our company” or “our” are to Kaixin Holdings (formerly known as Kaixin Auto Holdings), our Cayman Islands holding company and its subsidiaries;
“ordinary shares” are to our Class A and Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.00075 per share;
“Moatable” are to Moatable, Inc. (formerly known as Renren Inc.);
“RMB” or “Renminbi” are to the legal currency of China;
“Shanghai Auto” are to Shanghai Renren Automotive Technology Group Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary;
“US$”, “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; and
“variable interest entity”, “VIE” or ”VIEs” are to our historical variable interest entities, Shanghai Qianxiang Changda Internet Information Technologies Development Co., Ltd. (“Qianxiang Changda”), Anhui Xin Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd. (“Anhui Xin Jieying”, former name as Zhejiang Jieying Auto Retail Co., Ltd. and 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 were no longer in a contractual arrangement with us since the completion of the disposal of Renren Finance Inc, on October 27, 2022 by KAG. VIEs were 100% owned by PRC citizens and a PRC entity owned by PRC citizens, and are consolidated into our consolidated financial statements for the period till the completion of the disposal of Renren Finance Inc, which was later named as Shanghai Wuxiajindongxue Technology Co., Ltd, in accordance with U.S. GAAP as if they were our wholly-owned subsidiaries.

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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 7.0999 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate in effect as of December 29, 2023 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 new and 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 automobile 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

Kaixin Holdings is not an operating company in China, but a Cayman Islands holding company. We conduct our operations in China through our PRC subsidiaries. As used in this Annual Report, “we”, “us”, “our Company”, “the Company” or “our” refers to Kaixin Holdings (formerly known as Kaixin Auto Holdings), a Cayman Islands company and its subsidiaries. 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. The chart below sets forth our corporate structure and identifies our subsidiaries and their subsidiaries, as of the date of this Annual Report:

Graphic

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Permissions Required from the PRC Authorities for Our 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, 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 may exert substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. We are required to file with the CSRC within 3 working days after the subsequent securities offering is completed and we might face warnings or fines if we fail to fulfill related filing procedure. We may become subject to more stringent requirements with respect to matters including cross-border investigation and enforcement of legal claims”.

As of the date of this Annual Report, our Company and the 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 are newly published, it is 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 interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations could adversely affect us”.

Cash and Asset Flows through Our Organization

Kaixin 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.

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In addition, the majority of our subsidiaries and their subsidiaries receive income in RMB. Shortages in foreign currencies may restrict our ability to pay dividends or other payments, or otherwise satisfy our foreign currency denominated obligations, if any. In addition, under the PRC laws and regulations, our PRC subsidiaries and their subsidiaries are also subject to certain restrictions with respect to paying dividends or otherwise transferring any of their net assets to us. We have no operations outside of PRC, and cash generated from operations in the PRC may not be available for other use outside of the PRC due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations on the ability of us, or our subsidiaries by the PRC government to transfer cash. In addition, remittance of dividends by a wholly foreign-owned enterprise out of China is also subject to examination by the banks designated by SAFE. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and expenditures from trade-related transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from SAFE as long as certain procedural requirements are met. Approval from appropriate government authorities is required if RMB is converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. The Chinese government may also, at its discretion, impose restrictions on access to foreign currencies for current account transactions and if this occurs in the future, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders. 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.” and “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — 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. To the extent cash or assets in the business are in the PRC/Hong Kong or a PRC/Hong Kong entity, funds or assets may not be available to fund operations or for other use outside of the PRC/Hong Kong due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations on the ability of the holding company or its subsidiaries by the PRC government to transfer cash or assets.”

For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, 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. 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 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, 2021, 2022 and 2023, no assets other than cash were transferred through our organization. Although we does not have a formal cash management policy in place that dictates how funds shall be transferred between the Company, our subsidiaries or investors, cash transfers are made among the entities based on business needs in compliance of relevant PRC laws and regulations.

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”.

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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 subsidiaries and the Dealerships conduct various aspects of their business, and they face risks associated with the Dealerships, their employees and other personnel.
Our subsidiaries and may not be able to successfully expand or maintain our network of Dealerships.
Our Dealerships conduct various aspects of our business, and we face risks associated with our Dealerships, their employees and other personnel.
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.
Our success depends upon the continued contributions of our sales representatives.
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.

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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. To the extent cash or assets in the business are in the PRC/Hong Kong or a PRC/Hong Kong entity, funds or assets may not be available to fund operations or for other use outside of the PRC/Hong Kong due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations on the ability of the holding company or its subsidiaries by the PRC government to transfer cash or assets.
oOur adjustment of corporate structure and business operations and the termination of contractual arrangements with the VIEs may not be liability-free.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

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

oThe Chinese government may exert substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. We are required to file with the CSRC within 3 working days after the subsequent securities offering is completed and we might face warnings or fines if we fail to fulfill related filing procedure. We may become subject to more stringent requirements with respect to matters including cross-border investigation and enforcement of legal claims.
oRecent regulatory initiatives implemented by the PRC competent government authorities on cyberspace data security may have introduced uncertainty in our business operations and compliance status, which could result in materially adverse impact on our business, results of operations and our listing on Nasdaq.
oIt may be difficult for overseas shareholders and/or regulators to conduct investigations or collect evidence within China.
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 interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations could adversely affect us.

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

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

If we fail to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement, our ordinary shares could be subject to delisting.
The issuance of additional shares in the future may impact the price of our ordinary shares and our ability to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement.

The following are detailed descriptions of the risk factors.

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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 2019. We incurred net losses of US$195.9 million, US$84.6 million and US$53.6 in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. We also had cash outflows from operating activities of US$2.1 million, US$2.4 million and US$2.1 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

We have experienced recurring losses from operations. As of December 31, 2023, we had an accumulated deficit of US$336.6 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 Kaixin Auto Group 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.

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 subsidiaries and their subsidiaries’ Dealerships conduct various aspects of their business, and they face risks associated with the Dealerships, their employees and other personnel.

We rely on the Dealerships of our subsidiaries to conduct significant aspects of our business. As of December 31, 2023, we had three 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.

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The 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 the 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 the 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 the 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.

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

As of December 31, 2023, we had a network of three Dealerships. We have not expanded our network since May 2018. The Dealership network is a foundation of our car sales operations, and we rely on the 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 the Dealership network into other parts of China.

Further, we may have difficulties in managing our relationships with the 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 the 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 the 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. On November 2, 2022, the Company signed a share purchase agreement with the shareholders of Morning Star Auto Inc. (“Morning Star”) to acquire 100% equity of Morning Star by issuing 100 million ordinay shares of Kaixin. Morning Star owns 100% equity interest of Wuxi Morning Star Technology Co., Ltd. and 40% equity interest of Henan Yujie Times Automobile Co., Ltd. (“Yujie”). On August 22, 2023, the acquisition of Morning Star completed, after which Kaixin owns all assets and business operations related to the POCCO brand of electric vehicles (POCCO EV), which constitutes big progress toward Kaixin’s successful transformation into a new energy vehicle manufacturing company. However, 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.

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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.

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 historically relied on Moatable, 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.

We operate in an evolving and fast-changing market.

The PRC automotive retail market, including the consumer automotive finance market, is highly dynamic. 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 new and used vehicles

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. 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.

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.

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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 customer traffic to our 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$481 thousand, US$2.1 million and US$3.3 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023, 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.

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.

The global macroeconomic environment is facing numerous challenges. 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. 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.

Our business generates and processes a significant amount 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 Dealerships utilize and generate 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.

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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.

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

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In general, we expect that data security and data protection compliance will receive greater attention and focus from regulators, both domestically and globally, as well as attract continued or greater public scrutiny and attention going forward, which 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, we could become subject to penalties, including fines, suspension of business and revocation of required licenses, and our reputation and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

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.

In June 2021, the SCNPC promulgated the PRC Data Security Law, which took effect in September 2021. The PRC Data Security Law, among other things, provides for security review procedure for data-related activities that may affect national security. In July 2021, the state council promulgated the Regulations on Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, which became effective on September 1, 2021. Pursuant to this regulation, critical information infrastructure means key network facilities or information systems of critical industries or sectors, such as public communication and information service, energy, transportation, water conservation, finance, public services, e-government affairs and national defense science, the damage, malfunction or data leakage of which may endanger national security, people’s livelihoods and the public interest. In December 2021, the CAC, together with other authorities, jointly promulgated the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which became effective on February 15, 2022 and replaces its predecessor regulation. Pursuant to the Cybersecurity Review Measures, critical information infrastructure operators that procure internet products and services and the network platform operators that conduct data processing activities must be subject to the cybersecurity review if their activities affect or may affect national security. The Cybersecurity Review Measures further stipulates that network platform operators that hold personal information of over one million users shall apply with the Cybersecurity Review Office for a cybersecurity review before any public listing in a foreign country. As of the date of this Annual Report, no detailed rules or implementation rules have been issued by any authority and we have not been informed that we are a critical information infrastructure operator by any government authorities. Furthermore, the exact scope of “critical information infrastructure operators” under the current regulatory regime remains unclear, and the PRC government authorities may have wide discretion in the interpretation and enforcement of the applicable laws. Therefore, it is uncertain whether we would be deemed to be a critical information infrastructure operator under PRC law. If we are deemed to be a critical information infrastructure operator under the PRC cybersecurity laws and regulations, we may be subject to obligations in addition to what we have fulfilled under the PRC cybersecurity laws and regulations.

In November 2021, the CAC released the Regulations of Internet Data Security Management (Draft for Comments), or the Draft Regulations. The Draft Regulations provide that data processors refer to individuals or organizations that, during their data processing activities such as data collection, storage, utilization, processing, transmission, provision, publication and deletion, have autonomy over the purpose and the manner of data processing. In accordance with the Draft Regulations, data processors shall apply for a cybersecurity review for certain activities, including, among other things, (i) the listing in a foreign country of data processors that process the personal information of more than one million users and (ii) any data processing activity that affects or may affect national security. However, there have been no clarifications from the relevant authorities as of the date of this Annual Report as to the standards for determining whether an activity is one that “affects or may affect national security.” In addition, the Draft Regulations requires that data processors that process “important data” or are listed overseas must conduct an annual data security assessment by itself or commission a data security service provider to do so, and submit the assessment report of the preceding year to the municipal cybersecurity department by the end of January each year. As of the date of this Annual Report, the Draft Regulations was released for public comment only, and their respective provisions and anticipated adoption or effective date may be subject to change with substantial uncertainty.

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In July 2022, the CAC promulgated the Measures for the Security Assessment of Outbound Data, which became effective on September 1, 2022. These measures outline the requirements and procedures for security assessments on export of important data or personal information collected or generated within the territory of mainland China. Furthermore, these measures provide that the security assessment shall combine pre-assessment and continuous supervision, and risk self-assessment and security assessment to prevent data export security risks. Specifically, security assessment is required before any cross-border data can be transferred out of mainland China if: (i) the data transferred out of mainland China is important data; (ii) the data processor is a critical information infrastructure operator or data processor that processes personal information of more than one million individuals; (iii) cross-border data transfer of personal information by a data processor who has made cross-border transfer of aggregately more than 100,000 individuals’ personal information or more than 10,000 individuals’ sensitive personal information since January 1st of the previous year; or (iv) otherwise required by the CAC.

In September 2022, the CAC promulgated the Decision to Amend the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft for Comments), which mainly involves amendments in the following aspects: (i) improving the legal liability system for violating the general provisions of network operation security, (ii) modifying the legal liability system for security protection of critical information infrastructure, (iii) adjusting the legal liability system for network information security, and (iv) revising the legal liability system for personal information protection. As of the date of this Annual Report, the aforementioned draft amendments have not been adopted and there still exists substantial uncertainties regarding to anticipated adoption or effective date at this stage.

In August 2021, the SCNPC promulgated the Personal Information Protection Law, which integrates the scattered rules with respect to personal information rights and privacy protection and took effect on November 1, 2021. We update our privacy policies from time to time to meet the latest regulatory requirements of PRC government authorities and adopt technical measures to protect data and ensure cybersecurity in a systematic way. Nonetheless, the Personal Information Protection Law elevates the protection requirements for personal information processing, and many specific requirements of this law remain to be clarified by the regulatory authorities, and courts in practice. We may be required to make further adjustments to our business practices to comply with the personal information protection laws and regulations.

In June 2022, the CAC issued the Provisions on the Administration of Internet Users’ Account Information, which became effective on August 1, 2022 and stipulated that internet information service providers must, among other things, equip themselves with professional and technical capabilities appropriate to the scale of their services, and establish, improve and strictly implement systems for identity authentication, account verification, information safekeeping, ecological governance, emergency response, personal information protection, among others. The provisions also require that the internet information service providers should handle and protect internet users’ account information in accordance with law, and take measures to prevent unauthorized access, as well as leakage, tampering, or loss of personal information. The internet information service providers must set up convenient portals for complaints and whistleblowing at an easily seen location, provide channels for complaints and whistleblowing, improve the acceptance, screening, disposal and feedback mechanisms, specify the handling process and feedback time limit and timely handle the complaints and whistleblowing of users and the public.

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

We have set up the New Energy Vehicles Department in 2021 and produced a NEV prototype in mid 2022 and delivered it to customers at the end of 2022. In August, 2023, the Company closed the acquisition of Morning Star, which mainly produces miniature electric vehicles under the POCCO brand. Following the closing, Morning Star has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kaixin, which represents the Company’s official entry into the field of new energy vehicle manufacturing. 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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 — Research and Development”. 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.

In March 2018, Moatable transferred to KAG the kaixin.com domain name, and in May 2018, an affiliate of Moatable granted KAG an exclusive license to use the “Kaixin” brand. Further, we have successfully registered our brand name “开心汽” (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.

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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.

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 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) lack of sufficient resources with US GAAP and the SEC reporting experiences, which could adversely affect the Company’s ability to provide accurate disclosures on a timely matter; (ii) the lack of an effective and continuous risk assessment procedure to identify and assess the financial reporting risks; and (iii) lack of evaluations to ascertain whether the components of internal control are present and functioning.

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.

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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. In addition, we ceased to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined under the JOBS Act as of December 31, 2022. If our public float is over US$75 million, under which condition we will become an “accelerated filer,” 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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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

The insurance industry in China is still evolving, 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 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. To the extent cash or assets in the business are in the PRC/Hong Kong or a PRC/Hong Kong entity, funds or assets may not be available to fund operations or for other use outside of the PRC/Hong Kong due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations on the ability of the holding company or its subsidiaries by the PRC government to transfer cash or assets.

We a holding company with no material operations of our own. We conduct our operations in China through our PRC subsidiaries. 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.

Moreover, we have no operations outside PRC, and cash generated from operations in the PRC may not be available for other use outside of the PRC due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations on the ability of us or our subsidiaries, by the PRC government to transfer cash. The transfer of funds and assets among Kaixin Holdings, its Hong Kong and PRC subsidiaries is subject to restrictions. The PRC government imposes controls on the conversion of the RMB into foreign currencies and the remittance of currencies out of the PRC. In addition, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules provide that a withholding tax at a rate of 10% will be applicable to dividends payable by Chinese companies to non-PRC-resident enterprises, unless reduced under treaties or arrangements between the PRC central government and the governments of other countries or regions where the non-PRC resident enterprises are tax resident. As of the date of this Annual Report, there are no restrictions or limitations imposed by the Hong Kong government on the transfer of capital within, into and out of Hong Kong (including funds from Hong Kong to the PRC), except for the transfer of funds involving money laundering and criminal activities. However, there is no guarantee that the Hong Kong government will not promulgate new laws or regulations that may impose such restrictions in the future. As a result of the above, to the extent cash or assets of our business is in the PRC or Hong Kong, such funds or assets may not be available to fund operations or for other use outside of the PRC or Hong Kong, due to interventions in or the imposition of restrictions and limitations by the PRC government to the transfer of cash or assets.

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Our adjustment of corporate structure and business operations and the termination of contractual arrangement with the VIEs may not be liability-free.

With the disposition of Renren Finance Inc, all VIEs were disposed as of October 27, 2022. We cannot assure you that the disposal of the affiliated entities and termination of contractual arrangement with the related VIE structures in the PRC will not give rise to dispute or liability, or that such disposal and discontinuation of operations will not adversely affect our overall results of operations and financial condition. We cannot guarantee that we will not continue to be subject to PRC regulatory inspection and/or review, especially when there remains significant uncertainty as to the scope and manner of the regulatory enforcement. If we become subject to regulatory inspection and/or review by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC or other PRC authorities, or are required by them to take any specific actions, it could cause suspension or termination of the future offering of our securities, disruptions to our operations, result in negative publicity regarding our company, and divert our managerial and financial resources.

