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China’s Ping An Seeking to Offload Autohome Stake

Dealer portal faces growing difficulties as manufacturers, especially electric vehicle (EV) makers, rely on their own distribution networks

Autohome's home page


Chinese insurer Ping An is reportedly seeking to offload its 44% stake in car dealer services portal Autohome.

Ping An, the biggest shareholder of Beijing-based Autohome, has held talks with several strategic and private equity investors in recent months. Its stake would be worth about $2.15 billion by current valuations.

Founded in 2005, Autohome serves as an information portal for car buyers and is an online marketplace. Dealers’ subscriptions allow them to market inventory and services through their websites, extending the reach of their physical showrooms.

But Autohome faces growing difficulties in China where manufacturers, especially electric vehicle (EV) makers, rely on their own distribution networks.

Ronnie Ho, analyst at CCB International in Hong Kong, said he expected third-quarter revenue at Autohome to decline 25% year on year.

Advertisements and fees from manufacturers and dealers account for more than 80% of Autohome’s revenue.

Ho said there was a 12% decline in dealer advertising spending due to lower sales from the global semiconductor shortage. “We believe a meaningful recovery will not take place until the second half of 2022,” he said.

The analyst said Autohome also faced increasing competition from Bitauto and Dongchedi.

The company listed in Hong Kong in March and its share price has fallen more than 60% from a peak of HK$199.60 in March. It was trading at HK$75.50 on Friday, up 0.6%. The US-listed stock was down more than 70% on Thursday from this year’s peak of $147.70 in January.

Australian telecom giant Telstra sold its 47.4% stake in Autohome to Ping An in 2016 for $1.6 billion.


  • Reuters, with editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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