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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(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 001-38590

Cango Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

8F, New Bund Oriental Plaza II

556 West Haiyang Road, Pudong New Area

Shanghai 200124

People’s Republic of China

(Address of principal executive offices)

Yongyi Zhang, Chief Financial Officer

Telephone: +86 21 3183 5087

Email: ir@cangoonline.com

At the address of the Company set forth above

(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

    

Trade
symbol

    

Name of each exchange
on which registered

American Depositary Shares, each representing two Class A ordinary shares

CANG

New York Stock Exchange

Class A Ordinary Shares, par value US$0.0001 per share*

N/A

New York Stock Exchange

*Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing on the New York Stock Exchange of American depositary shares.

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)

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.

144,857,131 Class A ordinary shares were outstanding as of December 31, 2023

72,978,677 Class B ordinary shares were outstanding as of December 31, 2023

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

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 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 registration 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 consolidated 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 Securities Exchange Act of 1934).     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

Page

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

63

ITEM 4A.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

96

ITEM 5.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

97

ITEM 6.

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

116

ITEM 7.

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

127

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

127

ITEM 9.

THE OFFER AND LISTING

128

ITEM 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

129

ITEM 11.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

136

ITEM 12.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

137

PART II.

140

ITEM 13.

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

140

ITEM 14.

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

140

ITEM 15.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

140

ITEM 16.

[RESERVED]

141

ITEM 16A.

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

141

ITEM 16B.

CODE OF ETHICS

141

ITEM 16C.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

141

ITEM 16D.

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

141

ITEM 16E.

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

142

ITEM 16F.

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

142

ITEM 16G.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

143

ITEM 16H.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

143

ITEM 16I.

DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS

143

ITEM 16J.

INSIDER TRADING POLICY

143

ITEM 16K.

CYBERSECURITY

143

PART III.

146

ITEM 17.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

146

ITEM 18.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

146

ITEM 19.

EXHIBITS

146

i

CONVENTIONS THAT APPLY TO THIS ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 20-F

Except where the context otherwise requires, references in this annual report to:

“ADSs” are to our American depositary shares, each of which represents two Class A ordinary shares, and “ADRs” are to the American depositary receipts that evidence our ADSs;
“CAGR” are to compound annual growth rate;
“Can Gu Long” are to Can Gu Long (Shanghai) Information Technology Consultation Service Co., Ltd., a company established under the law of the PRC and our wholly-owned subsidiary;
“car buyers” are to individuals who have purchased a car;
“China” and the “PRC” are to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this annual report only, Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region;
“consolidated affiliate” are to a subsidiary of the Group’s consolidated VIEs, namely Shanghai Cango and Shanghai Yungu;
“dealers” are to points of sale that are licensed to engage in retail automobile transactions;
“Didi Chuxing” are to DiDi Global Inc., a company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and its affiliates;
“exposure at risk” are to the amount of outstanding principal of specified financing transactions as of a specified date;
“financial institutions” are to (i) banks and (ii) financing lease companies licensed by the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC;
“financing transactions” are to loans and financing leases; financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform include financing transactions funded by financial institutions and financing transactions funded by Shanghai Chejia; the “amount of financing transactions” refer to the principal amount of financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform in a specified period;
“lower-tier cities” are to cities in China that are not tier-one and tier-two cities;
“M1+ overdue ratio” are to (i) exposure at risk relating to financing transactions for which any installment payment is 30 to 179 calendar days past due as of a specified date, divided by (ii) exposure at risk relating to all financing transactions which remain outstanding as of such date, excluding amounts of outstanding principal that are 180 calendar days or more past due;
“M3+ overdue ratio” are to (i) exposure at risk relating to financing transactions for which any installment payment is 90 to 179 calendar days past due as of a specified date, divided by (ii) exposure at risk relating to all financing transactions which remain outstanding as of such date, excluding amounts of outstanding principal that are 180 calendar days or more past due;
“MYbank” are to Zhejiang E-Commerce Bank Co., Ltd., a limited liability company established under the laws of the PRC;
“OEMs” are to automotive original equipment manufacturer;
“ordinary shares” are to our Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, and Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share;
“registered dealers” are to dealers who are registered with Cango platform;
“RMB” or “Renminbi” are to the legal currency of China;

1

“Shanghai Cango” are to Shanghai Cango Investment and Management Consultation Service Co., Ltd., a company established under the law of the PRC and one of the Group’s consolidated VIEs; the Group primarily conducts its operations through the consolidated VIEs and their respective subsidiaries;
“Shanghai Chejia” are to Shanghai Chejia Financing Lease Co., Ltd. (formerly translated as “Shanghai Autohome Financing Lease Co., Ltd.”), a company organized under the law of the PRC and the Group’s consolidated affiliate;
“Shanghai Yungu” are to Shanghai Yungu Haoche Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, a company organized under the law of the PRC and one of the Group’s consolidated VIEs;
“the Group” are to Cango Inc., Shanghai Cango, Shanghai Yungu and their respective subsidiaries;
“tier-one and tier-two cities” refer to (i) tier-one cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and (ii) tier-two cities in China, namely (a) Tianjin and Chongqing, (b) the provincial capital cities except for Guangzhou, Yinchuan, Xining and Lhasa and (c) several prefecture-level cities, namely, Qingdao, Foshan, Dalian, Ningbo, Suzhou, Wuxi, Xiamen, Dongguan and Wenzhou;
“US$,” “U.S. dollars,” or “dollars” are to the legal currency of the United States;
“VIE” are to variable interest entity;
“we,” “us,” “our company” and “our” are to Cango Inc. and/or its subsidiaries, as the context requires; Cango Inc. is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with operations primarily conducted through contractual arrangements with the consolidated VIEs based in China, namely Shanghai Cango and Shanghai Yungu, and the respective subsidiaries of Shanghai Cango and Shanghai Yungu; and
“WeBank” are to Shenzhen Qianhai WeBank Co., Ltd., a limited liability company established under the laws of the PRC.

The translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this annual report were made at a rate of RMB7.0999 to US$1.00, the exchange rates set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on December 29, 2023. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this annual report could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. On April 12, 2024, the noon buying rate for Renminbi was RMB7.2374 to US$1.00.

We listed our ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CANG” on July 26, 2018.

2

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This annual report on Form 20-F contains statements of a forward-looking nature. All statements other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made under the “safe harbor” provision under Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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. In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements relate to, among others:

our goal and strategies;
our expansion plans;
our future business development, financial condition and results of operations;
our expectations regarding demand for, and market acceptance of, our solutions and services;
our expectations regarding keeping and strengthening our relationships with dealers, financial institutions, insurance brokers and companies, car buyers and other platform participants; and
general economic and business conditions.