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 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, 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 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.

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Risks Related to Doing Business in China

The Chinese government may exert substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. We are required to file with the CSRC within 3 working days after the subsequent securities offering is completed and we might face warnings or fines if we fail to fulfill related filing procedure. We may become subject to more stringent requirements with respect to matters including cross-border investigation and enforcement of legal claims.

The Chinese government may exercise substantial control over the Chinese economy through regulation and state ownership. There are 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.

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.

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 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.

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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.

Furthermore, we are required to file with the CSRC within 3 working days after the subsequent securities offering is completed and we might face warnings or fines if we fail to fulfill related filing procedure. Although there are still uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of relevant regulatory guidance, our operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future laws and regulations relating to its business or industry.

On February 17, 2023, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, promulgated Trial Administrative Measures of the Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (the “Overseas Listing Trial Measures”) and five relevant guidelines which became effective on March 31, 2023. The Overseas Listing Trial Measures regulate both direct and indirect overseas offering and listing by PRC domestic companies by adopting a filing-based regulatory regime.

The Overseas Listing Trial Measures provide that if the issuer both meets the following criteria, the overseas securities offering and listing conducted by such issuer will be deemed as indirect overseas offering subject to the filing procedure set forth under the Overseas Listing Trial Measures: (i) 50% or more of the issuer’s operating revenue, total profit, total assets or net assets as documented in its audited consolidated financial statements for the most recent fiscal year is accounted for by the issuer’s domestic companies; and (ii) the issuer’s business activities are substantially conducted in mainland China, or its principal place of business are located in mainland China, or the senior managers in charge of its business operations and management are mostly Chinese citizens or domiciled in mainland China. The determination as to whether or not an overseas offering and listing by domestic companies is indirect, shall be made on a substance over form basis.

On the same day, the CSRC also held a press conference for the release of the Trial Measures and issued the Notice on Administration for the Filing of Overseas Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, which, among others, clarifies that on or prior to the effective date of the Overseas Listing Trial Measures, domestic companies that have been completed their overseas offering and listing, which are called as “the stock enterprises (存量企)”. As a stock enterprise (存量企), we shall file with the CSRC within 3 working days after the subsequent securities offering is completed. The CSRC shall order rectification, issue warnings and impose fines to the company fails to fulfill filing procedure as stipulated in Overseas Listing Trial Measures.

In addition, the CSRC published the Provisions on Strengthening Confidentiality and Archives Administration in Respect of Overseas Issuance and Listing of Securities by Domestic Enterprises on February 24, 2023, which became effective on March 31, 2023. The CSRC stipulates domestic enterprises, securities companies and securities service agencies which provide the corresponding services in the course of overseas issuance and listing of domestic enterprises, shall strengthen legal awareness of confidentiality of State secrets and archives administration, establish a sound system for confidentiality and archives work, adopt the requisite measures to perform the responsibilities of confidentiality and archives administration.

As there are still uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of such regulatory guidance, we cannot assure you that we will always be able to comply with new regulatory requirements relating to our future overseas capital-raising activities. We may become subject to more stringent requirements with respect to matters including cross-border investigation and enforcement of legal claims.

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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 (the “Draft Regulations”) 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. On July 7, 2022, CAC promulgated Measures for the Security Assessment of Outbound Data Transfers, (the “Data Cross Border Measures”), which became effective on September 1, 2022 and provide that a data processor is required to apply for security assessment for cross-border data transfer in any of the following circumstances: (i) where a data processor provides critical data to offshore entities and individuals; (ii) where a CIIO or a data processor which processes personal information of more than one million individuals provides personal information to offshore entities and individuals; (iii) where a data processor has provided personal information in the aggregate of more than 100,000 individuals or sensitive personal information of more than 10,000 individuals in total to offshore entities and individuals since January 1 of the previous year; or (iv) other circumstances prescribed by the CAC for which declaration for security assessment for cross-board transfer of data is required. Furthermore, on August 31, 2022, the CAC promulgated the Guidelines for filing the Outbound Data Transfer Security Assessment (Version 1), which provides that acts of outbound data transfer include (i) overseas transmission and storage by data processors of data generated during mainland China domestic operations; (ii) the access to, use, download or export of the data collected and generated by data processors and stored in mainland China by overseas institutions, organizations or individuals; and (iii) other acts as specified by the CAC. The Revised Review Measures and the Draft Regulations remain unclear on whether the relevant requirements will be applicable to companies, which have been listed in the United States, such as us. They also remain uncertain whether the future regulatory changes would impose additional restrictions on companies like us. We cannot predict the impact of the Revised Review Measures and the Draft Regulations, if any, at this stage, and we will closely monitor and assess any development in the rule-making process.

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.

Recent regulatory initiatives implemented by the PRC competent government authorities on cyberspace data security may have introduced uncertainty in our business operations and compliance status, which could result in materially adverse impact on our business, results of operations and our listing on Nasdaq.

We are subject to complex and evolving statutory and regulatory requirements relating to cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection. Regulatory authorities in mainland China have enhanced data protection and cybersecurity regulatory requirements. These laws continue to develop, and the PRC government may adopt other rules and restrictions in the future. Non-compliance could result in penalties or other significant legal liabilities.

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The PRC Cybersecurity Law, which took effect in June 2017, created China’s first national-level data protection framework for “network operators.” It is relatively new and subject to interpretations by the regulator. It requires, among other things, that network operators take security measures to protect the network from unauthorized interference, damage and unauthorized access and prevent data from being divulged, stolen or tampered with. Network operators are also required to collect and use personal information in compliance with the principles of legitimacy, properness and necessity, and strictly within the scope of authorization by the subject of personal information unless otherwise prescribed by laws or regulations. Significant capital, managerial and human resources are required to comply with legal requirements, enhance information security and address any issues caused by security failures.

The Measures for Cybersecurity Review promulgated in April 2020 provides that critical information infrastructure operators must pass a cybersecurity review when purchasing network products and services which do or may affect national security. Pursuant to the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures that took effect on February 15, 2022, operators of critical information infrastructure that intend to purchase network products and services that affect or may affect national security must apply for a cybersecurity review. However, as advised by our PRC counsel, as such new laws, regulations and rules were only recently promulgated, their interpretation and implementation shall be determined in accordance with the laws and regulations in force at the time. As of the date of this Annual Report, we have not been involved in any investigations or become subject to a cybersecurity review initiated by the CAC, and we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, sanctions in such respect or any regulatory objections to our listing status from the CAC.

The Regulations on Security Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure that took effect on September 1, 2021 defines critical information infrastructure and its operators, who must adhere to specific security requirements. As this regulation is newly issued, the governmental authorities, including the administration departments for each critical industry and sector, may further formulate detailed rules or explanations with respect to the interpretation and implementation of this regulation.

The PRC Personal Information Protection Law, effective since November 2021, sets stringent rules for processing personal and sensitive information, which significantly affects our data handling practices. Some information we collect, such as location and mobile numbers, may be deemed to be sensitive personal information under the Personal Information Protection Law. As the interpretation and implementation of the Personal Information Protection Law shall be determined in accordance with the laws and regulations in force at the time, we cannot assure you that we will be able to comply with the Personal Information Protection Law in all respects, or that regulatory authorities will not order us to rectify or terminate our current practice of collecting and processing sensitive personal information. We may also become subject to fines and other penalties under the Personal Information Protection Law, which may have material adverse effect on our business, operations and financial condition.

On November 14, 2021, the CAC published a discussion draft of Regulations on the Administration of Cyber Data Security for public comments. These measures, if and when formalized, could impose additional cybersecurity review requirements for data processors, especially those involving national security concerns. Based on the facts that, (i) the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures were newly adopted and the discussion draft of Regulations on the Administration of Cyber Data Security have not been formally adopted, and the implementation and interpretation of both are subject to uncertainties, and (ii) we have not been involved in any investigations on cyber security review made by the CAC on such basis, nor have we received any inquiries, notices, warnings, or sanctions from any competent PRC regulatory authorities related to cybersecurity, data security and personal data protection, we believe, as of the date of this annual report, we are in compliance with the existing PRC laws and regulations on cybersecurity, data security and personal data protection issued by the CAC.The PRC government authorities also further enhanced the supervision and regulation of cross-border data transmission. On July 7, 2022, the CAC promulgated the Measures for the Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer, which took effect on September 1, 2022. In accordance with such measures, data processors will be subject to security assessment conducted by the CAC prior to any cross-border transfer of data if the transfer involves (i) important data; (ii) personal information transferred overseas by operators of critical information infrastructure or a data processor that has processed personal data of more than one million persons; (iii) personal information transferred overseas by a data processor which has already provided personal data of 100,000 persons or sensitive personal data of 10,000 persons overseas since January 1 of the preceding year; or (iv) other circumstances as required by the CAC. In addition, any cross-border data transfer activities conducted in violation of the Measures for the Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer before the effectiveness of such measures are required to be rectified within six months of the effectiveness date thereof. Since these measures are relatively new, there are still substantial uncertainties with respect to the interpretation and implementation of these measures in practice and how they will affect our business operation.

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In addition, internet information in mainland China is regulated from a national security standpoint. According to the PRC National Security Law, institutions and mechanisms for national security review and administration will be established to conduct national security review on key technologies and IT products and services that affect or may affect national security. The PRC Data Security Law took effect in September 2021 and provides for a security review procedure for the data activities that may affect national security. It also introduces a data classification and hierarchical protection system based on the importance of data in economic and social development, as well as 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, or illegally acquired or used. The appropriate level of protection measures is required to be taken for each respective category of data.

While we take measures to comply with applicable data privacy and protection laws and regulations, we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the measures undertaken and those implemented by us. In addition, we could be subject to new laws or regulations or the interpretation and application of existing consumer and data protection laws or regulations. These new laws, regulations and interpretations are often uncertain and in flux and may be inconsistent with our practices. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain compliance at all times, especially in light of the fact that laws and regulations on cybersecurity and data protection are evolving. Complying with these new or additional laws, regulations and requirements could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices in a manner materially adverse to our business.

It may be difficult for overseas shareholders and/or regulators to conduct investigations or collect evidence within China.

Shareholder claims or regulatory investigation that are common in the United States generally are difficult to pursue as a matter of law or practicality in China. For example, in China, there are significant legal and other obstacles to providing information needed for regulatory investigations or litigation initiated outside China. Although the authorities in China may establish a regulatory cooperation mechanism with the securities regulatory authorities of another country or region to implement cross-border supervision and administration, such cooperation with the securities regulatory authorities in the Unities States may not be efficient in the absence of mutual and practical cooperation mechanism. Furthermore, according to Article 177 of the PRC Securities Law, or Article 177, which became effective in March 2020, no overseas securities regulator is allowed to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within the territory of the PRC. Accordingly, without governmental approval in China, no entity or individual in China may provide documents and information relating to securities business activities to overseas regulators when it is under direct investigation or evidence discovery conducted by overseas regulators. While detailed interpretation of or implementation rules under Article 177 have yet to be promulgated, the inability for an overseas securities regulator to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within China may further increase difficulties faced by you in protecting your interests.

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.

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. 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 interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations could adversely affect us.

We conduct our business primarily through our subsidiaries in China. Our operations in China are governed by the laws and regulations of China. Our subsidiaries are generally subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investments in China. As a civil law jurisdiction, the legal system of China is based on written statutes. Prior court decisions may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value.

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The laws and regulations of China have significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China for the past decades. However, because certain laws and regulations are relatively new, and because of the limited volume of published decisions and their nonbinding nature, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties.

Furthermore, the legal system of China is based in part on government policies and China is geographically large and divided into various provinces and municipalities. As such, different regulations and policies may have different and varying applications and interpretations in different parts of China, and it is possible that we may not be aware in a timely manner that we have been identified to be in violation of these policies and rules until sometime after the occurrence of the violation. In addition, certain administrative and court proceedings in China may result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.

PRC government has complex regulatory requirements on the conduct of our business and it has recently promulgated certain regulations and rules to exert more oversight over offerings that are conducted overseas and/ or foreign investment in China-based issuers. Such action could significantly limit or hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline.

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.

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.

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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 March 23, 2023 by Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Repealing and Invalidating Fifteen Normative Documents Concerning Administration of Foreign Exchange and Some Articles of Fourteen 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 the 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.

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.

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In addition, pursuant to the relevant laws and regulations, as our Dealerships are regarded as operators of new and 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$7,042). 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.

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.

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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 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.

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 and amended in 2022 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.

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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.

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.

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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”.

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.

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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.

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 June 15, 2018. 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.

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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.

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.

On August 26, 2022, the PCAOB signed a Statement of Protocol with the CSRC and Ministry of Finance, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong completely, consistent with U.S. law.

On December 15, 2022, the PCAOB announced that it was able to conduct inspections and investigations completely of PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2022. The PCAOB vacated its previous determinations issued in December 2021 accordingly. As a result, we do not expect to be identified as a “Commission-Identified Issuer” under the HFCA Act for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 after we file our annual report on Form 20-F for such fiscal year. However, whether the PCAOB will continue to conduct inspections and investigations completely to its satisfaction of PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong is subject to uncertainty and depends on a number of factors out of our, and our auditor’s, control, including positions taken by authorities of the PRC. The PCAOB is expected to continue to demand complete access to inspections and investigations against accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong in the future and states that it has already made plans to resume regular inspections in early 2023 and beyond. The PCAOB is required under the HFCA Act to make its determination on an annual basis with regards to its ability to inspect and investigate completely accounting firms based in the mainland China and Hong Kong. The possibility of being a “Commission-Identified Issuer” and risk of delisting could continue to adversely affect the trading price of our securities. Should the PCAOB again encounter impediments to inspections and investigations in mainland China or Hong Kong as a result of positions taken by any authority in either jurisdiction, the PCAOB will make determinations under the HFCA Act as and when appropriate.

Our current auditor, Onestop Assurance PAC (“Onestop”), and our prior auditor for the 2020 and 2021 annual reports, Marcum Asia CPAs LLP (Formerly Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP), or Marcum Asia, the independent registered public accounting firm that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual report, are registered with the PCAOB. The PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. Onestop Assurance PAC and Marcum Asia CPAs LLP are headquartered in Singapore and New York, New York, respectively, and, as of the date of this Annual Report, were not included in the list of PCAOB Identified Firms in the PCAOB Determination Report issued in December 2021.

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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. Both Onestop and Marcum Asians 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 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 shares when you wish to do so, and the risk and uncertainty associated with delisting would have a negative impact on the price of our shares. 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.

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 merger with Haitaoche Limited;

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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.

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 December 31, 2023, we had 50,676,013 ordinary shares outstanding, including 38,824,705 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 do not 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 our memorandum and articles of association and 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.

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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.

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, 2023 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”.

Our dual-class voting structure will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could discourage others from pursuing any change of control transactions that holders of our Class A ordinary shares may view as beneficial.

Our company is controlled through a dual class voting structure. Our ordinary shares are divided into Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Holders of Class A ordinary shares are entitled to one vote per share in respect of matters requiring the votes of shareholders, while holders of Class B ordinary shares are entitled to twenty votes per share, subject to certain exceptions. Each Class B ordinary share is convertible into one Class A ordinary share at any time by the holder thereof, while Class A ordinary shares are not convertible into Class B ordinary shares under any circumstances. Upon any direct or indirect transfer of Class B ordinary shares or associated voting power by a holder thereof to any person or entity which is not an affiliate of such holder, such Class B ordinary shares will be automatically and immediately converted into the equal number of Class A ordinary shares. Due to the disparate voting powers associated with our two classes of ordinary shares, as of March 31, 2024, Mr. Mingjun Lin, our chief executive officer, beneficially owned 44% of the aggregate voting power of our company, and Ms. Yi Yang, our chief financial officer, beneficially owned 36% of the aggregate voting power of our company. See “Item 6.E. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Share Ownership.” As a result, Mr. Mingjun Lin and Ms. Yi Yang have considerable influence over matters such as approving material mergers, acquisitions or other business combination transactions. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could also discourage others from pursuing any potential merger, takeover or other change of control transactions, which could have the effect of depriving the holders of our Class A ordinary shares of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price.

