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‘Tesla killer’: Chinese billionaire makes $4 billion overnight

A Chinese billionaire has seen his personal wealth skyrocket by a staggering $US2.6 billion ($A3.97b) overnight.

On Monday local time (Tuesday AEDT), Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto announced its fourth quarter earnings and investors were stoked.

As a result, the company, which is listed on two stock exchanges, surged in value.

Li Auto’s market capitalisation jumped by 26 per cent in the Hong Kong stock market, while it hit nearly 19 per cent on the US’s NASDAQ.

This was great news for the company’s chief executive and founder Li Xiang, who has been dubbed a Chinese Elon Musk, and holds a large stake in his company.

According to the Forbes Billionaire Index, at the time of writing, Mr Li’s net worth now stands at $US10.7 billion ($A16.3b).

Before the market rally, it stood at $US8.1 billion ($A12.4b).

Forbes listed Mr Li as one of the five biggest wealth makers worldwide on Monday.

Mr Li, 42, is currently ranked as number 34 on China’s rich list and is number 748 on the Global Billionaire’s Index.

Li Auto isn’t his first successful entrepreneurial venture.

Mr Li launched a computer and gadget review website called pcpop.com in 2005 as soon as he finished high school.

Then in 2005, he spotted a gap in the market and launched a vehicle news website called Autohome, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013.

In 2015, he launched Li Auto.

Li Auto surged on stock markets in the wake of the news that sales of its three models had more than doubled compared to the previous year to $US5.9 billion ($A9b).

The company’s total net profit came in at $US810 million ($A1.2b), which was a 2068 per cent increase from the previous 12 months.

The profit margin it gains from every sale of a car is 23.5 per cent, according to Forbes, which is better than Tesla, which has a 17.6 per cent gross margin.

Mr Li is making a strong impression in China’s competitive electric vehicle market by discounting the company’s $US46,000 ($A70,000) vehicles by $US2000 ($A3000), leading to an uplift in sales.

Chinese EV companies have been dubbed “Tesla killers” and Li Auto recently took a jab at the American company.

Writing on Chinese social media Weibo, Li Auto challenged Tesla’s Model X SUV to a range test.

“Not long ago, Tesla’s official Douyin account implicitly mocked Li Auto’s refrigerators, colour TVs, and big sofas as ‘superficial decoration,’ and that one should buy an EV for the ‘invisible smart manufacturing’ (batteries, motors, and electronic controls),” Li Auto wrote, according to auto-hits-back-after-mocked-by-tesla/” title=”cnevpost.com”>CNEV Post.

“So we decided to do a fair and impartial technical PK, challenging the Tesla Model X with the Li Mega. Both models have a battery capacity of around 100 kWh and a CLTC range of around 700 km.”

The two vehicles were to drive 616 km, however the Li Mega and Model X ended up going 547.2 km.

At the end of the test, the Li Mega had 14 per cent battery remaining, while the Model X had just 4 per cent charge left, according to Li Auto.

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