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.

You should read these statements in conjunction with the risks disclosed in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” of this annual report and other risks outlined in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. Moreover, we operate in an emerging and evolving environment. New risks may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of such risks on our business or the extent to which any risk, or combination of risks, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this annual report and the documents that we have referred to in this annual report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

3

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 Corporate Structure

Cango Inc. is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with operations mainly conducted through Shanghai Cango and Shanghai Yungu, or the consolidated VIEs, and their subsidiaries. As we engage in value-added telecommunications services, or VATS, namely value-added online services for platform participants, we currently conduct business operations in China through the consolidated VIEs, and rely on contractual arrangements among Can Gu Long, the consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to control the business operation of the consolidated VIEs. Investors in our ADSs do not hold equity interest in the Group’s operating entities in China, but instead hold an equity interest in Cango Inc., a Cayman Islands holding company. As used in this annual report, “we,” “us,” “our company” and “our” are to Cango Inc. and/or its subsidiaries, “the Group” refers to Cango Inc., Shanghai Cango, Shanghai Yungu and their respective subsidiaries, and “consolidated affiliate” refers to a subsidiary of the consolidated VIEs.

We control the consolidated VIEs through a series of contractual arrangements with the consolidated VIEs, their shareholders and Can Gu Long, as described in more detail below, which collectively enables us to:

receive substantially all the economic benefits of our consolidated VIEs; and
have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in the equity interest in or all or part of the assets of the consolidated VIEs when and to the extent permitted by PRC law.

These contractual arrangements include equity interest pledge agreements, power of attorney, exclusive business cooperation agreement and exclusive option agreement. As a result of the contractual arrangements, we are considered the primary beneficiary of these companies for accounting purposes, and we have consolidated the financial results of these companies in the Group’s consolidated financial statements. However, we do not own equity interest in the consolidated VIEs. Furthermore, Cango Inc., as our holding company, does not conduct operating activities.

We are subject to risks associated with our contractual arrangements with the consolidated VIEs. Our company and its investors may never have a direct ownership interest in the businesses that are conducted by the consolidated VIEs. The contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over the consolidated VIEs. If the consolidated VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, we could be limited in our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. There are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a variable interest entity should be interpreted or enforced under PRC law. If we are unable to maintain control, we would not be able to continue to consolidate the financial results of these entities in the Group’s financial statements. See “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure—We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to operate the Group’s business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise have a material adverse effect as to the Group’s business” and “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure—The shareholders of our consolidated VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business and financial condition.”

4

There are also substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules regarding the status of the rights of our Cayman Islands holding company with respect to its contractual arrangements with the consolidated VIEs and their nominee shareholders. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. If we or the consolidated VIEs are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, or fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have certain discretion in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations to take action in dealing with such violations or failures. The majority of the Group’s assets, along with several material licenses to conduct business in China, are held by the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries. In addition, the majority of the Group’s revenues are generated by the consolidated VIEs and their respective subsidiaries. An event that results in the deconsolidation of the consolidated VIEs would have a material effect on the Group’s operations and cause the value of the ADSs of our company to diminish substantially or even become worthless. See “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure—If the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our consolidated VIEs do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.”

The Group also faces various legal and operational risks and uncertainties associated with being based in or having its operations primarily in China and the country’s complex and evolving laws and regulations. For example, the Group faces risks associated with regulatory approvals on offerings conducted overseas by and foreign investment in China-based issuers, the use of consolidated VIEs, anti-monopoly regulatory actions, and oversight on cybersecurity and data privacy, which may impact the Group’s ability to conduct certain businesses, accept foreign investments, or list on a U.S. or other foreign exchange outside of China. These risks could result in a material adverse change in the Group’s operations and the value of our ADSs, 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. See “—D. Risks Factors— Risks Relating to Doing Business in China.”

Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act

The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, as amended, or the HFCA Act, was signed into law on December 18, 2020 and amended pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 on December 29, 2022. Under the HFCA Act and the rules issued by the SEC and the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, thereunder, if we have retained a registered public accounting firm to issue an audit report where the registered public accounting firm has a branch or office that is located in a foreign jurisdiction and the PCAOB has determined that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by an authority in the foreign jurisdiction, the SEC will identify us as a “covered issuer”, or SEC-identified issuer, shortly after we file with the SEC a report required under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act (such as our annual report on Form 20-F), that includes an audit report issued by such accounting firm; and if we were to be identified as a SEC-identified issuer for two consecutive years, the SEC would prohibit our securities (including our shares or ADSs) from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter trading market in the United States.

In December 2021, the PCAOB made its determinations, or the 2021 determinations, pursuant to the HFCA Act that it was unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China or Hong Kong, including our auditor, Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP. After we filed our annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 that included an audit report issued by Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP on April 26, 2022, the SEC conclusively identified us as an SEC-identified issuer on May 26, 2022.

Following the Statement of Protocol signed between the PCAOB and the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Finance of the PRC in August 2022 and the on-site inspections and investigations conducted by the PCAOB staff in Hong Kong from September to November 2022, the PCAOB Board voted in December 2022 to vacate the previous 2021 determinations, and as a result, our auditor, Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, was no longer a registered public accounting firm that the PCAOB was unable to inspect or investigate completely as of the date of our annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, or the 2022 annual report, and we were not identified as a SEC-identified issuer in 2023 after we filed the 2022 annual report. On November 30, 2023, the PCAOB announced that it had completed its inspections on registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong for 2023 with the complete access required under the HFCA Act. As such, we do not expect to be identified as a SEC-identified issuer in 2024 either. However, the PCAOB may change its determinations under the HFCA Act at any point in the future. See “—D. Risks Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—If the PCAOB determines that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely our auditor at any point in the future, our ADSs may be prohibited from trading in the United States under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, as amended, or the HFCA Act, and any such trading prohibition on our ADSs or threat thereof may materially and adversely affect the price of our ADSs and value of your investment.”

5

PRC Licenses, Permissions and Approvals

We conduct business operations mainly through the consolidated VIEs and their respective subsidiaries in China. Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. The Group has obtained all requisite permissions and approvals that are material to the Group’s operations in China as of the date hereof, including (i) the VATS license held by Shanghai Yungu to conduct the internet content provider (ICP) services and online data and transaction processing services, (ii) the VATS license held by Shanghai Yungu to conduct the service provider (SP) services, (iii) the filing with Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation by Shanghai Yungu to conduct used car transaction services, (iv) the filing with Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce by Shanghai Yungu to conduct auction business, (v) the governmental approval for, and the license held by, Cango Financing to conduct financing guarantee service, and (vi) the license held by Fushun Insurance Brokerage Co., Ltd. to conduct insurance brokerage service. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—PRC Licenses, Permits and Approvals” for more details.