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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, 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.

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 incurred increased costs as a result of being a public 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.

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. Since we are no longer an “emerging growth company” as of the date of this Annual Report, 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.

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If we fail to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement, our shares could be subject to delisting.

Our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The Nasdaq Listing Rules has minimum requirements that a company must meet for continued listing on the Nasdaq CapitalGlobal Market. These requirements include maintaining a minimum closing bid price of US$1.00 per share for a period of 30 consecutive trading days. On February 1, 2024, we received a notice from Nasdaq that we failed to comply with the minimum closing bid price requirement set forth in 5550(a)(2) of the Nasdaq Listing Rules as the closing bid price per share had been below US$1.00 for a period of 30 consecutive business days. The Nasdaq notification letter does not result in the immediate delisting of our securities. Pursuant to Rule 5810(c)(3)(A) of the Nasdaq Listing Rules, we had a compliance period of 180 calendar days, or until March 27, 2023 to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement. Nasdaq granted us a second period of 180 calendar days, or until July 30, 2024, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing. To regain compliance, the closing bid price per share must meet or exceed US$1.00 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days on or prior to July 30, 2024.

We have not regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement as of the date of this Annual Report. We are closely monitoring the bid price of our shares. We may implement a reverse stock split, if necessary, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement in a timely manner. If we fail to regain compliance by July 30, 2024, or if we fail to meet the other continued listing requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market, we may be subject to delisting. The delisting of the shares may significantly reduce the liquidity of the shares, cause further declines to the market price of the shares, and make it more difficult for us to obtain adequate financing to support our continued operation.

ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY.

A.History and Development of the Company

History of CM Seven Star

Our company, formerly known as CM Seven Star Acquisition Corporation (“CM Seven Star”), was incorporated in the Cayman Islands as an exempted company on November 28, 2016. We were originally a blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, recapitalization, reorganization or other similar business combination, with one or more target businesses.

On October 30, 2017, we consummated an initial public offering, and a total of US$206.4 million of the net proceeds from the sales described above were placed in a trust account established for the benefit of our public shareholders.

On April 30, 2019, we consummated the Business Combination as contemplated by the share exchange agreement (the “Share Exchange Agreement”) dated as of November 2, 2018 by and among CM Seven Star, KAG and Moatable, pursuant to which we acquired 100% of the equity interests of KAG from Moatable. In connection with the Business Combination, KAG had transferred the equity interest and assets of its Ji’nan Dealership to Moatable in December 2018.

Upon the closing of the Business Combination, we acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding securities of KAG, in exchange for approximately 28.3 million ordinary shares of our company. Out of the 28.3 million shares, there were 3.3 million ordinary shares (“indemnity shares”) held in escrow as potential indemnity for claims that may be asserted under the Share Exchange Agreement. An additional 4.7 million ordinary shares of our Company were reserved for issuance under an equity incentive plan in exchange for outstanding options in KAG, which were cancelled at the closing of the Business Combination. Additionally, 19.5 million earnout shares were to be issued and held in escrow. Moatable may be entitled to receive earnout shares under certain prequalification conditions. Immediately after the Business Combination, Moatable owned approximately 56% of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares without taking into account the indemnity shares and the earnout shares in escrow account as discussed above. In November 2020, the Board of the Company resolved to waive the satisfaction of prequalification conditions for the earnout shares discussed above and release and transfer the 19.5 million earnout shares to Moatable. Moatable received a total of 22.8 million shares including the 3.3 million indemnity shares and the 19.5 million earnout shares in November 2021.

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History of KAG Before the Business Combination

Before the completion of Business Combination, KAG had been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moatable. KAG’s business was historically operated by Moatable through certain subsidiaries and variable interest entities, including KAG itself.

KAG was formed in March 2011 as Renren-Jingwei Inc., an exempted company under the laws of the Cayman Islands. KAG initially focused on providing consumer financing solutions through Renren Fenqi, an installment payment business. In 2015, KAG underwent a strategic realignment and launched Renren Licai, a peer-to-peer financing platform. Following the acquisition of a government license for leasing and factoring, KAG began to offer floor financing to auto dealerships. In connection with the growth of this business, KAG was rebranded in the first quarter of 2016 as Renren Financial Holdings.

In 2017, Moatable’s finance business, as well as certain shell companies were transferred to KAG, and certain reorganization steps were undertaken. The main components of the reorganization include:

Establishment of Anhui Xin Jieying (renamed from Shanghai Jieying). In February 2017, Anhui Xin Jieying was established in the PRC by Mr. Thomas Jintao Ren. In April 2017, Mr. Ren transferred 1% of the equity interests he held in Anhui Xin Jieying to Ms. Rui Yi. Both Mr. Ren and Ms. Yi were nominee shareholders designated by Moatable. Shortly after that, Anhui Xin Jieying and its nominee shareholders entered into a series of contractual arrangements with a subsidiary of KAG, Beijing Jiexun Shiji Technology Development Co., Ltd., or Beijing Jiexun, which enabled Beijing Jiexun to be the primary beneficiary of Anhui Xin Jieying.
Transfer of Equity Interests of Renren Finance and its subsidiary. In April 2017, the equity interests of Renren Finance, Inc., a subsidiary of Moatable, were transferred to KAG for nil consideration. Renren Finance Inc. and its subsidiary were mainly engaged in the provision of internet-based financing to used car dealerships.
Transfer of Equity Interests and Reorganization of Qianxiang Changda. In May 2017, Qianxiang Changda, which was formerly a subsidiary of a consolidated variable interest entity of Moatable, was transferred to Mr. James Jian Liu and Ms. Jing Yang for a consideration of RMB50 million, which was equal to the paid-in-capital of Qianxiang Changda. Mr. Liu and Ms. Yang were nominee shareholders designated by KAG. In June 2017, Qianxiang Changda and its nominee shareholders entered into a series of contractual arrangements with Beijing Jiexun, which enabled Beijing Jiexun to be primary beneficiary of Qianxiang Changda. In 2016 and 2017, Qianxiang Changda terminated and/or transferred to Moatable certain parts of its financing services business, including wealth management services, credit financing to college students and apartment rental financing. After the reorganization of KAG in 2017, Qianxiang Changda was only engaged in the provision of financing to used car dealerships.
Establishment of Shanghai Auto and Amendments to the Contractual Arrangements with Qianxiang Changda and Anhui Xin Jieying. In August 2017, Shanghai Auto was established in the PRC by KAG. At the same time, Anhui Xin Jieying and Qianxiang Changda terminated their contractual agreements with Beijing Jiexun and entered into the similar contractual agreements with Shanghai Auto.

In the first quarter of 2017, KAG was renamed as Renren Auto Group, and launched its first Dealership later that year. In the first quarter of 2018, KAG was further renamed as Kaixin Auto Group.

History and Development after the Business Combination

Immediately prior to the completion of the Business Combination, our Company was renamed as Kaixin Auto Holdings (“KAH”).

On June 28, 2019, we determined that we qualify as a “foreign private issuer” as defined under Rule 3b-4 of the Exchange Act, and started reporting under the Exchange Act as a foreign private issuer.

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Haitaoche Acquisition

On November 3, 2020, we entered into a binding term sheet with Haitaoche pursuant to which Haitaoche will merge with a newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, with Haitaoche continuing as the surviving entity and a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours. On December 31, 2020, a definitive share purchase agreement was entered into between Kaixin and Haitaoche in connection with the Haitaoche Acquisition pursuant to which Kaixin agrees to issue to shareholders of Haitaoche an aggregate of 74,035,502 ordinary shares of Kaixin in exchange of 100% share capital of Haitaoche. The closing of the Haitaoche Acquisition was subject to a number of closing conditions, including the relevant approval by NSDAQ Stock Market pursuant to Rule 5110(a) of the Nasdaq Stock Market. We received such approval on April 15, 2021. On June 25, 2021, our Company issued an aggregate of 74,035,502 ordinary shares through private placement to several former shareholders of Haitaoche in exchange of 100% of the share capital of Haitaoche, pursuant to the share purchase agreement which was entered into on January 4, 2021. Following the issuance, Haitaoche shareholders and former Kaixin shareholders own 51.61% and 48.39%, respectively, of the post-closing outstanding KAH ordinary shares (on a fully diluted basis). Following the consummation of Haitaoche Acquisition, Haitaoche became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The management of Haitaoche became the management of the combined entity, resulting in the reverse acquisition of KAH whereby Haitaoche is deemed to be the acquirer for accounting purposes. In June 2022, certain former Haitaoche shareholders signed an act-in-concert agreement that remained in effect until the end of 2022. They agreed to act in concert in key issues related to the operations and corporate governance of Kaixin.

Following the completion of the reverse acquisition, KAH is the consolidated parent of Haitaoche and the resulting company operates under the KAH corporate name. Haitaoche’s historical financial statements became the historical financial statements of the Company. The acquired assets and liabilities of KAH are included in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet as of June 25, 2021 and the results of its operations and cash flows are included in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive income (loss) and cash flows for periods beginning after June 25, 2021.

Haitaoche is a holding company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands on January 13, 2015. Haitaoche conducts operations through its variable interest entities in the People’s Republic of China. The Company is mainly engaged in sales of imported automobiles in PRC.

The Company was renamed Kaixin Holdings, effective on April 10, 2024. Our principal executive office is located at Unit B2-303-137, 198 Qidi Road, Beigan Community, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China. Our registered office is situated at the office of Harneys Fiduciary (Cayman) Limited, 4th Floor, Harbour Place, 103 South Church Street, P.O. Box 10240, Grand Cayman KY1-1002, Cayman Islands. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Cogency Global Inc., located at 122 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10168.

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Disposal of Renren Finance, Inc

The company had a large number of inactive shell companies and VIE structures, which were the result of its historical legacy and no longer relevant for its car sale businesses. Those inactive entities and the VIEs simply caused extra maintenance costs, regulatory risk, and disclosure burdens. To streamline its corporate structure, mitigate the uncertainties, and exert full control on our operating entities, the management explored the options to dispose of Renren Finance, Inc. along with its subsidiaries and VIEs and the VIEs’ subsidiaries (collectively referred to as the “Disposal Group”). The Disposal Group had a negative book of around US$3 million at that time. On August 5, 2022, KAG, our wholly-owned subsidiary, and Stanley Star entered into a shares transfer agreement (the “August 2022 Agreement”). The August 2022 Agreement stipulates that KAG agrees to sell all the shares it held in Renren Finance, Inc along with its subsidiaries and VIEs and the VIEs’ subsidiaries at a consideration of US$1, to Stanley Star, an independent third party company incorporated in BVI that was interested in exploring the opportunities in the non-performing assets on the books of the Disposal Group. In addition, the August 2022 Agreement stipulates that on the date of the closing if the net liability of the Disposal Group is more than RMB20 million, the Company agrees to make compensation to Stanley Star accordingly. The sale of the Disposal Group and the ownership transfer were completed on October 27, 2022 (the “Disposal Completion Date”), on which date the net book value of the Disposal Group was net liabilities was approximately $24.6 million. Accordingly, on December 28, 2022, KAG and Stanley Star entered into a supplement agreement pursuant to which the Company agrees to compensate Stanley Star pursuant to the August 2022 Agreement. On March 24, 2023, KAG and Stanley Star entered into an amendment to the supplement agreement, the Company entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Series F Agreement”) with Stanley Star, pursuant to which, the Company subsequently issued to Stanley Star an aggregate of 50,000 Series F Convertible Preferred Shares, each of which is convertible into 1,000 ordinary share of the Company in connection with the disposal. In November 2023, the Company issued 7,000,000 ordinary shares to Stanley Star for settlement of partial conversion of the Series F Convertible Shares.

With the disposition of Renren Finance Inc, all VIEs were disposed as of October 27, 2022. As a result, there is no VIE entity in the corporate structure of the Company and as of the date of this Annual Report, we conduct our operations exclusively through our wholly-owned subsidiaries.

B.

Business Overview

The Company is primarily engaged in the sales of domestic and imported automobiles in the PRC. We are committed to providing a superior car purchase and ownership experiences to our customers. Our passion and professionalism build trust and long-term customer loyalty.

We are a leading premium auto dealership group in China. As of December 31, 2023, we had three Dealerships covering three cities in China. On average, our Dealership operators have over ten years of experiences in the car sales industry. We provide car buyers in China with access to a wide selection of used vehicles across our network of Dealerships, with a focus on premium brands, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Porsche.

China is the world’s largest automotive market both in demand and supply in 2023. On June 25, 2021, we closed the Haitaoche Acquisition. Haitaoche is a China-based merchant for domestic and imported automobiles. The manufacture and distribution of automobiles are undergoing significant changes in China, which are expected to create new opportunities and business models. Haitaoche strives to become a leading automobile retail platform in China. In addition to maintaining its domestic and imported new car sales business, it plans to expand into electronic vehicles and other business areas. Haitaoche aims to enter into strategic cooperation agreements with multiple electronic vehicle manufacturers in China and serve a wider group of distributors and consumers.

By integrating the operations and resources of Haitaoche with the used car dealership business, we are engaged in the sales of both new and used, domestic and imported automobiles. We sourced, marketed and sold approximately 1,814, 879 and 525 vehicles to customers across China in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

We are actively looking for opportunities to expand into the business area of electronic vehicles. We have set up the New Energy Vehicles Department in 2021 and delivered the new NEV prototype to our customer at the end of 2022. We released our new energy vehicle strategic plan on December 1, 2021, and we target to quickly expand our new energy vehicle team and start with developing commercial new energy vehicles for intra-city and inter-city logistics applications in the initial stage.

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In addition, we have reached into a strategic partnership with Beijing Bujia Technology Co., Ltd. (“Bujia”) and obtained a sales order for 5,000 new energy logistics vehicles with Bujia, a leading automobile logistics service provider in China. It will order a total of RMB1 billion (equivalent to around US$156 million) worth of new energy vehicles from our Company in the next few years. The first model vehicle was delivered to Bujia in July 2022. We aim to continuously establish strategic partnerships with platforms that have big sales potentials and to make customized production according to customer needs. In April, 2023, the Company reached reached a strategic business partnership with China Automobile Import and Export Co., Ltd., which aims to build up a joint export trading platform for new energy vehicles with a target total transaction volume of USD$10.8 billion in the coming five years.

Value Propositions to Car Buyers

We provide integrated online and offline sales channels to car buyers, aiming to create a superior and convenient vehicle purchase experience. We provide high-quality photos of the vehicles we sell from multiple angles, allowing consumers to browse our inventory online and attract them to physically visit our Dealership Outlets. Our offline presence with professional sales staff and a comprehensive showroom experience provides convenience to the buyers, who typically want to view the car in person, understand its history, take it for a test drive and establish trust before making a purchase.

Our nationwide inventory, which undergoes our inspection process and reconditioning process for quality assurance, is optimized based on market insights into popular models and pricing trends through our technology systems. Our customer support specialists are available to answer customers’ questions that arise throughout the process. At every transaction milestone, we strive to provide the level of customer service that makes purchasing a car an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Our Businesses

Kaixin have pioneered an innovative business model, under which it had obtained control of Dealerships across China, providing them with an integrated technology system, centralized operational control and management, a unified brand and capital support. Kaixin primarily generate revenues from sales of new and used cars. Of the Dealerships’ total revenues in 2021, 2022 and 2023, revenues from auto sales accounted for 100%, 100% and 100% respectively. Following the consummation of the Haitaoche Acquisition in June 2021, our car sales business gradually resumed operations in the majority of the Dealership locations, which complement the new car sales in the Haitaoche business unit. During 2022, the Company terminated cooperation with several dealerships that underperformed against our expectations and downsized our dealerships network to three dealerships.

Our Dealership Network

As of December 31, 2023, we had three Dealerships. Our network of Dealerships is focused primarily on tier 2 and below cities, where we believe the mix of cost structure, consumers’ demand and opportunity for growth is most favorable.

Dealership Evaluation and Selection Process

In expanding our network of Dealerships, we carefully consider potential markets and conduct a systematic evaluation of each potential new site, using a scoring system that we have developed internally. In our scoring system, we consider a number of factors in the area served, including:

location, nature and quality;
population density;
age distribution and average disposable income of consumers;
spending patterns, dining habits and frequency of consumers;
locations of other car dealerships;
estimated customer traffic;

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structure of the dealership, including availability of showroom and parking space; and
rental costs, lease economics and estimated return on investments.

