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Xpeng Motors launches the P5 sedan at an event in Guangzhou, China on April 14, 2021. The P5 is Xpeng's third production model and features so-called Lidar technology.Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

BEIJING — Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng expects the global chip shortage will persist for at least another three months.

Automakers around the world have had to cut production due to a shortfall in semiconductors, or chips. High demand for electronics, U.S.-China trade tensions and a major factory fire have affected the highly specialized industry's ability to manufacture enough chips.

"What we've seen is that this tight situation will continue for the next quarter or so," Brian Gu, vice chairman and president of Xpeng, said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

The challenge is "the visibility of chip supplies is by the minute," Gu said. "We are paying very, very close attention to the situation. Right now, the impact is limited and it's reflected in our guidance."

VIDEO2:5702:57China's Xpeng says it's looking into making its own autonomous driving chipsSquawk Box Asia

Xpeng's U.S.-listed shares fell nearly 4.9% in Thursday's trading session despite the start-up reporting greater-than-expected revenue of 2.95 billion yuan ($456.7 million) for the first quarter.

The stock is now down nearly 45% for the year so far, but still holds gains of more than 50% from its IPO in August.

Xpeng expects to deliver between 15,500 and 16,000 vehicles in the second quarter. The company said it delivered 13,340 cars in the first three months of the year, topping its forecast for 12,500 cars.

Growing revenue from software

While car sales account for the majority of Xpeng's revenue, the company noted first-quarter results were helped by customer demand for its assisted driving software. The start-up said it recorded revenue from the software for the first time after a rollout of an upgrade to paying customers in the first quarter.

Gu said on CNBC that more than 25% of customers have paid for the assisted driving software in the last month, up from 20% last quarter. He expects greater use of Xpeng's software and lower vehicle production costs will increase the company's margin in the near future.

Later this year, Xpeng plans to launch a second electric sedan, the P5, which includes support for the latest version of the start-up's assisted driving software.

Vehicle margin, a measure of profitability, rose to 10.1% in the first quarter, up from 6.8% in the prior quarter. The company did report a year-on-year increase in net losses, of 786.6 million yuan in the first quarter, versus 649.8 million yuan during the same period last year. Research and development expenses rose 72.2% from a year ago to 535.1 million yuan.

Moving ahead into Europe

Xpeng pressed ahead with its European expansion plans in the first quarter by delivering more than 300 units of its G3 SUV to Norway, according to the company. The start-up had sent 100 of the cars to the market in December. Xpeng expects to begin delivering its P7 sedan to Norway in the second half of the year.

Competition in that overseas market is set to pick up with rival Chinese electric car maker Nio's plans to open a showroom and begin deliveries in Norway later this year. Nio's shares fell 7.3% Thursday and are down nearly 36% for the year so far.

News Source: CNBC

Tags: xpeng’s chinese electric car in the first quarter chip shortage for the first in the second three months the start up million yuan revenue the start up shares fell the company the company down nearly the year

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Chinese swimmer Sun Yang banned again, misses Tokyo Olympics

China's most famous swimmer got a second chance to avoid a doping ban and compete at the Tokyo Olympics, and lost.

This time, however, Sun Yang's ban is less likely to end the three-time Olympic champion's career.

A new panel of judges at the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned the 29-year-old Sun on Tuesday for 4 years, 3 months — about half the eight-year sanction handed down after the first trial in 2019.

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The verdict ended Sun's hopes of defending his Olympic title in the 200-meter freestyle in Tokyo next month. But the ban was backdated to February 2020, meaning Sun could return for the 2024 Paris Olympics when he would be 32.

The judges found Sun "to have acted recklessly" when he refused to let anti-doping officials leave his home with a sample of his blood. The formal charges were for refusing to give a sample and tampering with a doping control.

Sun denied wrongdoing and his original eight-year ban imposed last year was overturned on appeal to Switzerland’s supreme court, which ordered a fresh trial.

Federal judges ruled the first guilty verdict was tainted because the chairman of that three-person panel at CAS showed anti-Chinese bias in social media comments.

The retrial was heard by different judges by video over three days last month and fast-tracked ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which open on July 23.

For the retrial, Sun's Geneva-based legal team was aided by lawyers who successfully represented Russia's anti-doping agency and athletes in previous CAS hearings about doping violations.

Sun's case centered on a failed attempt to take blood and urine from the swimmer by a sample collection team who made an unannounced visit to his home in China in September 2018.

It turned confrontational after midnight when he questioned the officials' credentials. It led to Sun’s entourage ordering a security guard to smash the casing of a blood vial with a hammer so that it would not be valid for testing.

The World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to CAS when a tribunal appointed by swimming governing body FINA only warned the Olympic champion about his conduct.

WADA requested a ban of two-to-eight years for a second doping conviction. Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 imposed by Chinese authorities after testing positive for a stimulant that was banned at the time. The ban was not announced until after it ended.

WADA welcomed the latest CAS ruling on Tuesday, noting that its concerns about FINA's inconsistent interpretation of anti-doping rules were upheld again.

"The decision by the Swiss Federal Tribunal to set aside the (original) CAS award was limited to a challenge made against the chair of the CAS panel and had nothing to do with the substance of this case," WADA director general Olivier Niggli said.

Sun’s eight-year ban had been imposed after a rare CAS hearing held in open court and streamed live online. That was requested by the athlete and lasted more than 10 hours in November 2019 at a special court session in Montreux, Switzerland.

A change this year to FINA's rules in anti-doping cases meant the eight-year ban for a second offense could be reduced. The amendment "represents a newly flexible approach," the court said.

The 6-foot-7 (2-meter) Sun was the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold, at the 2012 London Games, and has long been a polarizing figure in the pool.

Rivals branded him a cheater at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and two competitors refused to stand with him on medal podiums at the 2019 world championships, where he competed despite the pending appeal brought by WADA.

Sun won a total of 11 gold medals in five straight world championships from 2011 to 2019, at each freestyle distance from 200 to 1,500.

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FINA officials have been criticized during Sun’s career for protecting the sport’s biggest star in a key commercial market.

After winning Olympic gold in Rio in a hostile atmosphere, Sun was hugged poolside by Cornel Marculescu, the long-time FINA executive director who retired in March. Sun said Marculescu had watched over him "like a grandfather."

FINA issued a brief statement Tuesday that it "acknowledges" the CAS ruling, which was not yet published in detail.

"FINA remains committed to the protection of all clean aquatics athletes worldwide," the Switzerland-based governing body said.

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