In connection with our previous issuance of securities to foreign investors, under current PRC laws, regulations and regulatory rules, as of the date of this annual report, we, our subsidiaries, the consolidated VIEs and consolidated affiliates, (i) have not received any requirement from competent PRC governmental authorities to obtain permissions from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, (ii) have not received any requirement from competent PRC governmental authorities to go through cybersecurity review by the Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC, and (iii) have not received or were denied such requisite permissions by any PRC authority. However, the PRC government has promulgated new laws, regulations or relevant drafts and indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. For more detailed information, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations—M&A Rules and Overseas Listings” and “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations—Regulation Related to Cybersecurity, Internet Information Security and Privacy Protection.” According to these new laws and regulations and the draft laws and regulations if enacted in their current forms, in connection with our future offshore offering activities, we may be required to fulfill filing and reporting procedures with or obtain approval from the CSRC, and may be required to go through cybersecurity review by the PRC authorities. However, given the uncertainties regarding interpretation, implementation and enforcement of relevant rules and regulations, as well as other factors beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we have obtained or will be able to obtain and maintain all requisite licenses, permits, filings and registrations. See “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Industry and Business—If the Group is unable to safeguard the security of the confidential information of car buyers, dealers or third parties it collaborates with and adapt to the relevant regulatory framework as to protection of such information, the Group’s business and operations may be adversely affected” and “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties.”

Cash Transfers within Our Corporate Structure

Cango Inc. is a Cayman Islands holding company with operations mainly conducted through the consolidated VIEs and their respective subsidiaries.

We have established controls and procedures for cash flows within the Group. Each transfer of cash between our Cayman Islands holding company, a subsidiary, the consolidated VIEs or the consolidated affiliates is subject to internal approval.

For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, our company did not provide any capital contribution to our subsidiaries. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, our company provided loans of US$21 million, nil and US$6 million, net, respectively, to our subsidiaries, and received repayments of nil, US$63 million and nil, net, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, our company paid cash dividends of RMB955 million, RMB1,871 million and nil to our shareholders and ADS holders. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, there were no other material assets transferred, and there were no dividends or distributions between the Company, the Company’s subsidiaries and the consolidated VIEs for the periods presented.

For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, the consolidated VIEs and the consolidated affiliates provided capital contributions of RMB200 million, RMB74 million and nil, respectively, to other subsidiaries of the consolidated VIEs. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, the consolidated VIEs and the consolidated affiliates provided loans of RMB365 million, RMB451 million and nil, respectively, to other subsidiaries of the consolidated VIEs.

When the consolidated VIEs declare and distribute profits to us, such payments will be subject to withholding tax, which will increase our tax liability and reduce the amount of cash available to our company.

6

Restrictions on Transfer of Funds

The Company’s ability to pay dividends is primarily dependent on the Company receiving distributions of funds from its subsidiaries. Under PRC laws and regulations, our PRC subsidiary is subject to certain restrictions with respect to paying dividends or otherwise transferring any of its net assets offshore to us. Relevant PRC statutory laws and regulations permit payments of dividends by the VIEs and subsidiaries of the VIEs incorporated in PRC only out of their retained earnings, if any, as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In particular, under PRC laws, rules and regulations, our PRC subsidiary is required to set aside at least 10% of its net income each year to fund certain statutory reserves until the cumulative amount of such reserves reaches 50% of its registered capital. These reserves, together with the registered capital, are not distributable as cash dividends. In addition, the consolidated results of operations reflected in the consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP differ from those reflected in the statutory financial statements of the Company’s subsidiaries.

Appropriations to the enterprise expansion fund and staff welfare and bonus fund are at the discretion of the board of directors of the subsidiary. The PRC entities are also subject to similar statutory reserve requirements. These reserves can only be used for specific purposes and are not transferable to the Company in the form of loans, advances or cash dividends.

Amounts restricted that include paid in capital and statutory reserve funds, as determined pursuant to PRC accounting standards and regulations, were RMB5,621 million and RMB4,806 million (US$677 million) as of December 31, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Furthermore, we are subject to restrictions on currency exchange. The Renminbi is currently convertible under the “current account,” which includes dividends, trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, but not under the “capital account,” which includes foreign direct investment and loans, including loans we may secure from our PRC subsidiary. Currently, our PRC subsidiary may purchase foreign currency for settlement of “current account transactions,” including payment of dividends to us, by complying with certain procedural requirements. However, the relevant PRC governmental authorities may limit or eliminate our ability to purchase foreign currencies in the future for current account transactions. Foreign exchange transactions under the capital account remain subject to limitations and require approvals from, or registration with, the SAFE and other relevant PRC governmental authorities. Since a significant amount of our future revenues and cash flow will be denominated in Renminbi, any existing and future restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to utilize cash generated in Renminbi to fund our business activities outside of the PRC or pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs, and may limit our ability to obtain foreign currency through debt or equity financing for our onshore subsidiaries. If any of our subsidiaries incurs debt on its own behalf in the future, the instruments governing such debt may restrict its ability to pay dividends to us. For certain Cayman Islands, PRC and United States federal income tax considerations in connection with an investment in our ADSs and Class A ordinary shares, see “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation.”

Summary Financial Information Related to the Consolidated VIEs

The following condensed consolidated financial statement information presents information related to Cango Inc., or the Parent, which is a Cayman Islands holding company, the consolidated VIEs and our subsidiaries as of December 31, 2022 and 2023 and for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

7

The following tables present the condensed consolidated schedule of results of operation data for the periods indicated.