Management of Dealerships

We have adopted an operating model for our auto sales business, which we believe aligns the economic interests of our Dealerships with our overall business. We provide capital, a unified brand, technology system and operational coordination to our Dealerships, in which we retain majority control. Under this model, all of the cash flows, operational activities and financial and accounting recordkeeping across our Dealerships are centrally managed. We believe that our dealership model promotes customer loyalty and provides significant operational advantages, by introducing standard practices, such as operational rules, legal documentation and processes. It also creates a common culture to promote bonding and buy-in among our direct employees, dealers and other workers.

Our internal team for Dealership management is responsible for development and expansion of our Dealership network. One of their responsibilities is to monitor the compliance with the operational obligations for the management of our Dealerships. In the event that the operating obligations as agreed in the equity purchase agreement are not fulfilled, we are entitled to recourse against the seller of the Dealership or terminate the equity purchase agreement. We also have the option to terminate the equity purchase agreement in certain circumstances, including but not limited to, the death or incapacity of the seller, issues of integrity or criminal conviction of the seller, material default by the seller, or our failure to complete an initial public offering within three years following signing of the relevant equity purchase agreement due to third-party reasons or force majeure. A seller may suspend or terminate Dealership services voluntarily or involuntarily due to various reasons, including our failure to complete an initial public offering within three years following entry into the relevant equity purchase agreement for reasons other than third-party reasons or force majeure. In connection with the Business Combination, we entered into amendment agreements with Dealership operators in January 2019 pursuant to which it was confirmed that the Business Combination qualifies as an initial public offering, that shares payable to the Dealership operators as consideration shall be adjusted to reflect the earnout and indemnification arrangements in the Business Combination, and that Moatable will be responsible for settling contingent obligations to Dealership operators.

Our relationships with our Dealerships are described in further details below under “—Certain Legal Arrangements — Legal Arrangements with Dealerships”.

Entry into the NEV Market

By integrating the operations and resources of Haitaoche with the used car dealership business, we are currently engaged in the sales of both new and used, domestic and imported automobiles and will be actively looking for opportunities to expand into the business area of electronic vehicles. We released our new energy vehicle strategic plan on December 1, 2021, and we target to quickly expand our new energy vehicle team and start with developing commercial new energy vehicles for intra-city and inter-city logistics applications in the initial stage. Reference is made to the Form 6-K which the Company filed with SEC on August 26, 2021, the Company has reached a binding term sheet to acquire 100% equity interest of Yujie through new share issuance. Yujie is a Chinese electronic vehicles (“EV”) manufacturer specialized in small size multi-function EVs. On September 26, 2022, the Company signed a binding acquisition term sheet with Wuxi Morning Star Technology Co., Ltd. (“Wuxi Morning Star”), who manufactures and operates the POCCO EVs. According to the term sheet, the Company intends to acquire 100% equity interest of Wuxi Morning Star through new share issuance and makes it a wholly owned subsidiary (the “Wuxi Morning Star Acquisition”). As consideration for the Wuxi Morning Star Acquisition, the Company will issue ordinary shares of Kaixin to the shareholders of Wuxi Morning Star Morning Star with market value of 100 million as determined by the average of the closing prices of last five trading days before the entering date of Share Purchase Agreement. On November 2, 2022, the Company signed a share purchase agreement with the shareholders of Morning Star Auto Inc. (“Morning Star”), to acquire 100% equity interest of Morning Star by issuing 100 million ordinay shares of Kaixin. Morning Star owns 100% equity interest of Wuxi Morning Star and 40% equity interest of Yujie. On August 22, 2023, the acquisition of Morning Star completed, after which Kaixin owns all assets and business operations related to POCCO EVs, which constitutes big progress toward Kaixin’s successful transformation into a new energy vehicle manufacturing company.

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In addition, we have signed a sales order for 5,000 new energy logistics vehicles with Bujia, a leading automobile logistics service provider in China. Bujia will order a total of RMB1 billion (equivalent to US$156 million) worth of new energy vehicles from our Company in the coming years. The first model vehicle was delivered to Bujia in mid-2022. In April, 2023, the Company reached reached a strategic business partnership with China Automobile Import and Export Co., Ltd., which aims to build up a joint export trading platform for new energy vehicles with a target total transaction volume of USD$10.8 billion in the coming five years.We aim to continuously establish strategic partnerships with platforms that have big sales potentials and to make customized production according to customer needs.

Legal Agreements with Dealerships

We have entered into a series of legal arrangements with our Dealerships and other related parties since 2021, which are generally designed for the compliance with PRC laws and regulations and for value-added tax optimization purposes. Revenue for 2021, 2022 and 2023 was primarily generated from transactions under these agreements and we expect future revenue from automobile sales to be primarily generated from transactions under these ancillary agreements.

The following is a summary of the typical key terms of the agreements which we entered into in connection with our auto sales operations since 2021. We may depart from these terms from time to time based on local conditions, counterparty’s demands, tax or regulatory considerations or other reasons.

Used Vehicle Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement among the owner of a used car as seller, the Jieying Legal Representative as purchaser, and a Dealership employee, as registered owner:
oThe Jieying Legal Representative is to purchase the used car and register it in the name of a designated employee of the relevant Dealership.
oAnhui Xin Jieying provides technology consulting services and operational management system services to the Jieying Legal Representative, who in turn pays service fees to Anhui Xin Jieying.
Used Car Agency Services Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement between the Jieying Legal Representative and the relevant Dealership:
oThe Dealership entrusts Jieying Legal Representative to purchase, sell, manage, repair and show used cars on its behalf.
oThe Jieying Legal Representative is to complete the transfer procedures for the purchase and sale of automobiles.
Vehicle Consignment Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement between the Jieying Legal Representative, as principal, and a Dealership employee, as agent:
oThe Jieying Legal Representative authorizes the Dealership employee to purchase a vehicle on his or her behalf.
oThe Jieying Legal Representative authorizes the Dealership employee to register such Dealership employee as the named transferee of the vehicle and the owner of the vehicle, while the Jieying Legal Representative retains legal ownership of the vehicle.
oWhen the vehicle is sold by the Jieying Legal Representative, the Dealership employee is responsible to handle third-party transfer procedures in a timely manner.
Loan and Service Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement between the Jieying Legal Representative, as borrower, and Anhui Xin Jieying, as lender:
oAnhui Xin Jieying provides loans to the Jieying Legal Representative for purchasing used cars.

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oProceeds from the used cars sold by the Jieying Legal Representative on behalf of Anhui Xin Jieying are used in their entirety to repay the loan. Proceeds in excess of the principal are designated as a service fee paid to Anhui Xin Jieying from the Jieying Legal Representative.
Used Vehicle Sales Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement among the Jieying Legal Representative, as seller, a customer, as purchaser, a designated Dealership employee, as the registration transferor, and the Dealership, as service provider:
oWhen the Jieying Legal Representative sells a used car to the customer, the automobile registration is transferred from the Dealership employee to the customer. The sale proceeds are transferred to the account designated by the management of Anhui Xin Jieying.
oAnhui Xin Jieying provides technology consulting services and operational management system services to the Jieying Legal Representative, who in turn pays service fees to Anhui Xin Jieying, which are deducted from the proceeds of the car sales.

To illustrate, when we source an automobile pursuant to a Used Vehicle Purchase Agreement, the seller is entitled to payment for the car, and the legal title is transferred to the Jieying Legal Representative, with the registration in the name of a Dealership employee. The Jieying Legal Representative is authorized to enter into this purchase agreement pursuant to the Used Car Agency Services Agreement, and the Dealership employee similarly is authorized to enter into the agreement pursuant to the Vehicle Consignment Agreement. Funds are paid by Anhui Xin Jieying through the Dealership to the seller of the car.

When a used car is sold, the Jieying Legal Representative transfers the legal ownership to the purchaser, while the Dealership employee completes the registration transfer from his or her name to the name of the purchaser. The proceeds are remitted to Anhui Xin Jieying.

Based on the agreements, neither the Jieying Legal Representative nor the Dealership employee bears any risk of loss or has any future economic benefits. Neither party ever places their own funds at risk and any potential losses resulting from the purchase and sale of the car are borne by Anhui Xin Jieying. Similarly, neither of these individuals is able to benefit from the expected increase in the price of the car resulting from completion of sale to a third-party customer; all of the future economic benefit is remitted directly to Anhui Xin Jieying. Additionally, Anhui Xin Jieying effectively controls the entire process starting from the purchase of the car, including from whom to purchase a car, the purchase price, and ultimately the sale of the car to a third party. In addition, Anhui Xin Jieying has the sole discretion as to which Jieying Legal Representative will enter into the Loan and Service Agreement with Anhui Xin Jieying and to which Dealership employee that it will assign to complete the registration of the car. Furthermore, it is within Anhui Xin Jieying’s sole power to redirect the Loan and Service Agreement, title and registration of the car.

Settlement arrangement with noncontrolling shareholders of dealerships over disputes

Starting from 2019, due to disagreements with certain noncontrolling shareholders on operational matters, some noncontrolling shareholders detained the Company’s inventories in certain dealerships. Due to the uncertainty in realizing inventory held by these dealerships and prepayments made to these dealerships for future car purchases, Kaixin wrote down a significant amount of inventory and prepayments in 2019. The Company has had ongoing negotiations with these noncontrolling shareholders and the Company has reached settlement agreements with some of these noncontrolling shareholders in the second half of 2021.

The following is a summary of the key terms of the settlement agreements which we entered into with certain noncontrolling shareholders. We may depart from these terms from time to time based on local conditions, counterparty’s demands, or other reasons.

Amendments to Used Car Agency Services Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement among Anhui Xin Jieying, the relevant Dealership and the noncontrolling shareholders of such Dealership:

The noncontrolling shareholders agree to repay a settlement amount in the form of inventory and/or repayment of prepayment to Anhui Xin Jieying based on a set schedule.

Amendments to Equity Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement among Anhui Xin Jieying and the noncontrolling shareholders of relevant Dealership:

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Anhui Xin Jieying commits to furnish the noncontrolling shareholders a certain number of the Company’s ordinary shares following a schedule tied to the noncontrolling shareholders’ performance of settlement payment duties as specified in the Amendments to Used Car Agency Services Agreement.
The number of the Company’s ordinary shares include shares in the First Payment and Subsequent Payments as specified in the Equity Purchase Agreement, plus certain extra bonus shares.
Financial Leasing Settlement Agreement. Pursuant to the agreement among Shanghai Renren Financial Leasing Co, Ltd. and the noncontrolling shareholders of relevant Dealership:
The noncontrolling shareholders agree to repay Shanghai Renren Financial Leasing Co, Ltd. the outstanding balance of financial leasing payables following a schedule tie to the controlling shareholders’ receipts of settlement shares as specified in the Amendments to Equity Purchase Agreement.

Sales and Marketing

Automobile Sales

We believe that our customer base is similar to the overall market for premium automobiles. To date, the growth of our automobile sales business has primarily been through customer referrals. We also believe that our strong customer focus ensures customer loyalty which will drive both repeat purchases and referrals. Our sales are primarily made in-store, but we have invested heavily in online sales channels, including through the Kaixin app and web interfaces. We believe that this is a key advantage over our competitors, whether traditional dealers, who do not have a strong online presence, or online-only competitors, who lack the offline infrastructure and in-store experiences that we are able to provide.

Marketing and Brand Promotion

We believe that brand recognition is important to our ability to attract users. We co-brand our Dealerships, many of which have an established local brand, to associate their existing brands with the Kaixin brand. “Kaixin” means “happiness” in Chinese and has had strong impact and positive responses in other applications. By empowering our Dealerships with this highly recognizable brand name, we aim to help them gain further credibility and trustworthiness.

To date, user recognition of our Kaixin brand has primarily grown organically and by referrals, and we have built our brand with modest marketing and brand promotion expenditures. To encourage such organic growth, we focus on continuously improving the quality of our services, as we believe that satisfied customers and their friends are more likely to recommend our services to others. In addition, we work with Dealerships on marketing initiatives to further leverage our brand value. Our Dealerships also engage in certain other promotional activities, including placement of local radio ads.

We anticipate that our future sales and marketing expenses will consist primarily of performance-based advertising, with the focus of driving traffic that will translate into customer purchases. We expect that these advertisements will generally fall into three areas: vertical automotive media, selected online channels and selected offline channels. In addition to paid channels, we intend to attract new customers through enhancing our media and public relations efforts, including organic marketing to enhance its reputation. Although we may have to expand our promotions from time to time, especially when we launch new services or products, we expect that our marketing expenses for these promotions will be relatively small when compared to those of our principal competitors.

Customer Services

Each of our Dealerships has a team of customer support specialists who provide assistance to the customers. Our specialists are available to assist customers with questions that arise throughout the car purchase process. These specialists are available via online chat or telephone and help our customers to navigate the website, answer specific questions and assist in loan applications. We take a consultative approach with customers, offering live support and acting as a trusted partner to guide them through each phase of the purchase lifecycle. We are committed to providing customers with a high-quality transaction experience. The effectiveness of our Kaixin model is reflected in our strong customer referrals. We focus on developing our customer support specialists and providing them with the information and resources that they need to offer exceptional customer services.

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Competition

The PRC automobile marketplace is highly fragmented. We primarily compete on the basis of our deep understanding of consumers’ needs and offering of numerous product choices from our substantial inventory.

Research and Development

Our intellectual property includes trademarks and trademark applications related to our brands and services, copyrights in software, trade secrets, patent applications and other intellectual property rights and licenses. We seek to protect our intellectual property assets and brand through a combination of monitoring and enforcement of trademark, patent, copyright and trade secret protection laws in the PRC and other jurisdictions, as well as through confidentiality agreements and procedures.

In March 2018, Moatable transferred to us the kaixin.com domain name and, in May 2018, an affiliate of Moatable granted us an exclusive license to use its “Kaixin” brand. Further, we have successfully registered our brand name “开心汽” 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, trademark registrations in other categories related but less crucial to our business, including automobile maintenance, have not been obtained by us or an affiliate of Moatable. Therefore, for such business, we are unable to prevent any third party from using the Kaixin brand for business that is the same or similar to ours. As China has adopted a “first-to-file” trademark registration system and there are trademarks similar to our brand which have been registered in those categories that are related to our business, we may not be able to successfully register our brand and may be exposed to risk of infringement with respect to third party trademark rights. For further details, see “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Industry — We may be unable to prevent others from unauthorized use of its intellectual property, which could harm its business and competitive position.”

Seasonality

Our automobile sales business is affected by seasonality in automobile sales, which tends to affect dealers’ needs for financing for new inventory. Automobile sales 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 our auto sales business is still growing rapidly, seasonality may be less evident than it otherwise would be, and as the business continues to evolve, the nature of seasonality may change.

Regulation

This section summarizes the current major PRC laws and regulations which are relevant to our business and operations.

Regulations on Used Automobile Trading

On August 29, 2005, SAT, SAIC, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Public Security jointly promulgated the Measures for the Administration of the Trading of Used Automobiles, or the Used Automobile Trading Measures, which became effective on October 1, 2005 and further revised on September 14, 2017. Pursuant to the Used Automobile Trading Measures, only an enterprise legal person duly registered with the SAIC or its local branches may engage in used automobile trading, as an operator of used automobiles markets, as a retailer, or as a brokerage entity.

Under the Used Automobile Trading Measures, a seller of used automobiles must verify certain background information regarding the automobiles for sale, including verification of the identity certificate and driver’s license of the previous owner, the number plate of the automobile, the motor vehicle registration certificate, proof that the automobile has passed the security technical examination, automobile insurance, and payment certificates of relevant taxes and fees. Used automobile retailers shall also provide quality guarantees as well as after-sales services, information about which shall be clearly indicated at its business location. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, used automobiles are prohibited from being resold, including instances where an automobile has been discarded as unusable, been required to be discarded, or been obtained by illegal means, such as theft, robbery or fraud.

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On March 24, 2006, the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Specifications for Used Automobile Trade, which provided detailed requirements as to the responsibilities of used automobiles trading entity regarding the trading of used automobiles, including confirming the identity of the seller and the legitimacy of the used automobiles, signing contract for used automobile trading, establishing transaction archives and keeping records for at least three years.