For the year ended December 31, 2023

    

    

    

Subsidiaries

    

    

    

(other than

Eliminating

    

Consolidated

Parent

    

WFOE

WFOE)

VIEs

adjustments

total

(RMB in thousands)

Third-party revenues

 

 

43

 

 

1,701,876

 

 

1,701,919

Intra-Group revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

 

43

 

 

1,701,876

 

 

1,701,919

Third-party costs and expenses

 

(6,435)

 

(2)

 

(16,822)

 

(1,752,411)

 

 

(1,775,670)

Intra-Group costs and expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

(6,435)

 

(2)

 

(16,822)

 

(1,752,411)

 

 

(1,775,670)

Operating (loss)/income

 

(6,435)

 

41

 

(16,822)

 

(50,535)

 

 

(73,751)

Income/(loss) from non-operations

 

61,500

 

2,189

 

9,184

 

(36,995)

 

 

35,878

Share of loss of subsidiaries

 

(5,408)

 

 

 

 

5,408

 

Contractual interests in VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries(1)

 

(87,530)

 

 

 

 

87,530

 

Net (loss)/income

 

(37,873)

 

2,230

 

(7,638)

 

(87,530)

 

92,938

 

(37,873)

For the year ended December 31, 2022

    

    

Subsidiaries

    

    

    

(other than

Eliminating

    

Consolidated

Parent

    

WFOE

    

WFOE)

VIEs

adjustments

total

(RMB in thousands)

Third-party revenues

 

 

37

 

 

1,980,416

 

 

1,980,453

Intra-Group revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

 

37

 

 

1,980,416

 

 

1,980,453

Third-party costs and expenses

 

(7,443)

 

(2)

 

(20,065)

 

(2,900,087)

 

 

(2,927,597)

Intra-Group costs and expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

(7,443)

 

(2)

 

(20,065)

 

(2,900,087)

 

 

(2,927,597)

Operating (loss)/income

 

(7,443)

 

35

 

(20,065)

 

(919,671)

 

 

(947,144)

Income/(loss) from non-operations

 

37,172

 

6,356

 

3,969

 

(211,561)

 

 

(164,064)

Share of loss of subsidiaries

 

(9,705)

 

 

 

 

9,705

 

Contractual interests in VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries(1)

 

(1,131,232)

 

 

 

 

1,131,232

 

Net (loss)/income

 

(1,111,208)

 

6,391

 

(16,096)

 

(1,131,232)

 

1,140,937

 

(1,111,208)

For the year ended December 31, 2021

    

    

    

Subsidiaries

    

    

    

(other than

Eliminating

    

Consolidated

Parent

    

WFOE

WFOE)

VIEs

adjustments

total

(RMB in thousands)

Third-party revenues

 

 

28

 

 

3,921,688

 

 

3,921,716

Intra-Group revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

 

28

 

 

3,921,688

 

 

3,921,716

Third-party costs and expenses

 

(10,080)

 

(1)

 

(18,054)

 

(3,916,831)

 

 

(3,944,966)

Intra-Group costs and expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

(10,080)

 

(1)

 

(18,054)

 

(3,916,831)

 

 

(3,944,966)

Operating (loss)/income

 

(10,080)

 

27

 

(18,054)

 

4,857

 

 

(23,250)

(Loss)/income from non-operations

 

(21,063)

 

(262)

 

3,171

 

32,860

 

 

14,706

Share of loss of subsidiaries

 

(15,118)

 

 

 

 

15,118

 

Contractual interests in VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries(1)

 

37,717

 

 

 

 

(37,717)

 

Net (loss)/income

 

(8,544)

 

(235)

 

(14,883)

 

37,717

 

(22,599)

 

(8,544)

Note:

(1)It represents the primary beneficiary’s share of loss generated from the VIEs and their subsidiaries.

8

The following tables present the condensed consolidated schedule of balance sheets data as of the dates indicated.

As of December 31, 2023

Subsidiaries

Eliminating

Consolidated

    

Parent

    

WFOE

    

(other than WFOE)

    

VIEs

    

adjustments

    

total

(RMB in thousands)

Cash and cash equivalents

    

681,383

    

1,225

    

44,572

    

293,424

    

    

1,020,604

Restricted cash - current

 

 

500

 

 

1,683,842

 

 

1,684,342

Other current assets

 

366,659

 

77,979

 

167,300

 

567,135

 

 

1,179,073

Total current assets

 

1,048,042

 

79,704

 

211,872

 

2,544,401

 

 

3,884,019

Restricted cash – non-current

 

 

 

 

583,380

 

 

583,380

Investment in subsidiaries

 

50,291

 

 

 

 

(50,291)

 

Contractual interest in the consolidated VIEs

 

2,616,729

 

 

 

 

(2,616,729)

 

Other non-current assets

 

 

 

722

 

180,489

 

 

181,211

Total non-current assets

 

2,667,020

 

 

722

 

763,869

 

(2,667,020)

 

764,591

Amounts due from the parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts due from subsidiaries (other than WFOE)

 

423,885

 

 

675,767

 

 

(1,099,652)

 

Amounts due from WFOE

 

 

 

 

1,561

 

(1,561)

 

Amounts due from VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries

 

 

45

 

 

 

(45)

 

Amounts due from group companies

 

423,885

 

45

 

675,767

 

1,561

 

(1,101,258)

 

Total assets

 

4,138,947

 

79,749

 

888,361

 

3,309,831

 

(3,768,278)

 

4,648,610

Amounts due to the parent

 

 

 

423,885

 

 

(423,885)

 

Amounts due to subsidiaries (other than WFOE)

 

 

 

675,767

 

 

(675,767)

 

Amounts due to WFOE

 

 

 

 

45

 

(45)

 

Amounts due to VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries

 

 

1,561

 

 

 

(1,561)

 

Amounts due to group companies

 

 

1,561

 

1,099,652

 

45

 

(1,101,258)

 

Other current liabilities

 

321,970

 

355

 

689

 

454,729

 

 

777,743

Other non-current liabilities

 

 

 

42

 

53,849

 

 

53,891

Total liabilities

 

321,970

 

1,916

 

1,100,383

 

508,623

 

(1,101,258)

 

831,634

9

As of December 31, 2022

Subsidiaries

Eliminating

Consolidated

    

Parent

    

WFOE

    

(other than WFOE)

    

VIEs

    

adjustments

    

total

(RMB in thousands)

Cash and cash equivalents

    

85,823

    

1,810

    

22,662

    

268,622

    

    

378,917

Restricted cash - current

 

 

 

 

152,689

 

 

152,689

Other current assets

 

1,154,357

 

72,406

 

147,116

 

3,564,859

 

 

4,938,738

Total current assets

 

1,240,180

 

74,216

 

169,778

 

3,986,170

 

 

5,470,344

Restricted cash – non-current

 

 

 

 

750,877

 

 

750,877

Investment in subsidiaries

 

54,820

 

 

 

 

(54,820)

 

Contractual interest in the consolidated VIEs

 

2,978,731

 

 

 

 

(2,978,731)

 

Other non-current assets

 

 

166

 

1,452

 

755,989

 

37,424

 

795,031

Total non-current assets

 

3,033,551

 

166

 

1,452

 

1,506,866

 

(2,996,127)

 

1,545,908

Amounts due from the parent

 

 

 

34,503

 

 

(34,503)

 

Amounts due from subsidiaries (other than WFOE)

 

402,664

 

 

656,474

 