On June 8, 2016, the General Offices of 11 Departments including the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Circular on Facilitating the Trading of Used Vehicles and Accelerating the Activation of Used Vehicles Market for the purpose of effectively implementing the relevant work listed in the Several Opinions of the State Council on Facilitating the Trading of Used Vehicles which promulgated on March 14, 2016 by the State Council.

On July 5, 2022, seventeen authorities including the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Circular on Several Measures for Invigorating Automobile Circulation and Expanding Automobile Consumption. It was stated that from January 1, 2023, if a natural person sells three or more used cars that have been held for less than one year in a calendar year, auto sales companies, used car trading markets, auction companies, etc. shall not issue the uniform invoice for sales of used cars for him/her or handle the transaction registration formalities, and the relevant authorities will handle the matter according to the regulations.

Regulations on Automobile Sales

On April 5, 2017, the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Measures on the Administrations of Sales of Automobile, or the Measures on Sales of Automobile, which came into effect on July 1, 2017 and the original Implementation Measures for the Administration of Sales of Branded Automobile (the “Branded Automobile Sales Measures”) was abolished at the same time. According to the Measures on Sales of Automobile, the supplier and distributors of automobiles within the territory of the PRC shall build up an integrated system for automobile sales and after-sales services, guarantee supply of the related auto accessory, provide timely and effective after-sales services, and strictly follow the regulations concerning, among others, 3R (i.e. “replace, repair and refund”) and recall of household automobiles to guarantee consumers’ legitimate rights and interests. A dealer who sells an automobile without authorization from a supplier or an automobile which is not authorized to be sold by an automobile manufacturer outside the country shall provide a reminder and explanation to the consumer in writing and inform the consumer of the relevant responsibilities in writing. When the dealer sells the car to the consumer, it shall verify the valid identity of the registered consumers, sign the sales contract, and issue the sales invoice.

Regulations on Parallel-import Automobile Sales

On February 22, 2016, the Ministry of Commerce, the MIIT, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Transport, General Administration of Customs, General Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine and Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China jointly issued Several Opinions on Promotion of Pilot Program of Parallel-import Automobile (“the Parallel-import Automobile Opinions”). According to the Parallel-import Automobile Opinions, the pilot enterprises of Parallel-import Automobile can import automobile and establish a distribution network without authorization from a supplier, and can apply for an automatic import license for automobile product according to its actual business operation requirements. Pilot enterprises shall be subject to the relevant regulations on the administration of automatic import license, submit the license for verification and complete the customs formalities at the import entrance.

On April 27, 2017, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Administration jointly issued Notice on Adjustment on the Pilot Enterprises of Parallel-import Automobile in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which requires that the pilot enterprises registered in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone obtain an automatic import license to sell imported automobile without authorization from the automobile producer, and meet the following requirements to operate parallel-import Automobile business: (1) it has been operating sales of imported automobile for at least one year and its sales business has reached a certain scale; (2) the pilot enterprise or any of its wholly owned enterprises/controlling enterprises with automobile sales certificate is registered in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone; (3) it has branches and facilities for maintenance, service and supply of auto parts that match its business scale. Any pilot enterprise failed to meet this requirement shall depend on a third party to provide such services to participate in the pilot program; (4) it has good reputation and has well-established purchasing channels of oversea automobile and experiences in automobile sales industry; and (5) the enterprises that have participated in the pilot program and had parallel-import records on Shanghai port shall be prioritized.

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On January 30, 2018, the Ministry of Commerce, the MIIT, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Transport, the General Administration of Customs, the General Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China jointly issued a Reply on Issues for Conducting Pilot Programs for the Parallel-import of Automobiles in Inner Mongolia and the Other Areas (“the Parallel-import Automobile Reply”), approving automobile parallel import pilot programs in the Manchuria Port of Inner Mongolia, Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in Jiangsu Province, Zhengzhou Railway Port in Henan Province, Yueyang Lingji Port in Hunan Province, Qinzhou Free Trade Zone in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Haikou Port in Hainan Province, Railway Port in Chongqing, and Qingdao Qianwan Free Trade Zone.

On February 13, 2018, the General Administration of Customs issued a Notice on Further Completing the Pilot Programs for the Parallel-import of Automobiles, which requires that pilot enterprises shall submit (1) a certificate on conducting parallel-import automobile business; (2) a parallel-import automobile warehousing agreement executed between the pilot enterprise and a warehousing enterprise; and (3) other related documents as required to the Customs Administration before engaging in the automobile parallel-import business. Such filing forms must be filed at the time the parallel-import automobiles enter the border, and such forms shall be marked “parallel-import automobiles”.

On August 19, 2019, the Ministry of Commerce, the MIIT, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Transport, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration for Market Regulation jointly issued the Opinions of Seven Authorities Including the Ministry of Commerce on Further Boosting the Development of the Parallel Import of Automobiles: (1) allowing the exploration of ways to set up the standard compliance rectification venues for the parallel import of automobiles; (2) further improving the trade facilitation level of the parallel import of automobiles; (3) strengthening the quality control of automobiles under parallel import; (4) standardizing the registration management of automobiles under parallel import; (5) promoting the normalization and institutionalization of the parallel import of automobiles; (6) strengthening the supervision and management of pilot enterprises; and (7) strengthening the practical organizational implementation.

Regulations on the Car Rental Industry

On April 2, 2011, the Ministry of Transport, or MOT, promulgated the Circular on Promoting the Healthy Development of the Car Rental Industry (the “MOT Circular”), which sets forth guidelines for the car rental industry, including, among others, encouraging large car rental enterprises to establish a national or regional car rental network.

According to the MOT Circular, local government authorities are required by the MOT to: (i) promulgate local rules and regulations to improve and develop the regulatory environment of the car rental industry; (ii) promptly bring forth local development plans for the car rental industry; (iii) encourage large and reputable car rental companies with sound management to set up branches and establish national or regional networks, and provide simplified branch office registration process and better service for companies with a fleet of more than 1,000 cars; (iv) enhance the administration and management of the car rental industry, including requirements to obtain and carry a valid permit or license for each rental car, and prohibitions of car rental companies from engaging in road passenger transportation services without having the requisite business license for these services; (v) encourage car rental companies to develop various types of services through advanced technologies; (vi) create a favorable development environment for car rental companies; and (vii) enhance the administration of the car rental industry.

Anti-money Laundering Regulations

The PRC Anti-money Laundering Law, which became effective in January 2007, sets forth the principal anti-money laundering requirements applicable to financial institutions as well as non-financial institutions with anti-money laundering obligations, including the adoption of precautionary and supervisory measures, establishment of various systems for client identification, retention of clients’ identification information and transactions records, and reports on large transactions and suspicious transactions. According to the PRC Anti-money Laundering Law, financial institutions subject to the PRC Anti-money Laundering Law include banks, credit unions, trust investment companies, stock brokerage companies, futures brokerage companies, insurance companies and other financial institutions as listed and published by the State Council, while the list of the non-financial institutions with anti-money laundering obligations will be published by the State Council. The PBOC and other governmental authorities issued a series of administrative rules and regulations to specify the anti-money laundering obligations of financial institutions and certain non-financial institutions, such as payment institutions.

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The General Office of the State Council promulgated the Opinions on Improving Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Anti-Tax Evasion Regulatory Systems and Mechanisms on August 29, 2017. According to the Opinions, the establishment of anti-money laundering financial regulatory systems for particular non-financial institutions is required to meet the international anti-money laundering standards that certain industries prone to high risks of money laundering, such as real estate agents, precious metal and jewelry sales, corporate services and other specific non-financial industries shall be strictly regulated.

Regulations on Illegal Fund-Raising

Raising funds by entities or individuals from the general public must be conducted in strict compliance with the applicable PRC laws and regulations to avoid administrative and criminal liabilities. The Measures for the Banning of Illegal Financial Institutions and Illegal Financial Business Operations promulgated by the State Council in July 1998 and revised in January 2011 (abolished on May 1, 2021), and the Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning the Penalty on Illegal Fund-Raising issued by the General Office of the State Council in July 2007, explicitly prohibit illegal public fund-raising. According to the Regulation on the Prevention and Disposition of Illegal Fund-raising Practices issued on January 26, 2021 and became effective on May 1,2021, illegal fund-raising shall mean the pooling of funds from unspecified objects by promise to repay principal and interest or provide other investment returns without the permit of the financial administrative department under the State Council in accordance with law or in violation of financial regulations of the State. The State prohibits illegal fund-raising practices in any form. To prevent and disposal of illegal fund-raising practices, it is imperative to follow the principles of putting prevention first, cracking down on small ones at an early stage, tackling problems in a comprehensive manner and proper disposal.

To further clarify the criminal charges and punishments relating to illegal public fund-raising, the Supreme People’s Court promulgated the Judicial Interpretations to Issues Concerning Applications of Laws for Trial of Criminal Cases on Illegal Fund-Raising, or the Illegal Fund-Raising Judicial Interpretations, which was issued on December 13, 2010,amended on February 23, 2022, and came into force on March 1, 2022. The Illegal Fund-Raising Judicial Interpretations provide that a public fund-raising will constitute a criminal offense related to “illegally soliciting deposits from the public” under the PRC Criminal Law, if it meets all the following four criteria: (i) accepting funds without the legal permit of relevant authorities or accepting funds by way of lawful business operation; (ii) carrying out public promotional activities via such channels as the Internet, media, promotional fairs, leaflets and mobile phone messages; (iii) promising to repay the principal with interest accrued thereon or pay returns in such forms as cash, in-kind and equity within a given time limit; and (iv) taking in funds from the general public, i.e. unspecified objects of the society. Whoever illegally accepts or accepts in a disguised manner deposits from the general public that falls under any of the following circumstances will be investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the law: (i) illegally accepting or accepting in a disguised manner deposits from the general public in an amount of more than CNY1 million; (ii) illegally accepting or accepting in a disguised manner deposits from more than 150 persons of the general public; and (iii) depositing from the general public illegally or in a disguised manner, which leads to direct economic loss of more than CNY500,000 to the depositors. Whoever accepts illegally or in a disguised manner deposits from the general public in an amount of more than CNY500,000 or causes direct economic losses of more than CNY250,000 to the depositors and falls under any of the following circumstances concurrently will be investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the law: (i) where it/he has been criminally prosecuted due to illegal fundraising practices; (ii) where it/he has been subject to any administrative penalty due to any illegal fundraising practice within two years; and (iii) where there is adverse social influence or other serious consequences. Any entity committing the crime of illegally accepting deposits from the general public or committing a fundraising fraud will be fined and the person directly in charge of the entity and other persons directly liable will be convicted and punished under the criteria for conviction and sentencing of corresponding natural persons prescribed herein. In accordance with the Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procurator and the Ministry of Public Security on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in the Illegal Fund-Raising Criminal Cases promulgated on March 25, 2014, the administrative proceeding for determining the nature of illegal fund-raising activities is not a prerequisite procedure for the initiation of criminal proceeding concerning the crime of illegal fund-raising, and the administrative departments’ failure in determining the nature of illegal fund-raising activities does not affect the investigation, prosecution and trial of cases concerning the crime of illegal fundraising.

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Regulations on Foreign Investment

Investment activities in the PRC by foreign investors are principally governed by the Guidance Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment promulgated and as amended from time to time by the MOFCOM and the NDRC (the “Catalog”). In June 2017, the MOFCOM and the NDRC promulgated the Catalog (“2017 Revision”), which became effective in July 2017. Industries listed in the Catalog are divided into two parts: encouraged category, and the special management measures for the entry of foreign investment, which is further divided into the restricted category and prohibited category. The negative list of the 2017 Revision was replaced by the Special Administrative Measures for Access to Foreign Investment (the “Negative List”), which was issued in June 2018 and was subsequently revised in 2019,2020 and 2021,and became effective in January 2022. Industries not listed in the Catalog are generally deemed to be in a fourth “permitted” category and are generally open to foreign investment unless specifically restricted by other PRC regulations. The Negative List, in a unified manner, lists the restrictive measures for the entry of foreign investment. Furthermore, foreign investors are not allowed to invest in companies and industries under the prohibited category. For the industries not listed on the Negative List, the restrictive measures for the entry of foreign investment shall not apply in principle, and the establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises in such industries is generally allowed.

In March 2019, the Foreign Investment Law was enacted by the NPC, which became effective in 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. 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.

Unlike its first draft which was published in 2015, the Foreign Investment Law does not specifically expand the definition of “foreign investment” to include entities established through a VIE structure but 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.

Moreover, the Measures for Reporting of Information on Foreign Investment promulgated by the MOFCOM in December 2019 established a foreign investment information reporting system. Foreign investors or foreign-funded enterprises shall submit the investment information to competent governmental departments for commerce through the enterprise registration system and the enterprise credit information publicity system. The contents and scope of foreign investment information to be reported shall be determined under the principle of necessity. Where foreign-investors or foreign-invested enterprises are found to be non-compliant with these information reporting obligations, competent department for commerce shall order corrections within a specified period; if such corrections are not made in time, a penalty of not less than RMB100,000 and not more than RMB500,000 shall be imposed. Aside from the reporting system for foreign investment information, the Foreign Investment Law also establishes a security examination mechanism for foreign investment to conduct security review of foreign investment that affects or may affect national security. The decision made upon the security examination in accordance with the law shall be final.

Regulations on Mobile Internet Applications

On June 28, 2016, the Cyberspace Administration of China promulgated the Administrative Provisions on Mobile Internet Applications Information Services (the “Mobile Application Administrative Provisions”), which took effect on August 1, 2016. According to the Mobile Application Administrative Provisions, “mobile internet application” refers to application software that runs on mobile smart devices providing information services after being pre-installed, downloaded or embedded through other means. “Mobile internet application provider” refers to the owners or operators of mobile internet applications. Internet application stores refer to platforms which provide services related to online browsing, searching and downloading of application software and releasing of development tools and products through the internet. On December 16, 2016, the MIIT promulgated the Interim Administrative Provisions on the Pre-installation and Distribution of the Mobile Smart Terminal Application Software, which took effect on July 1, 2017. These provisions require, among others, that internet information service providers must ensure that a mobile application, as well as its ancillary resource files, configuration files and user data can be uninstalled by a user easily, unless the mobile application is a basic function software, which refers to a software that supports the normal functioning of the hardware and operating system of a mobile smart device. In addition, mobile smart terminal application software involving charges should strictly comply with the relevant regulations such as explicitly marking the price, charge standard and charge method. The content expressed should be true, accurate, eye-catching and normative, and users should be charged only after their confirmation.

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Pursuant to the Mobile Application Administrative Provisions, an internet application program provider must verify a user’s mobile phone number and other identity information under the principle of mandatory real name registration at the back-office end and voluntary real name display at the front-office end. An internet application provider must not enable functions that can collect a user’s geographical location information, access the user’s contact list, activate the camera or recorder of the user’s mobile smart device or other functions irrelevant to its services, nor is it allowed to conduct bundle installations of irrelevant application programs, unless it has clearly indicated to the user and obtained the user’s consent on such functions and application programs. In respect of an online App store service provider, the Mobile Application Administrative Provisions require that, among others, must file a record with the Cyberspace Administration located at the province, autonomous region or municipality concerned within 30 days of the online business operation. It must also examine the authenticity, security and legality of internet application providers on its platform, establish a system to monitor application providers’ credit and file a record of such information with the relevant governmental authorities. If an application provider violates the regulations, the internet application store service provider must take measures to stop the violations, including warning, suspension of release, withdrawal of the application from the platform, keeping a record and reporting the incident to the relevant governmental authorities.

Regulations on Information Security

The Ministry of Public Security promulgated the Administrative Measures on Security Protection for International Connections to Computer Information Networks in 1997 and further revised in 2011 by State Council that prohibit the use of the internet in ways which, among other things, result in a leakage of state secrets or the distribution of socially destabilizing content. Socially destabilizing content includes any content that incites defiance or violations of the PRC laws or regulations or subversion of the PRC government or its political system, spreads socially disruptive rumors or involves cult activities, superstition, obscenities, pornography, gambling or violence. In addition, the National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets has issued The Confidentiality Administrative Provisions of the International Networking of Computer Information Systems, which put forward the principle of “whoever places materials on the Internet takes the responsibility”. Any information to be provided to, or published on, an internationally networked Web sites must be subjected to a secrecy maintenance examination and approval.