 

(1,059,138)

 

Amounts due from WFOE

 

 

 

 

351

 

(351)

 

Amounts due from VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries

 

 

40

 

 

 

(40)

 

Amounts due from group companies

 

402,664

 

40

 

690,977

 

351

 

(1,094,032)

 

Total assets

 

4,676,395

 

74,422

 

862,207

 

5,493,387

 

(4,090,159)

 

7,016,252

Amounts due to the parent

 

 

 

402,664

 

 

(402,664)

 

Amounts due to subsidiaries (other than WFOE)

 

34,503

 

 

656,474

 

 

(690,977)

 

Amounts due to WFOE

 

 

 

 

40

 

(40)

 

Amounts due to VIEs and VIEs’ subsidiaries

 

 

351

 

 

 

(351)

 

Amounts due to group companies

 

34,503

 

351

 

1,059,138

 

40

 

(1,094,032)

 

Other current liabilities

 

319,983

 

 

18

 

2,211,067

 

(166)

 

2,530,902

Other non-current liabilities

 

 

 

1,433

 

162,008

 

 

163,441

Total liabilities

 

354,486

 

351

 

1,060,589

 

2,373,115

 

(1,094,198)

 

2,694,343

10

The following tables present the condensed consolidated schedule of cash flow data for the periods indicated.

For the year ended December 31, 2023

Subsidiaries

Eliminating

Consolidated

    

Parent

    

WFOE

    

(other than WFOE)

    

VIEs

    

adjustments

    

total

(RMB in thousands)

Net cash provided by/(used in) operating activities

    

60,802

    

2,036

    

(13,089)

    

969,040

    

7,237

    

1,026,026

Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities

 

739,238

 

(5,467)

 

(20,070)

 

1,369,021

 

41,976

 

2,124,698

Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities

 

(244,177)

 

 

55,724

 

(949,602)

 

(55,724)

 

(1,193,779)

For the year ended December 31, 2022

Subsidiaries

Eliminating

Consolidated

    

Parent

    

WFOE

    

(other than WFOE)

    

VIEs

    

adjustments

    

total

(RMB in thousands)

Net cash provided by/(used in) operating activities

    

44,219

    

(116)

    

(27,601)

    

(599,053)

    

15,166

    

(567,385)

Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities

 

1,028,108

 

(6,097)

 

377,503

 

1,084,633

 

(524,618)

 

1,959,529

Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities

 

(1,969,849)

 

 

(370,800)

 

(1,020,360)

 

370,800

 

(2,990,209)

For the year ended December 31, 2021

Subsidiaries

Eliminating

Consolidated

    

Parent

    

WFOE

    

(other than WFOE)

    

VIEs

    

adjustments

    

total

(RMB in thousands)

Net cash (used in)/provided by operating activities

    

(10,186)

    

1,706

    

(9,396)

    

(374,887)

    

(11,628)

    

(404,391)

Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities

 

2,150,227

 

(8,218)

 

(354,898)

 

744,833

 

129,279

 

2,661,223

Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities

 

(1,391,602)

 

-

 

119,353

 

(554,832)

 

(119,353)

 

(1,946,434)

A.[Reserved]

B.Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not Applicable.

C.Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not Applicable.

D.Risk Factors

Summary of Risk Factors

Investing in our ADSs involves significant risks. You should carefully consider all of the information in this annual report before making an investment in the ADSs. Below please find a summary of the principal risks we face, organized under relevant headings:

Risks Relating to Our Industry and Business

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

we have a limited operating history in an emerging market. Our historical financial and operating performance may not be indicative of our future prospects and results of operations;

11

the Group may not be able to successfully expand or maintain or effectively manage relationships with existing network of dealers;
OEMs may not continue to participate on Cango platform;
failure to sell cars owned by the Group or facilitate the sale of cars owned by dealers may have a material and adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations;
uncertainties relating to the growth of the Chinese automotive and mobility markets in general could adversely affect the Group’s business and results of operations;
the Group operates in a market where the credit infrastructure is still at an early stage of development. Information received from third parties concerning a prospective car buyer may be outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate or even fraudulent, which may compromise the accuracy of the Group’s credit assessment and lead to higher overdue ratios; and
the Group’s risk management system may not be able to exhaustively assess or mitigate all risks to which the Group is exposed.

Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure

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

we rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to operate the Group’s business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise have a material adverse effect as to the Group’s business;
any failure by our consolidated VIEs or their shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business;
the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business and financial condition;
if the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our consolidated VIEs do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations; and
contractual arrangements in relation to our consolidated VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that our consolidated VIEs owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect the Group’s financial condition and the value of your investment.

Risks Relating to Doing Business in China

We are subject to risks and uncertainties relating to doing business in China in general, including, but are not limited to, the following:

changes and developments in the political and economic policies of the PRC government may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations and may result in our inability to sustain the Group’s growth and expansion strategies;
changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties;

12

the M&A Rules and certain other PRC regulations establish required procedures for acquisitions conducted by foreign investors that could make it more difficult for the Group to grow through acquisitions;
uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law and its implementing rules and how they may impact our business, financial condition and results of operations; and
PRC regulations relating to investments in offshore companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC-resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiary to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiary or limit our PRC subsidiary’s ability to increase its registered capital or distribute profits.

Risks Relating to Our ADSs

Risks relating to our ADSs, include, but not limited to, the following:

we received a notice of non-compliance with continued listing standards from the NYSE for our ADSs. If we are unable to avoid the delisting of our ADSs from the NYSE, it could have a substantial effect on the trading price and liquidity of our ADSs;
the trading price of our ADSs may be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to you;
if securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the market price for our ADSs and trading volume could decline;
we may not pay additional cash dividends, so you may not receive any return on your investment unless you sell your Class A ordinary shares or ADSs for a price greater than that which you paid for them; and
substantial future sales or perceived potential sales of our ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

Risks Relating to Our Industry and Business

We have a limited operating history in an emerging market. Our historical financial and operating performance may not be indicative of our future prospects and results of operations.

The automotive and mobility markets in the PRC are relatively new and at an early stage of development. Such markets have undergone significant volatility in the past few years, and such pattern may continue in the future. As part of the Group’s business, the Group mainly offers automobile trading solutions and after-market services facilitation to various participants in the automotive transaction value chain, including dealers, insurance brokers and companies, car buyers and other industry participants. To a lesser extent, the Group also provides during-sale automotive financing facilitation to financial institutions and car buyers. Helping more industry participants to recognize the value of the Group’s services is critical to increase the number and amount of automobile trading transactions and insurance transactions on Cango platform and to the success of the Group’s business.

13

However, we may not have sufficient experience to address the risks to which companies operating in new or rapidly evolving markets may be exposed. We have limited experience in several aspects of the Group’s business operation, such as automobile trading solutions, after-market services facilitation and the development of long-term relationships with platform participants, such as dealers, financial institutions, insurance brokers and companies and car buyers. The laws and regulations governing the automotive and mobility industry in the PRC are still at a nascent stage and subject to further changes and interpretation. As the market, the regulatory environment or other conditions evolve, the Group’s existing solutions and services may not continue to deliver the expected business results. As the Group’s business develops or in response to competition, the Group may continue to introduce new services or make adjustments to existing services, credit assessment model, business model or operations in general. For example, based on its observation of the market, the Group made a business transition in 2022 to focus on automobile trading solutions and after-market services facilitation while scaling down its automotive financing facilitation services. Currently, the Group cooperates with third-party financial institutions to fund existing loans facilitated through Cango platform. In the future, the Group may decide to facilitate loans which do not require it to bear credit risks or provide guarantees. In addition, for the Group’s automobile trading solutions, while it used to provide new car transaction services through Cango Haoche app and used car transaction services through Cango U-car app, it merged Cango Haoche’s services into Cango U-car platform in the fourth quarter of 2023 to cater to the rapidly disappearing boundary between new car and used car sales channels. The Group’s abilities to retain dealers, financial institutions, insurance brokers and companies and other platform participants and to attract new platform participants are also critical to its business. Any significant change to the business model or failure to achieve the intended business results may have a material and adverse impact on the Group’s financial condition and results of operations. Therefore, it may be difficult to effectively assess the Group’s future prospects.

You should consider the Group’s business and prospects in light of the risks and challenges the Group encounters or may encounter given the rapidly-evolving market in which it operates and its limited operating history. These risks and challenges include the Group’s ability to, among other things:

offer automobile trading solutions to a growing number of dealers;
maintain and enhance the relationships and business collaboration with dealers, insurance brokers and companies and other platform participants;
charge competitive service fees to platform participants while driving the growth and profitability of business;
maintain low overdue ratios of financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform;
comply with complex and evolving laws and regulations;
improve operational efficiency;
attract, retain and motivate talented employees, particularly sales and marketing, risk management as well as research and development personnel to support its business operations;
enhance technology infrastructure to support business operations and maintain system security and the confidentiality of the information provided and collected across the system;
navigate economic conditions and fluctuations;
successfully implement business strategies and offer new services, such as automobile trading solutions; and
defend the Group against legal and regulatory actions, such as actions involving intellectual property or data privacy claims.

14

The Group may not be able to successfully expand or maintain or effectively manage relationships with existing network of dealers.

At its peak, the Group’s network included over 50,000 registered dealers across China for automotive financing solutions. As of December 31, 2023, 1,801 dealers were registered on Cango U-car app for automobile trading solutions. The Group plans to expand existing dealer network, including by further penetrating existing markets and expanding geographic coverage. As China is a large and diverse market, business practices and demands may vary significantly by region and the experience in the markets in which the Group currently operates may not be applicable in other parts of China. As a result, the Group may not be able to leverage such experience to expand dealer network into other parts of China. Furthermore, the efforts to expand into new geographical markets and attract new dealers to Cango platform may impose considerable burden on the sales, marketing and general managerial resources. If the Group is unable to manage these expansion efforts effectively, if these expansion efforts take longer than planned or if the costs for these efforts exceed expectations, the Group’s results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

The relationships with existing registered dealers are not exclusive, and there can be no assurance that they will maintain their level of participation on Cango platform. Dealers may find the amount of commissions currently offered to be unattractive. The Group also offers various solutions and services to dealers, including operating an automobile trading platform to source cars for dealers, facilitate car trading amongst dealers and source car buyers online to facilitate purchases from existing registered dealers. However, the registered dealers may not utilize these solutions and services or such solutions and services may not bring the expected benefits to dealers. Dealer participation on Cango platform may also be affected by various factors that are beyond our control, including the decrease in popularity of the car models offered by these registered dealers. A decrease in the number of car buyers referred by these registered dealers or a reduced level of dealers’ utilization of other solutions and services could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

OEMs may not continue to participate on Cango platform.

As part of the automobile trading solutions, the Group purchases cars from OEMs to facilitate the sale of such cars to its registered dealers. We believe such collaboration with OEMs makes Cango platform more attractive to car buyers and dealers, thereby enhancing the network effect. However, there can be no assurance that the Group will be able to build and grow the relationships with OEMs. OEMs may prefer to collaborate with other automotive transaction service platforms, decide not to sell any cars on acceptable terms or at all or limit the number or types of cars that are sold to the Group in connection with the automobile trading solutions. Failure to build and grow the relationships with OEMs could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure to sell cars owned by the Group or facilitate the sale of cars owned by dealers may have a material and adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

The Group started to significantly expand its automobile trading solutions in the third quarter of 2020. In connection with our car sourcing services, the Group purchases new cars from OEMs based on orders from dealers. In terms of used car trading business, the sources of used cars include cars disposed by individual car buyers, such as cars collected as part of delinquency asset management process, as well as cars used as collaterals and later collected and disposed by financial institutions. The Group prices new cars based on the price suggested by OEMs and adjust it based on market demands and prices used cars based on the transaction data associated with providing automotive financing solutions and transaction facilitation services.

15

The Group has limited experience in the purchase of cars for sale to dealers and facilitate transactions among dealers, and there is no assurance that the Group will be able to do so effectively. Demand for the cars purchased could change significantly between the time an order is placed by a dealer and the expected time of sale to the dealer. Demand may be affected by the number and conditions of used cars, new car launches, product defects, changes in consumer preference and other factors. For the Group’s car sourcing services, even though the Group requires dealers to pay deposits when ordering cars, dealers may choose to forfeit deposits and decline to complete the purchases. As a result, the Group faces inventory risks in connection with the cars purchased by it, including the risk of inventory obsolescence, a decline in values, and significant inventory write-downs or write-offs. The Group may also face increasing costs associated with the storage of these cars. Considering the inventory risks and related operational risks, the Group has limited the size of its car sourcing services beginning from the second quarter of 2023. As a result, the Group has experienced a significant decrease in the transaction value of car sourcing services, which has led to and may continue leading to a significant decrease in total transaction value and revenue derived from automobile trading solutions. In addition, as the Group purchases cars from OEMs to facilitate the sale of such cars to its registered dealers, a scale-down of such purchase may result in losing OEMs and dealers which cooperate with the Group. Failure to build and grow the relationships with OEMs and dealers could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Please see “—The Group may not be able to successfully expand or maintain or effectively manage relationships with existing network of dealers” and “—OEMs may not continue to participate on Cango platform.”