In 2005, the Ministry of Public Security promulgated Provisions on Technological Measures for Internet Security Protection, which require all ICP operators to keep records of certain information about their users (including user registration information, log-in and log-out time, IP address) for at least 60 days and submit the above information as required by laws and regulations. If an ICP operator violates these measures, the PRC government may revoke its ICP license and shut down its websites.

In November 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the Cyber Security Law, which came into effect on June 1, 2017. This is the first Chinese law that focuses exclusively on cyber security. The Cyber Security Law provides that network operators must set up internal security management systems that meet the requirements of a classified protection system for cybersecurity, includes the appointing of dedicated cybersecurity personnel, implementing technical measures to prevent computer viruses, network attacks and intrusions, adopting technical measures to monitor and record network operation status and cybersecurity incidents, and implementing data security measures such as data classification, backup and encryption. The Cyber Security Law also imposes a relatively vague but broad obligation to provide technical support and assistance to the public and state security authorities in connection with criminal investigations or for reasons of national security. The Cyber Security Law also requires network operators that provide network access or domain name registration services, landline or mobile phone network access, or that provide users with information publication or instant messaging services, to require users to provide a real identity when they sign up. The Cyber Security Law sets high requirements for the operational security of facilities deemed to be part of the PRC’s “critical information infrastructure”. These requirements include data localization, i.e., storing personal information and important business data in China, and national security review requirements for any network products or services that may have an impact on national security. Among other factors, “critical information infrastructure” is defined as critical information infrastructure that will, in the event of destruction, loss of function or data leak, result in serious damage to national security, the national economy and people’s livelihood, or the public interest. Specific reference is made to key sectors such as public communication and information services, energy, transportation, water-resources, finance, public service and e-government. In July 2021, State Council issued Security Protection Regulations for Critical Information Infrastructure, which provides that the State gives priority to the protection of critical information infrastructure, takes measures to monitor, defends against and deal with cyber security risks and threats from both within and outside the territory of the PRC, protects critical information infrastructure from attacks, intrusions, interference and damage, and punishes illegal and criminal activities endangering the security of critical information infrastructure in accordance with the law.

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Regulations on Internet Privacy

In recent years, the PRC governmental authorities have enacted legislations on internet use to protect personal information from any unauthorized disclosure. The PRC law does not prohibit ICP operators from collecting and analyzing personal information of their users. However, the Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services prohibit an ICP operator from insulting or slandering a third party or infringing the lawful rights and interests of a third party. In December 2011, the MIIT promulgated the Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services, which became effective in March 2012. Without the consent of users, internet information service providers shall not collect the information that is related to the users that can be used independently or jointly with other information to identify the users (hereinafter referred to as the “personal information of users”), nor shall provide personal information of users to others, unless otherwise provided by laws and administrative regulations. Where internet information service providers collect the personal information of users upon the consent of users, they shall explicitly inform the users of the methods, contents and purposes of collection and processing of the personal information of users and shall not collect the information other than those necessary for the provision of services or use the personal information of users for purposes other than the provision of services.

Pursuant to the Decision on Strengthening Network Information Protection promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in 2012, Network service providers that collect or use citizens’ personal electronic information in the their business activities shall follow the principles of lawfulness, properness and necessity, explicitly disclose the purpose, methods and scopes of collection and use of the information, obtain the consent of the one whose information is collected, and shall not collect or use information in a manner that violates the provisions of laws and regulations, or the agreement of both parties. Network service providers and other enterprises and public institutions shall adopt technical and other necessary measures to ensure information security and prevent the disclosure, damage or loss of any personal electronic information collected during their business activities. When information is or may be disclosed, damaged or lost, remedial measures shall be immediately adopted. To further implement this decision and the relevant rules, MIIT issued the Regulation of Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User Information in 2013.

In November 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the Cyber Security Law, which came into effect on June 1, 2017. The Cyber Security Law imposes certain data protection obligations on network operators, including that network operators may not disclose, tamper with, or damage users’ personal information that they have collected, and that they are obligated to delete unlawfully collected information and to amend incorrect information. Moreover, internet operators may not provide users’ personal information to others without consent. Exempted from these rules is information irreversibly processed to preclude identification of specific individuals. Also, the Cyber Security Law imposes breach notification requirements that will apply to breaches involving personal information.

On April 10, 2019, the Cyber Security and Protection Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, the Beijing Internet Industry Association and the Third Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued the Internet Personal Information Security Protection Guide (the “Guide”). The Guide is applicable to enterprises that provide services through the internet, as well as organizations or individuals who use a private or non-networked environment to control and process personal information. This indicates that in addition to the traditional internet companies, companies or individuals in other fields, as long as they involve the control and processing of personal information, are all within the scope of the Guide. The Guide imposes higher requirements on the collection of personal information by personal information holders. For example, the Guide states that personal information that is not related to the services provided by personal information holders should not be collected, and personal information should not be forced to be collected by bundling products or various business functions of the service.

In November 2019, the Secretary Bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the General Office of the MIIT, the General Office of the Ministry of Public Security and the General Office of the State Administration for Market Regulation issued the Notice on the Measures for the Determination of the Collection and Use of Personal Information by Apps in Violation of Laws and Regulations (the “Notice”), which came into effect on November 28, 2019. According to the Notice, if the personal information solicited by an app for a new service function is beyond the scope of a user’s original consent, it is a violation of law for the app to refuse to provide the original service function if the user disagrees with the new scope, unless the new service function is a replacement of the original service function.

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In August 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC, which provide that personal information processors shall be responsible for their processing of personal information and take necessary measures to ensure the security of the personal information processed. Personal information processor in the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC refers to any organization or individual that independently determines the purpose and method of the processing in the processing of personal information.

Regulations on Advertisements

Advertisers, advertising operators and advertising distributors are required by PRC advertising laws and regulations to ensure that the contents of the advertisements which they prepare or distribute are true and in full compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. In addition, where a special government review is required for certain categories of advertisements before publishing, the advertisers, advertising operators and advertising distributors are obligated to confirm that such review has been performed and the relevant approval has been obtained. Violation of these regulations may result in penalties, including fines, confiscation of advertising income, orders to cease dissemination of the advertisements and orders to publish an advertisement correcting the misleading information. In the case of serious violations, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce or its local branches may force the violator to terminate its advertising operation or even revoke its business license. Furthermore, advertisers, advertising operators or advertising distributors may be subject to civil liabilities if they infringe on the legal rights and interests of the third parties.

In October 1994, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the PRC Advertising Law (the “Advertising Law”), which was amended in April 2015,October 2018 and April 2021 and came into effect on April 29, 2021. The Advertising Law applies to all the advertising activities conducted via the internet. The Advertising Law requires that users must be able to close online pop-up ads with one click. Moreover, internet service providers are obligated to cease publishing any advertisements that they know or should know are illegal. Violation of these regulations may result in penalties, including fines, confiscation of the advertising incomes, termination of advertising operations and even suspension of the provider’s business license.

In July 2016, the SAIC issued the Interim Measures for the Administration of Internet Advertising, which became effective on September 1, 2016. These interim measures clarify that “internet advertisements” means commercial advertisements that promote commodities or services directly or indirectly via internet media such as websites, webpages and internet applications in the form of texts, pictures, audio, video or other forms. These interim measures also create a number of new requirements for internet advertisers. For example, these interim measures state that paid search advertisements should be clearly distinguished from ordinary search results. In addition, in consistency with the Advertising Law, these interim measures require that advertisements published on internet pages in the form of pop-ups or other similar forms shall be clearly marked with a “close” button to ensure “one click to close”. The measures also prohibit unfair competition in internet advertisement publishing, including: (1) providing or using any programs or hardware to intercept or filter any legally operated advertisements of other persons; (2) using network pathways, network equipment or applications to disrupt the normal data transmission of advertisements, alter or block legally operated advertisements of other persons or load advertisements without authorization; and (3) inducing false quotes, seek illegitimate interests or harm the interests of others, by using false statistical data, communication effects or Internet value.

In February 2018, the SAIC promulgated the Notice on Launching Special Overhaul of Internet Advertising (the “Internet Advertising Notice”). The Internet Advertising Notice specifies that the illegal Internet advertisements having an adverse social impact, generating enormous publicity, or detrimental to the personal and property safety of the public via Internet media, shall be strictly regulated.

Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights

China has implemented legislations governing intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents and copyrights. China is a signatory to the major international conventions on intellectual property rights and became a member of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights upon its accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001.

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Patent

The standing committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the Patent Law in 1984 and was subsequently amended in 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2020. The State Council promulgated Implementation Regulation for the Paten Law in 2001, which was amended in 2010. To be patentable, invention or utility models must meet three conditions: novelty, inventiveness and practical applicability. A patent is valid for a term of 20 years in the case of an invention and a term of 10 years in the case of utility models and designs. A third-party user must obtain consent or a proper license from the patent owner to use the patent. Otherwise, such use constitutes an infringement of patent rights.

Copyright

The National People’s Congress adopted the Copyright Law in 1990 and amended in 2001, 2010 and 2020. The State Council promulgated Implementing Regulations of the Copyright Law in 2002, which was amended in 2002, 2011 and 2013. The Copyright Law extends copyright protection to internet activities, products disseminated over the internet and software products. In addition, there is a voluntary registration system administered by the China Copyright Protection Center. The amended Copyright Law also requires the registration of a copyright pledge.

Software products

In China, holders of computer software copyrights enjoy protections under the Copyright Law. Various regulations relating to the protection of software copyrights in China have promulgated, including Copyright Law of the PRC which was promulgated in 1990 and amended in 2001, 2010 and 2020, and the Regulation for the Implementation of the Copyright Law of the PRC which came into effect in September 2002 and was amended in January 2011 and further amended in January 2013. Additionally, the Computer Software Protection Regulations which was issued by State Council on June 4, 1991 and amended in 2001, 2011 and 2013. Under these regulations, computer software that is independently developed and exists in a physical form is protected, and software copyright owners may license or transfer their software copyrights to others. Registration of software copyrights, exclusive licensing and transfer contracts with the Copyright Protection Center of China or its local branches is encouraged. Such registration is not mandatory under the PRC laws, but can enhance the protections available to the registered copyrights holders. In 2002, in order to further implement the Computer Software Protection Regulations, the National Copyright Administration of the PRC issued the Computer Software Copyright Registration Procedures, which apply to software copyright registration, license contract registration and transfer contract registration. In compliance with, and in order to take advantage of, the above rules, we had registered 14 computer software copyrights as of December 31, 2021.

Trademark

The PRC Trademark Law was adopted in 1982 and was amended in 1993, 2001, 2013 and 2019. The State Council promulgated the Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law in 2002, which was amended in 2014. The Trademark Office under the SAIC handles trademark registrations and grants a term of 10 years for registered trademarks and another 10 years if requested upon expiry of the first or any renewed ten-year term. Trademark license agreements must be filed with the Trademark Office for record. We registered our trademark “开心汽” in class 35, which is crucial to our business.

Domain Names

In 2002, the CNNIC issued the Implementing Rules for Domain Name Registration and revised it in 2009 and 2012 (abolished on June 18, 2019), setting forth detailed rules for the registration of domain names. On August 24, 2017, the MIIT, promulgated the Administrative Measures for Internet Domain Names (“Internet Domain Name Measures”). The Internet Domain Name Measures regulate the registration of domain names, such as the first-tier domain name “.cn”. In June 2019, the CNNIC issued the new version of Rules of First-tier Domain Name Dispute Resolution and the former version issued in 2014 was abolished, pursuant to which the CNNIC can authorize a domain name dispute resolution institution to resolve disputes. We have registered domain names including www.kaixin.com, www.htche.com and www.htche.net.

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Regulations on Anti-unfair Competition

Under the Anti-unfair Competition Law, effective in 1993 and revised in 2017 and 2019, a business operator is prohibited from carrying out acts intending to cause confusion, which would mislead others into thinking that its products belong to another party or that there is an association with another party, by:

using without permission, a mark that is identical with or similar to product names, packaging or decoration of others with a certain degree of influence;
using without permission, the name of an enterprise, a social organization or an individual with a certain degree of influence;
using without permission, the main element of a domain name, website name or webpage with a certain degree of influence; or
carrying out confusing acts that are sufficient to mislead others into thinking that a product belongs to another party or there is an affiliation with another party.

Regulations on Foreign Exchange

Under the Foreign Currency Administration Rules, which were revised in 2008, if documents certifying the purposes of the conversion of RMB into foreign currency are submitted to the relevant foreign exchange conversion bank, the RMB will be convertible for current account items, including the distribution of dividends, interest, royalty payments, trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions. Conversion of RMB for capital account items, such as direct investment, loans, securities investment and repatriation of investment, however, is subject to the approval of SAFE or its local counterpart.

Under the Administration Rules for the Settlement, Sale and Payment of Foreign Exchange, which were promulgated in 1996, foreign-invested enterprises may only buy, sell and/or remit foreign currencies at banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business after providing valid commercial documents and, in the case of capital account item transactions, obtaining approval from SAFE or its local counterpart. Capital investments by PRC entities outside of China, after obtaining the required approvals of the relevant approval authorities, such as the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission or their local counterparts, are also required to register with SAFE or its local counterpart.

In February 2015, SAFE promulgated the Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving the Foreign Exchange Management Policies for Direct Investment (the “SAFE Circular 13”), which took effect on June 1, 2015 and was last amended on December 30, 2019. SAFE Circular 13 delegates the power to enforce the foreign exchange registration in connection with inbound and outbound direct investments under relevant SAFE rules from local branches of SAFE to banks, thereby further simplifying the foreign exchange registration procedures for inbound and outbound direct investments.

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In March 2015, SAFE issued the Circular on Reform of the Administrative Rules of the Payment and Settlement of Foreign Exchange Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (“SAFE Circular 19”), which became effective on June 1, 2015 and was last amended on March 23, 2023. In June 2016, the SAFE issued the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming and Regulating Policies on the Control over Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital Accounts (“SAFE Circular 16”), which revised some provisions of SAFE Circular 19. According to SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16, the flow and use of the Renminbi capital converted from registered capital denominated in foreign currency of a foreign-invested company is regulated such that Renminbi capital may not be used for business beyond its business scope or to provide loans to persons other than the foreign-invested company’s affiliates unless otherwise permitted under its business scope. Violations of SAFE Circular 19 or SAFE Circular 16 could result in administrative penalties. Pursuant to SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16, foreign-invested enterprises may either continue to follow the current payment-based foreign currency settlement system or choose to follow the “conversion-at-will” system for foreign currency settlement. Where a foreign-invested enterprise follows the conversion-at-will system for foreign currency settlement, it may convert part or all of the amount of the foreign currency in its capital account into Renminbi at any time. The converted Renminbi will be kept in a designated account labeled as settled but pending payment, and if the foreign-invested enterprise needs to make payment from such designated account, it still needs to go through the review process with its bank and provide necessary supporting documents. SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16, therefore, has substantially lifted the restrictions on the usage by a foreign-invested enterprise of its Renminbi registered capital converted from foreign currencies. According to SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16, such Renminbi capital may be used at the discretion of the foreign-invested enterprise and SAFE will eliminate the prior approval requirement and only examine the authenticity of the declared usage afterwards. There remain substantial uncertainties with respect to the interpretation and implementation of this circular by relevant authorities.

Moreover, on January 26, 2017, the SAFE promulgated the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Further Advancing the Reform of Foreign Exchange Administration and Improving Examination of Authenticity and Compliance (“SAFE Circular 3”). SAFE Circular 3 stipulates several control measures with respect to the outbound remittance of any profit from domestic entities to offshore entities, including provisions that (i) under the principle of genuine transaction, banks should review board resolutions, the original version of tax filing records and audited financial statements before wiring the foreign exchange profit distribution of a foreign-invested enterprise exceeding US$50,000; and (ii) domestic entities should hold income to make up previous years’ losses before remitting the profits to offshore entities. Moreover, pursuant to SAFE Circular 3, verification on the genuineness and compliance of the foreign direct investments in domestic entities has also been tightened.

In utilizing funds that we hold offshore, as an offshore holding company with PRC subsidiaries, we may (i) make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries; (ii) establish new PRC subsidiaries and make capital contributions to these new PRC subsidiaries; (iii) make loans to our PRC subsidiaries or consolidated affiliated entities; or (iv) acquire offshore entities with business operations in China during offshore transactions. However, most of these acts are subject to the PRC regulations and approvals. For example:

capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries, whether existing or newly established ones, must be approved by the Ministry of Commerce or its local counterparts;
loans by us to our PRC subsidiaries, each of which is a foreign-invested enterprise, to finance their activities cannot exceed the statutory limits and must be registered with SAFE or its local branches; and
loans by us to our consolidated affiliated entities, which are domestic PRC entities, must be approved by the National Development and Reform Commission and must also be registered with SAFE or its local branches.