For the Group’s transaction facilitation services, while the Group keeps optimizing its system in matching selling dealers with buying dealers, there is no guarantee that each selling dealer will be matched with the most suitable potential buyer. In addition, if selling dealers make false representations of car conditions in their posts and the Group fails to screen out such information, other dealers may lose faith in Cango platform, resulting in reduced dealers’ engagement. Any of the above may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Uncertainties relating to the growth of the Chinese automotive and mobility markets in general could adversely affect the Group’s business and results of operations.

The Group generates a substantial portion of its revenue from automobile trading solutions. As a result, the amount of revenue is affected by the development of the automotive and mobility industries in China. The long-term viability and prospects of various automotive transaction in China remain relatively untested. As such, demand for the Group’s solutions and services and future results of operations will depend on numerous factors affecting the development of the automotive and mobility industries in China, which may be beyond its control. These factors include:

the growth in car ownership and the rate of any such growth;
changes in car buyers’ demographics, purchasing habits, tastes and preferences;
the selection, price and popularity of cars offered by dealers and OEMs; and
whether alternative channels or business models that better address the needs of car buyers emerge in China.

A general decline in the use of and demand for cars, or any failure to adapt Cango platform and maintain and improve the experience of various platform participants as to the solutions and services in response to new trends and requirements, may adversely affect our results of operations and business prospects.

16

In August 2014, several PRC governmental authorities jointly announced that from September 2014 to December 2017, purchases of new energy cars designated on certain catalogs were exempted from the purchase taxes. On September 18, 2022, the Ministry of Finance of the PRC, together with several other PRC government departments, issued Announcement on Continuation of Policies concerning the Exemption of New Energy Vehicles from Vehicle Purchase Tax, which extended the previous vehicle purchase tax exemption policy for new energy vehicles to December 31, 2023. On December 31, 2020, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT, and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the Circular on Further Improving the Subsidy Policies for the Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles, which became effective on January 1, 2021. Pursuant to this circular, the national subsidies for new energy vehicle, or NEV, would be reduced in 20% increments in 2021 compared with that of 2020. On December 31, 2021, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the MIIT, and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the Circular on Subsidy Policies for Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles in 2022, which became effective on January 1, 2022. Pursuant to this circular, the national subsidies for NEVs were further reduced in 30% increments in 2022 compared with that of 2021, and such subsidies were eliminated at the end of 2022. According to the Continuing and Optimizing the Vehicle Purchase Tax Reduction and Exemption Policies for New Energy Vehicles promulgated by the Ministry of Finance, the State Taxation Administration and the MIIT, which became effective on January 1, 2024, the NEVs purchased from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025 shall be exempt from vehicle purchase tax, with the amount of tax exemption for each NEV not exceeding RMB 30,000, and the vehicle purchase tax on the NEVs purchased from January 1, 2026 to December 31, 2027 shall be reduced by half, with the amount of tax reduction for each NEV not exceeding RMB 15,000. We cannot predict whether similar incentives will be introduced, and if they are, their impact on automotive retail transactions in China. It is possible that automotive retail transactions may decline significantly upon expiration of the existing government subsidies if consumers have become used to such incentives and delay purchase decisions in the absence of new incentives. If automotive retail transactions indeed decline, the Group’s revenues may decrease, and its results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

Some local governmental authorities also issued regulations and relevant implementation rules in order to control urban traffic and the number of cars 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 car 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 license plates in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Guiyang 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. In October 2013, the Beijing government issued an additional regulation 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 and mobility industries, which in turn may have a material adverse impact on our business.

The Group operates in a market where the credit infrastructure is still at an early stage of development. Information received from third parties concerning a prospective car buyer may be outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or even fraudulent, which may compromise the accuracy of the Group’s credit assessment and lead to higher overdue ratios.

China’s credit infrastructure is still at an early stage of development. The Credit Reference Center established by the People’s Bank of China, or the PBOC, in 2002 has been the only credit reporting system in China. This centrally managed nationwide credit database operated by the Credit Reference Center only records limited credit information, such as tax payments, civil lawsuits, foreclosures and bankruptcies. Moreover, this credit database is only accessible to banks and a limited number of market players authorized by the Credit Reference Center and does not support sophisticated credit scoring and assessment. In 2015, the PBOC announced that it would open the credit reporting market to private sectors with a view to spurring competition and innovation, but it may be a long-term process to establish a widely-applicable, reliable and sophisticated credit infrastructure in such current market.

17

For the purpose of credit assessment, the Group obtains credit information from prospective car buyers, and with their authorization, obtains credit data from external parties to assess applicants’ creditworthiness. The Group may not be able to source credit data from such external parties at a reasonable cost or at all. Such credit data may have limitations in measuring prospective car buyers’creditworthiness. If there is an adverse change in the economic condition, credit data provided by external parties may no longer be a reliable reference to assess an applicant’s creditworthiness, which may compromise the Group’s risk management capabilities. As a result, the assessment of a car buyer’s credit profile may not reflect that particular car buyer’s actual creditworthiness because assessment may be based on outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or even fraudulent information. There is also a risk that after obtaining a car buyer’s information, the car buyer may become delinquent, default on a pre-existing debt obligation, taken on additional debt, or sustained other adverse financial events. Such outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or even fraudulent information could compromise the accuracy of the Group’s credit assessment model and adversely affect the effectiveness of its control over overdue ratios, in which case the Group’s results of operations will be harmed.

In addition, the Group collaborates with dealers and third-party sales agents to offer credit services to car buyers. Since dealers and sales agents do not bear credit risks, they may refer prospective car buyers without regard to such individuals’ creditworthiness. Certain dealers and sales agents may even assist fraudulent car buyers in preparing credit applications. Therefore, failure to detect prospective car buyers with poor credit quality or fraudulent car buyers may lead to higher overdue ratios and adverse effect to the Group’s financial results. To manage such risk, the Group actively monitors credit performance of existing loans and timely takes loan collection measures as well as other delinquent asset management measures. However, such risk management policy may not be effective.

The Group’s risk management system may not be able to exhaustively assess or mitigate all risks to which the Group is exposed.