Regulations on Dividend Distribution

Wholly foreign-owned enterprises in the PRC may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits as determined in accordance with the PRC accounting standards and regulations. The principal regulations governing dividend distributions of wholly foreign-owned enterprises include the PRC Company Law promulgated in 1993, as amended in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2013 and 2018, and the Foreign Investment Law and the Implementation of the Foreign Investment Law promulgated in 2019. Under these regulations, foreign investors can freely remit into or out of PRC, in Renminbi or any other foreign currency, their capital contributions, profits, capital gains, income from asset disposal, intellectual property royalties, lawfully acquired compensation, indemnity or liquidation income and so on generated within the territory of PRC.

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In addition, according to the PRC Company Law, these wholly foreign-owned enterprises are required to set aside at least 10% of their respective accumulated profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds, until the aggregate amount of such fund reaches 50% of its registered capital.

Regulations on Offshore Investment by PRC Residents

In July 2014, SAFE promulgated the Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control of Domestic Residents’ Overseas Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Offshore Special Purpose Vehicles (“SAFE Circular 37”), which replaced the former Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for PRC Residents to Engage in Financing and Inbound Investment via Overseas Special Purpose Vehicles (“SAFE Circular 75”), promulgated by SAFE in 2005.

SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, which is referred to in SAFE Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle”. SAFE Circular 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as an increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC residents, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material events. In the event that a PRC resident holding interests in a special purpose vehicle fails to complete the required SAFE registration, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose vehicle may be prohibited from making profit distributions to the offshore parent company and from carrying out subsequent cross-border foreign exchange activities, and the special purpose vehicle may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital into its PRC subsidiaries. Furthermore, failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liabilities under the PRC law for evasion of foreign exchange controls.

Regulations on Employee Stock Options Plans

In 2007, SAFE issued implementing rules for the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which, among other things, specified approval requirements for certain capital account transactions, such as a PRC citizen’s participation in employee stock ownership plans or share option plans of an overseas publicly listed company, and it was further amended on May 29, 2016. In 2012, SAFE promulgated the Notice on the Administration of Foreign Exchange Matters for Domestic Individuals Participating in the Stock Incentive Plans of Overseas Listed Companies (the “Stock Option Notice”), which simplifies the requirements and procedures for the registration of stock incentive plan participants, especially in respect of the required application documents and the absence of strict requirements on offshore and onshore custodian banks.

Under these rules, for PRC resident individuals who participate in stock incentive plans of overseas publicly listed companies, which includes employee stock ownership plans, stock option plans and other incentive plans permitted by the relevant laws and regulations, a PRC domestic qualified agent or the PRC subsidiary of such overseas listed company must, among other things, file on behalf of such resident an application with SAFE or its local counterpart to obtain approval for an annual allowance with respect to the purchase of foreign exchange in connection with the stock holding or share option exercises, as PRC residents may not directly use overseas funds to purchase shares or exercise share options. In addition, within three months after any substantial changes to any such stock incentive plan, including any changes due to a merger, acquisition or changes to the domestic or overseas custodian agent, the domestic agent must update the registration with SAFE.

Under the Foreign Currency Administration Rules, as amended in 2008, the foreign exchange proceeds of domestic entities and individuals can be remitted into China or deposited abroad, subject to the terms and conditions to be issued by SAFE. The foreign exchange proceeds from the sales of shares can be converted into RMB or transferred to such individuals’ foreign exchange savings account after the proceeds have been remitted to the special foreign exchange account which opened at the PRC domestic bank. If share options are exercised in a cashless exercise, the PRC domestic individuals are required to remit the proceeds to special foreign exchange accounts.

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In addition, the State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”), has issued circulars concerning employee share options such as the Notice on Issues Concerning the Individual Income Tax on Equity Incentives issued in 2009 and Notice on Issue of Levying Individual Income Taxes on Incomes from Individual Stock Options promulgated in 2005. Under these circulars, our employees working in China who exercise share options will be subject to PRC individual income tax. Our PRC subsidiaries have obligations to file documents related to employee share options with the relevant tax authorities and withhold the individual income taxes of employees who exercise their share options.

Regulations on Taxation

Enterprise Income Tax

The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, which was promulgated on March 16, 2007 and took effect on January 1, 2008, and further amended on February 24, 2017 and December 29, 2018, imposes a uniform enterprise income tax rate of 25% on all the PRC resident enterprises, including foreign-invested enterprises, unless they qualify for certain exceptions. The enterprise income tax is calculated based on the PRC resident enterprise’s global income as determined under PRC tax laws and accounting standards. If a non-resident enterprise sets up an organization or establishment in the PRC, it will be subject to enterprise income tax for the income derived from such organization or establishment in the PRC and for our ordinary shares the income derived from outside the PRC but with an actual connection with such organization or establishment in the PRC.

The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules, which were promulgated on December 6, 2007 and took effect on January 1, 2008 and was revised on April 23, 2019, permit certain “high and new technology enterprises strongly supported by the state” that independently own core intellectual property and meet statutory criteria, to enjoy a reduced 15% enterprise income tax rate. On January 29, 2016, the SAT, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance jointly issued the Administrative Rules for the Certification of High and New Technology Enterprises specifying the criteria and procedures for the certification of High and New Technology Enterprises.

Value-added Tax

The Provisional Regulations of the PRC on Value-added Tax, which were promulgated by the State Council on December 13, 1993 and came into effect on January 1, 1994, were most recently amended on November 19, 2017. According to the Value-added Tax Law (the “VAT Law”), all enterprises and individuals engaged in the sale of goods, the provision of processing, repair and replacement services, sales of services, intangible assets, real property and the importation of goods within the territory of the PRC are the taxpayers of value-added tax (“VAT”). The VAT tax rates generally applicable are simplified as 17%, 11%, 6% and 0%, and the VAT tax rate applicable to the small-scale taxpayers is 3%. According to the Notice on Adjusting Value-added Tax Rate jointly issued by the Finance Department and SAT, starting from May 1, 2018, the VAT tax rates had been reduced to 16%, 10%, 6% and 0%. According to the Announcement on Policies Related to Deepening the Reform of Value-added Tax jointly issued by the Finance Department, SAT and the General Administration of Customs, starting from April 1, 2019, the VAT tax rates have been further reduced to 13%, 9%, 6% and 0%.

As of the date of this Annual Report, our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities are generally subject to 0%, 3%, or 6% VAT rate.

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Dividend Withholding Tax

Pursuant to the EIT Law and its implementation rules, dividends generated after January 1, 2008 and payable by a foreign-invested enterprise in China to its foreign enterprise investors are subject to a 10% withholding tax, unless any such foreign investor’s jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with China that provides for a different withholding arrangement. Under the Arrangement Between the Mainland of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital (the “China-HK Taxation Arrangement”), which became effective on August 21, 2006, income tax on dividends payable to a company resident in Hong Kong that holds more than a 25% equity interest in a PRC resident enterprise may be reduced to a rate of 5%. According to the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues Relating to “Beneficial Owner” in Tax Treaties, which were promulgated by the SAT on February 3, 2018 and came into effect on April 1, 2018, the 5% tax rate does not automatically apply as approvals from competent local tax authorities are required before an enterprise can enjoy the relevant tax treatments relating to dividends under the relevant taxation treaties. In addition, according to a tax circular issued by SAT in February 2009, if the main purpose of an offshore arrangement is to obtain a preferential tax treatment, the PRC tax authorities have the discretion to adjust the preferential tax rate enjoyed by the relevant offshore entity. Although Shanghai Auto is currently wholly owned by Jet Sound Hong Kong Company Limited, there can be no assurance that we will be able to enjoy the preferential withholding tax rate of 5% under the China-HK Taxation Arrangement.

Labor Laws and Social Insurance

Pursuant to the PRC Labor Law and the PRC Labor Contract Law, employers must execute written labor contracts with full-time employees. All employers must compensate their employees with wages equal to at least the local minimum wage standards. All employers are required to establish a system for labor safety and sanitation, strictly abide by state rules and standards and provide employees with workplace safety trainings. In addition, employers in China are obliged to provide employees with welfare schemes covering pension insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, work-related injury insurance, medical insurance and housing funds. Violations of the PRC Labor Contract Law and the PRC Labor Law may result in the imposition of fines and other administrative liabilities. Criminal liabilities may arise for serious violations. To comply with these laws and regulations, we have entered into labor contracts with all of our full-time employees and provide them with the proper welfare and employment benefits as required by the PRC laws and regulations.

Regulations on Concentration in Merger and Acquisition Transactions

In August 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies jointly adopted the Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors (the “M&A Rules”), which was amended in 2009. The M&A Rule established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. These rules require, among other things, that the Ministry of Commerce be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor will take control of a PRC domestic enterprise or a foreign company with substantial PRC operations, if certain thresholds under the Provisions on Thresholds for Prior Notification of Concentrations of Undertakings issued by the State Council in 2008 and amended on September 18, 2018 are triggered.

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Regulations on Overseas Direct Investment

In September 2014, MOFCOM promulgated the Measures for the Administration of Overseas Investment (the “Overseas Investment Measures”). The Overseas Investment Measures define “overseas investment” as activities that an PRC enterprise obtains any ownership, right of control, right of business management, or other relevant rights and interests by formation, merger or any other means. Pursuant to the Overseas Investment Measures, the overseas investment shall make record-filing with the local branch of MOFCOM via the online filing system if it is not involved any sensitive country or region, or any industry.

In December 2017, the NDRC adopted the Administrative Measures for Enterprises’ Overseas Investment (the “Overseas Investment Rules”) which became effective in March 2018. The Overseas Investment Rules provide that, for local enterprises (enterprises that are not managed by the state government), if the amount of investment made by the Chinese investors is less than US$300 million, and the target project is non-sensitive, then the overseas investment project will require online filing with the local branch of the NDRC where the enterprise itself is registered. And overseas investment as stipulated in the Overseas Investment Rules shall mean activities where an PRC enterprise, directly or through an overseas enterprise controlled by it, acquires any ownership, right of control, right of business management, or other relevant rights and interests overseas, by contributing assets or rights and interests, providing financing and/or guarantees, or any other means.

C.Organizational Structure.

The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure and identifies our subsidiaries and their subsidiaries, as of the date of this Annual Report.

Graphic

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As of the date of this Annual Report, we have no VIEs in the PRC and we conduct our operations exclusively through our wholly-owned subsidiaries. Historically, as a Cayman Islands holding company, we conduct our operations in China through our PRC subsidiaries and the VIEs. To mitigate the uncertainties in our corporate structure and exert full control on our operating entities, we transferred operations in the VIEs to our wholly-owned entities and disposed of Renren Finance, Inc, which was our wholly-owned subsidiary that contractually controls the VIEs. As a result, all VIEs were disposed as of October 27, 2022.

D.Property, Plants and Equipment.

We lease approximately 541 square meters of office space in Beijing, China as of the date of the Annual Report. Our Dealership Outlets lease operating spaces in various Chinese cities. We lease our premises under non-cancelable operating lease agreements.

Our servers are primarily hosted at internet data centers owned by a major domestic internet data center provider. The hosting services agreements typically have terms of six months to one year.

We believe that we will be able to obtain adequate facilities, principally through leasing, to accommodate our future expansion plans.

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

Not applicable.

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS.

A.

Operating Results.

Overview

By integrating the operations and resources of Haitaoche with the used car dealership business, we are currently engaged in the sales of both new and used, domestic and imported automobiles. We are a leading premium new and used auto dealership group in China. As of December 31, 2023, we had three Dealerships covering three cities in China. On average, our Dealership operators have over ten years of experiences in the car sales industry. We provide new and used car buyers in China with access to a wide selection of used vehicles across our network of Dealerships, with a focus on premium brands, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Porsche.

We sourced, marketed and sold approximately 1,814, 879, and 525 new and used vehicles to customers across China in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Specifically, we sold 1,582 vehicles in the second half of 2021 after the completion of the Haitaoche Acquisition, which are included in the sales revenue of the Company’s statement of operating results for the year ended December 31, 2021.

Recent Developments

In September 2023, the Group, through one of its subsidiaries in the PRC, set up one subsidiary, namely, Zhejiang Kaixin Yuanman Automobile Trading Co. Ltd.. The Group owned 100% equity interest in the subsidiary.

In February through March 2023, the Group, through one of its subsidiaries in the PRC, set up three subsidiaries. Namely, Zhejiang Kaixin Xiaoman Automobile Trading Co. Ltd., Zhejiang Kaixin Jingtao Automobile Trading Co. Ltd., and Zhejiang Kaixin Manman Commuting Technology Co. Ltd. The Group owned 70% equity interest in these three subsidiaries.

Key Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

We believe that our results of operations are significantly affected by the following key factors.

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Demand for Premium Passenger Vehicles in China

We generate a substantial majority of our revenues from the sales of premium passenger vehicles and the market demand for such passenger vehicles in China directly affects our revenues. Demand for premium passenger vehicles is affected by a variety of factors, including:

macro-economic conditions in China, level of urbanization and household income;
continued increase in the number of affluent individuals and consumer sentiment towards premium automobiles;
continued improvement of road networks and infrastructure; and
PRC laws and regulations with regard to passenger vehicles.

Integration of Our Dealerships

We began to acquire majority control of used car dealers across China in the second half of 2017. We rely on our Dealerships to conduct significant aspects of our business. As of December 31, 2023, we had three Dealerships. Our Dealerships and their employees directly interact with the consumers and other dealerships, and their performance directly impact our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, expansion of our network of Dealerships may affect our results of operations in the form of startup costs, acquisitions of new Dealership assets or capital injections.

Customer Engagement and Branding

We engage car buyers primarily through our network of Dealerships, our website and mobile apps, and advertising on third-party platforms. Our ability to expand our customer base depends on the scale and performance of the Dealerships as well as our ability to expand the Dealership network. We also collaborate with the leading online automotive advertising platforms to tap into their large user bases. Our success in such collaboration will affect our ability to broaden our prospective car buyer base through online channels in a cost-efficient manner.

Our growth depends on our ability to strengthen our brand through word of mouth and advertisements. The goal of these endeavors is to increase the number of visitors to our website, mobile apps and Dealership Outlets and increase the likelihood that visitors will purchase vehicles from us. In addition, our performance will be enhanced by providing a superior customer experience, which drives our ability to generate customer referrals and repeat sales.

Competitive Landscape

We believe that our operational model, which combines both online and offline channels, is superior to either online-only or offline-only models and differentiates us from our competitors. Our ability to strengthen our market position as a leading premium used auto dealership group and continue to meet the needs of our customers will continue to affect our results of operations.

Our business is also subject to trends specific to our industry, including customer demand and the competitive landscape. The car retail industry in China is highly fragmented, and we see a trend towards consolidation that will take hold in the future. In addition, we believe that there are trends towards the growth of online technologies and consumer auto financing in China. Competition affects not only our day-to-day performance in terms of our ability to acquire customers and automobile inventory, but also our ability to adapt to these trends.

Strategic Expansion and Acquisitions

In the second half of 2017, we started to acquire used car dealers and had acquired 14 used car Dealerships across China as of December 31, 2020. We may selectively pursue acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and partnerships that we believe are strategic and complementary to our operations and technology. These acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and partnerships may affect our results of operations.

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On June 25, 2021, we closed the Haitaoche Acquisition. Haitaoche is a China-based merchant for domestic and imported automobiles. The manufacture and distribution of automobiles are undergoing significant changes in China, which are expected to create new opportunities and business models. Haitaoche strives to become a leading automobile retail platform in China. In addition to strengthening its imported automobile sales business, it plans to expand into electronic vehicles and other business areas. Haitaoche aims to enter into strategic cooperation agreements with multiple electronic vehicle manufacturers in China and serve a wider group of distributors and consumers. Haitaoche sourced, marketed and sold 431, 33 and 184 vehicles to customers across China in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

By integrating the operations and resources of Haitaoche with the used car dealership business, we are engaged in the sales of both new and used, domestic and imported automobiles and will be actively looking for opportunities to expand into the business area of electronic vehicles. We released our new energy vehicle strategic plan on December 1, 2021, and we target to quickly expand our new energy vehicle team and start with developing commercial new energy vehicles for intra-city and inter-city logistics applications in the initial stage.

In addition, we have signed a sales order for 5,000 new energy logistics vehicles with Bujia, a leading automobile logistics service provider in China. It will order a total of RMB1 billion (equivalent to US$156 million) worth of new energy vehicles from our Company in the upcoming years. The first model vehicle was delivered to Bujia in July 2022. In April, 2023, the Company reached a strategic business partnership with China Automobile Import and Export Co., Ltd., which aims to build up a joint export trading platform for new energy vehicles with a target total transaction volume of USD$10.8 billion in the coming five years. We aim to continuously establish strategic partnerships with platforms that have big sales potentials and to make customized production according to customer needs.

Financing and Access to Capital

We have historically funded our operations and expansion with support from Moatable, the issuance of ABSs and term loans, and we believe that the future growth and expansion of our business will involve additional debt and/or equity financing from both Chinese and international external investors. The availability of financing, and the terms on which it is available, are expected to affect our future results of operations.

Key Components of Results of Operations

Revenues

Our revenues are derived from car sales. Our sales revenue are US$253.8 million, US$82.8 million and US$31.5 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

For the Years Ended December 31,

    

2021

    

2022

    

2023

 

US$

%  

US$

%  

US$

%  

 

(in thousands, except for percentages)

Revenues:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

  

  

Car sales revenue

253,840

100.0

82,840

100.0

31,535

100

%

Total revenues

 

253,840

 

100.0

 

82,840

100.0

 

31,535

100

%

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On June 25, 2021, Kaixin Holdings (KAH) completed the Haitaoche Acquisition, which is considered a reverse acquisition (or reverse takeover, or “Acquisition”) of KAH by Haitaoche Limited (Haitaoche) as the acquirer under the applicable accounting treatment. Following the completion of the Acquisition, KAH is the consolidated parent of Haitaoche and the resulting company operates under the KAH corporate name. Haitaoche’s historical financial statements became the historical financial statements of the Company. The acquired assets and liabilities of KAH are included in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet as of June 25, 2021 and the results of its operations and cash flows are included in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive income (loss) and cash flows for periods beginning after June 25, 2021. Therefore, the results of operations of KAH in 2020 is not included in the consolidated financial statement.

Our car sales revenues are primarily driven by the number of customer traffic to the Dealerships, our inventory selection, the effectiveness of our branding and marketing efforts, the quality of our customer services, our pricing and competition in our industry. The Company invested significant resources in revamping the car sales business after the completion of the reverse merger, which contributed the growt of the car sales.

Cost of Revenues

Cost of revenues consists of costs directly related to used-car sales and new-car wholesales. The following table sets forth the breakdown of our cost of revenues, both in absolute amounts and as percentages of our total cost of revenues, for the periods presented:

For the Years Ended December 31, 

 

    

2021

    

2022

    

2023

 

US$

    

%  

US$

    

%  

US$

    

%  

 

 

(in thousands, except for percentages)

Cost of revenues:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Car sales

248,583

100.0

82,194

100.0

31,193

100

%

Total cost of revenues

 

248,583

 

100.0

 

82,194

 

100.0

 

31,193

 

100

%

Cost of Used-car sales

Cost of revenues consists of costs directly related to used-car sales and new car wholesales, including inventory acquisition costs and write-down of inventory. We expect our cost of revenues to increase in line with the growth of our used-car sales and new car wholesales business.

Operating Expenses

Our operating expenses consist of general and administrative expenses, selling and marketing expenses, and loss from impairment of goodwill. The following table sets forth our operating expenses for continuing operations, both in absolute amounts and as percentages of our total operating expenses for the periods indicated:

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

    

2021

    

2022

    

2023

 

US$

    

%  

US$

    

%  

US$

    

%  

 

 

(in thousands, except for percentages)

Operating expenses:

 

  

Selling and marketing

 

481

 

0.3

 

2,097

 

4.3

 

3,313

 

15.5

%

General and administrative

 

43,734

 

23.2

 

46,488

 

95.7

 

18,013

 

84.5

%

Impairment of goodwill

 

143,655

 

76.5

 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

187,870

 

100.0

 

48,585

 

100.0

 

21,326

 

100

%

Selling and Marketing Expenses

Selling and marketing expenses consist primarily of salaries, benefits and commissions for our selling and marketing personnel and advertising, promotion expenses, and provision for dealership incentive. Our selling and marketing expenses may increase in the near term if we increase our promotion expenses for the Kaixin Auto brand or the new energy vehicles business.

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General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and benefits for our general and administrative personnel and fees, write-offs of prepayment for vehicle purchase and other current assets, share-based compensation expenses, and expenses for third-party professional services. Our general and administrative expenses may increase in the future on an absolute basis as our business grows.

Loss from Impairment of Goodwill

Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of identifiable net assets acquired in business combinations. For the goodwill recognized as a result of the reverse acquisition, the management performed qualitative assessment and impairment test. Based on the results of the quantitative goodwill impairment test, a full impairment loss in goodwill of US$143.7 million was recorded in the consolidated statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021.

Taxation

Cayman Islands

We are an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Under the current laws of the Cayman Islands, we are not subject to tax based upon profits, income, gains or appreciations and there is no taxation in the nature of inheritance tax or estate duty. In addition, upon payment of dividends by us to our shareholders, no Cayman Islands withholding tax will be imposed.

Hong Kong

Our subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong is subject to Hong Kong two-tiered profit tax at a rate of 8.25% for the first 2 million Hong Kong dollars (“HKD”) of profits and at a rate of 16.5% for profits above 2 million HKD. No Hong Kong profit tax has been levied as we did not have assessable profit that was earned in or derived from the Hong Kong subsidiary during the periods presented. Hong Kong does not impose a withholding tax on dividends.

China

Generally, our subsidiaries in China are subject to enterprise income tax on their taxable income in China at a rate of 25%. The enterprise income tax is calculated based on the entity’s global income as determined under PRC tax laws and accounting standards.

We are subject to VAT at a rate of 1% on the difference between the original purchase price and the retail price for the used car sales. We are subject to VAT at a rate of 13 % on the sales of new automobiles. We are also subject to surcharges on VAT payments in accordance with the PRC law.

Dividends paid by our wholly foreign-owned subsidiary in China to its intermediary holding company in Hong Kong will be subject to a withholding tax rate of 10%, unless the relevant Hong Kong entity satisfies all the requirements under the Arrangement between the PRC and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital, in which case the dividends paid to the Hong Kong subsidiary would be subject to withholding tax at the standard rate of 5%.

If our holding company in the Cayman Islands or any of our subsidiaries outside of China were deemed to be a “resident enterprise” under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, it would be subject to enterprise income tax on its worldwide income at a rate of 25%.

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Results of Operations

The following tables set forth a summary of our consolidated results of operations for the periods presented. This information should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this annual report. The operating results in any periods are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period.

    

For the Years Ended December 31,

2021

    

2022

    

2023

(in thousands, except for percentage)

    

%  

    

    

%  

    

    

%  

Total revenues

 

253,840

 

100.0

 

82,840

 

100.0

 

31,535

 

100.0

Total cost of revenues

 

248,583

 

97.9

 

82,194

 

99.2

 

31,193

 

98.9

Gross profit

 

5,257

 

2.1

 

646

 

0.8

 

342

 

1.1

Operating expenses:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Selling and marketing expenses

 

481

 

0.2

 

2,097

 

2.5

 

3,313

 

10.5

General and administrative expenses

 

43,734

 

17.2

 

46,488

 

56.1

 

18,013

 

57.1

Impairment of goodwill

 

143,655

 

56.6

 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

187,870

 

74.0

 

48,585

 

58.6

 

21,326

 

67.6

Loss from operations

 

(182,613)

 

(71.9)

 

(47,939)

 

(57.9)

 

(20,984)

 

(66.5)

Other income (expenses), net

 

(4)

 

(0.0)

 

728

 

0.9

 

(10)

 

(0.0)

Foreign currency exchange gain (loss)

(432)

(0.2)

(139)

(0.2)

(10)

(0.0)

Interest expense, net

 

(245)

 

(0.1)

 

(1,034)

 

(1.2)

 

(525)

 

(1.7)

Change in fair value of warrants

1,995

0.8

316

0.4

(207)

(0.7)

Impairment of other receivables

(8,848)

(28.1)

Impairment of prepaid expenses and other current assets

(4,216)

(1.7)

(22,921)

(25.9)

(23,262)

(73.8)

Provision for dealership settlement

(11,142)

(4.4)

(15,134)

(18.3)

Gain on disposal of subsidiaries

1,578

1.9

64

(0.2)

Loss before income tax provision

 

(196,657)

 

(77.5)

 

(84,545)

 

(100.3)

 

(53,782)

(170.5)

Income tax benefit (expense)

729

0.3

(74)

(0.1)

228

(0.7)

Net loss

 

(195,928)

 

(77.2)

 

(84,619)

 

(100.4)

 

(53,554)

(169.8)

Year ended December 31, 2023 compared with year ended December 31, 2022

Revenues

Our total revenues decreased from US$82.8 million in 2022 to US$31.5 million in 2023, primarily due to the decline in auto sales volume.

Cost of Revenues

Our cost of revenues for the new car wholesales decreased from US$82.2 million in 2022 to US$31.2 million in 2023, corresponding to the decline in sales revenues.

Gross Profit

As a result of the foregoing, we recorded gross profit of US$646 thousand in 2022 and gross profit of US$342 thousand in 2023.

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Operating Expenses

Our total operating expenses decreased from US$48.6 million in 2022 to US$24.2 million in 2023. The difference is mainly resulted from a decrease in general and administrative expenses.

Selling and marketing expenses. Our selling and marketing expenses increase from US$2,097 thousand in 2022 to US$3313 thousand in 2023. The increase resulted from higher sales incentives expenses to the Dealerships.
General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses decreased from US$46,488 thousand in 2022 to US$18,013 thousand in 2023. The decrease was primarily due to lower share-based compensation expense in 2023.

Other Income (Expenses)

Other expense was US$728 thousand in 2022, as compared to other income of US$10 thousand in 2023.

Interest Expenses, Net

Our interest expenses, net were US$1,034 thousand in 2022 and US$525 thousand in 2023.

Change in fair value of warrants

Gain from change in fair value of warrants was US$316 thousand in 2022, as compared to loss from change in fair value of warrants of US$207 in 2023.

Impairment of other receivables

There is a loss on impairment of other receivables of US$8.8 million in 2023.

Impairment of prepaid expenses and other current assets

Loss from impairment of other non-current assets was US$22.9 million and US$23.3 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Provision for dealership settlement

Loss from provision for dealership settlement was US$15.1 million and nil in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Gain on disposal of subsidiaries

There is a gain on disposal of subsidiaries of US$64 thousand in 2023.

Income Tax Benefit (Expense)

Our income tax expense was US$74 thousand in 2022, and our income tax benefit was US$228 thousand in 2023.

Net Loss

As a result of the foregoing, we recorded net losses of US$84.6 million and US$53.6 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

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Year ended December 31, 2022 compared with year ended December 31, 2021

Revenues

Our total revenues decreased from US$253.8 million in 2021 to US$82.8 million in 2022, primarily due to closure of several dealerships.

Cost of Revenues

Our cost of revenues for the new car wholesales decreased from US$248.6 million in 2021 to US$82.2 million in 2022. The decrease was consistent with the decrease in sales revenue.

Gross Profit

As a result of the foregoing, we recorded gross profit of US$5,257 thousand in 2021 and gross profit of US$646 thousand in 2022.

Operating Expenses

Our total operating expenses decreased from US$187.8 million in 2021 to US$48.6 million in 2022. The difference is mainly resulted from the one-time loss from goodwill impairment of US$143.7 million.

Selling and marketing expenses. Our selling and marketing expenses increased from US$481 thousand in 2021 to US$2,097 thousand in 2022. The increase resulted from the provision for sales incentives of US$1,638 thousand.
General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses increased from US$43,734 thousand in 2021 to US$46,488 thousand in 2022. The increase was primarily due to amortization of trademark of US$1,681 thousand.

Other Income (Expenses)

Other expense was US$4 thousand in 2021, as compared to other income of US$728 thousand in 2022. The other income in 2022 is mainly due to subsidies received from the Taishun County local government.

Interest Expenses, Net

Our interest expenses, net were US$245 thousand in 2021 and US$1,034 thousand in 2022.

Change in fair value of warrants

Gain from change in fair value of warrants was US$1,995 thousand and US$316 thousand in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Impairment of other non-current assets

Loss from impairment of other non-current assets was US $4.2 million and US $22.9 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Provision for dealership settlement

Loss from provision for dealership settlement was US $11.1 million and US $15.1 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Gain on disposal of subsidiaries

There is a gain on disposal of subsidiaries of US $1.6 million in 2022.

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Income Tax Benefit (Expense)

Our income tax benefit was US$0.7 million in 2021, and our income tax expense was US$74 thousand in 2022.

Net Loss

As a result of the foregoing, we recorded net losses of US$195.9 million and US$84.6 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Part III, “Financial Statements — Note 2 — Summary of significant accounting policies — Recent accounting pronouncements”.

B.Liquidity and Capital Resources

Cash flows and working capital

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that we will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and the satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. For the year ended December 31, 2023, we generated negative cash flows from operating activities that amounted to US$2.1 million and has working capital of negative US$10.9 million as of December 31, 2023. KX Venturas 4 LLC invested US$3.0 million in convertible preferred shares of the Company on December 28, 2020, which were all converted to ordinary shares during 2021. Moatable purchased US$6.0 million convertible preferred shares of the Company on March 31, 2021. Derong Group Limited invested US$4.6 million in the Company in February 2022 and received ordinary shares in March 2022. A group of investors, namely Mr. Long Li, Hermann Limited and Aslan Family Limited, invested in $1.0 million in ordinary shares in November 2023.

We intend to obtain additional equity or debt financing arrangements to support the growth of our business. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in the increased of fixed obligations and could result in operating covenants that would restrict our operations. There can be no assurance that financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors —Risks Related to Our Business and Industry — 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”.

Net cash used in operating activities was US$2.1 million, US$2.4 million and US$2.1 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. As of December 31, 2023, we had cash of approximately US$2.1 million.

The following table sets forth a summary of our cash flows for the periods presented:

    

For the years ended December 31,

    

2021

    

2022

    

2023

(in thousands of US$)

Net cash used in operating activities

(2,103)

(2,394)

(2,108)

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

4,267

(156)

(3,134)

Net cash provided by financing activities

2,000

 

5,406

 

1,015

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

607

 

5,263

 

7,102

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

5,263

 

7,102

 

2,085

Operating Activities

Net cash used in operating activities was US$2.1 million in 2023. The principal item accounting for the difference between our net loss and the net cash used in operating activities in 2023 were a loss from impairment of other non-current assets of US$23.3 million, loss from impairment of other receivables of US$8.8 million, share-based compensation expense of US$12.0 million, and depreciaton and amortization expenses of $2.3 million.

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Net cash used in operating activities was US$2.4 million in 2022. The principal item accounting for the difference between our net loss and the net cash used in operating activities in 2022 were a loss from impairment of other non-current assets of US$22.9 million, provision for dealership settlement of US$15.1 million, and share-based compensation expense of US$39.3 million.

Net cash used in operating activities was US$2.1 million in 2021. The principal items accounting for the difference between our net loss and the net cash used in operating activities in 2021 were a loss from impairment of goodwill of US$143.7 million and share-based compensation expense of US$41.5 million. There were partially offset by an increase in prepayment for vehicle purchase and other current assets of US$6.1 million.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities was US$3.1 million in 2023, which was mostly attributable to cash disposed on disposal of subsidiaries.

Net cash used in investing activities was US$0.2 million in 2022, which was mostly attributable to cash disposed on disposal of subsidiaries.

Net cash provided by investing activities was US$4.3 million in 2021, which was mostly attributable to Cash acquired on reverse acquisition of US$4.3 million.

Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities was US$1.0 million in 2023, which was primarily attributable to proceeds from issuance of ordinary shares and warrants.

Net cash provided by financing activities was US$5.4 million in 2022, which was primarily attributable to proceeds from issuance of ordinary shares of US$4.7 million and a convertible note of US$2.0 million, partially offset by c