Credit applications by car buyers are evaluated based on credit assessment conducted by the Group’s credit assessment model, and the credit assessment team conducts a manual evaluation when necessary. Based on the credit assessment model, certain of the applications are either automatically approved or automatically rejected. The credit assessment team manually evaluates the rest of the applications. If such credit assessment model or credit assessment team fail to perform effectively, the Group’s business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

The existing credit assessment model builds on machine learning algorithms including logistic regression and gradient boost decision tree. While the Group relies on machine learning algorithms to refine such model and system, there can be no assurance that the application of such algorithms will continue to deliver the expected benefits. In addition, as the Group has a limited operating history, it may not have accumulated sufficient credit data to optimize such model and system. Even if there are sufficient credit data and the credit assessment model has been tailored for prospective car buyers on Cango platform for current operation, such data and credit assessment model might not be effective as the Group continues to expand the car buyer base and broaden engagement efforts with car buyers generally through different channels in the future. If existing system contains programming or other errors, if current model is ineffective or if the credit data obtained is incorrect or outdated, the Group’s credit assessment abilities could be negatively affected, resulting in incorrect approvals or denials of credit applications.

The Group relies on its credit assessment team to evaluate a substantial portion of credit applications submitted by prospective car buyers. The reviewers frequently exercise judgments based on their experience and knowledge, and such judgments are subject to errors. In addition, if the Group fails to retain experienced reviewers or effectively train new reviewers, the Group may be unable to either offer financing solutions to creditworthy car buyers or maintain low overdue ratios of financing transactions facilitated. To improve operational efficiency, the Group plans to enhance the level of automation in the credit assessment process. However, such change in the credit assessment process could lead to an increase in overdue ratios, which would materially and adversely impact the Group’s business and results of operations.

18

If the Group is unable to maintain low overdue ratios for financing transactions facilitated, the Group’s business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

The Group may not be able to maintain low overdue ratios for financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform, and such overdue ratios may be significantly affected by economic downturns or general economic conditions beyond its control and beyond the control of individual car buyers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group experienced an uptick in delinquency rates. The pandemic interrupted the Group’s collection efforts and affected car buyers’ ability to make repayments. M1+ and M3+ overdue ratios were 2.61% and 1.38%, respectively, as of December 31, 2022, as compared to 1.62% and 0.86%, respectively, as of December 31, 2021. Since December 2022, the PRC government has largely lifted pandemic-related restrictions on travel and business operations. While the Group gradually recovered from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the M1+ and M3+ overdue ratios remained relatively stable as of December 31, 2023, which were 2.66% and 1.37%, respectively. The lowering trend of overdue ratios was offset by a significant decrease in the amount of loans obtained through the Cango platform in 2023 as the Group strategically scaled down its automotive financing facilitation services, which led to a significant decrease of the dominator in calculating the M1+ and M3+ overdue ratios. As the Group will continue to scale down its automotive financing facilitation services, we cannot assure you that the Group will be able to lower the overdue ratios in the future. Overdue ratios for financing transactions facilitated may also be affected by macroeconomic conditions.

The way how car buyers’ delinquencies affects the Group’s results of operations depends on the funding arrangement for the relevant financing transactions. The Group is not obligated to bear credit risk for financing transactions funded by certain financial institutions. However, an increased level of credit losses suffered by such financial institutions with respect to financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform would harm existing business relationship with them. As of December 31, 2023, the total outstanding balance of financing transactions funded under such arrangements was RMB1.9 billion (US$0.3 billion), representing 18.6% of the total outstanding balance of financing transactions facilitated.

Under the arrangements with certain other financial institutions, the Group is obligated to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers. As of December 31, 2023, the total outstanding balance of financing transactions funded by financial institutions under such arrangements was RMB7.8 billion (US$1.1 billion), representing 78.0% of the total outstanding balance of financing transactions facilitated. At the inception of each financing transaction facilitated under such arrangements, the Group recognizes risk assurance liabilities at fair value. The Group recognizes additional risk assurance liabilities based on the car buyer’s lifetime expected losses. Accordingly, an increase in overdue ratios of financing transactions for which the Group is obligated to bear credit risk could have a material adverse impact on its results of operations. Due to the adoption of ASC 326 as of January 1, 2023, risk assurance liabilities are presented separately into deferred guarantee income which represents the non-contingent portion of risk assurance liabilities and contingent risk assurance liabilities. The Group recognized deferred guarantee income of RMB212.1 million (US$29.9 million) in 2023 and contingent risk assurance liabilities of RMB125.1 million (US$17.6 million) as of December 31, 2023. The amount of performed risk assurance liabilities was RMB306.9 million (US$43.2 million) in 2023. Furthermore, such fair value estimation of risk assurance liabilities requires a significant degree of judgment and may not fully reflect the credit quality of the relevant financing transactions. The Group will incur net loss on risk assurance liabilities to the extent the credit quality of such financing transactions is worse than the estimate at inception.

The Group records financing lease receivables in relation to financing leases funded by Shanghai Chejia on the Group’s consolidated balance sheet. As such, the Group bears credit risk as to such financing leases, and recognizes provision for credit losses in its results of operations. Any increase in overdue ratios could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

Collection and recovery efforts by the in-house team may become less effective and may also subject us to regulatory risks and reputational risks.

The Group utilizes an in-house team to collect repayment and recover car collaterals. The effectiveness of such collection and recovery efforts is critical to the business. The Group is not obligated to bear credit risk for financing transactions funded by certain financial institutions. However, failures in these collection and recovery efforts would harm the business relationship with such financial institutions. Under the arrangements with certain other financial institutions, the Group is obligated to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers. In addition, the Group records financing receivables in relation to financing leases funded by Shanghai Chejia on its balance sheet. As such, the Group bears credit risk as to such financing leases. There can be no assurance that the Group’s collection and recovery efforts will be successful. Failure to collect overdue repayments for the financing transactions facilitated or recover the related car collaterals will have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business operations and financial position.

19

The Group endeavors to ensure its collection and recovery efforts comply with the relevant laws and regulations in the PRC and has established strict policies and implemented measures to ensure that the delinquent asset management personnel do not engage in aggressive or predatory practices. However, there can be no assurance that such personnel will not engage in any misconduct while performing their tasks. Any misconduct by the delinquent asset management personnel or the perception that the collection and recovery practices are considered to be aggressive, predatory or not compliant with the relevant laws and regulations in the PRC may result in harm to our reputation and business, which could further undermine the ability to collect repayments or recover cars from car buyers in default or result in fines and penalties being imposed by the relevant regulatory authorities, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

As a result of the Group’s business transition, the service fees for the Group’s automotive financing facilitation services have declined in the past and may continue to decline in the future, which may adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

As the Group made a business transition in 2022 to scale down its automotive financing facilitation services, the Group experienced a material decrease in the amount of financing transactions facilitated by it, which contributed to the decrease in loan facilitation income and leasing income. The amount of financing transactions facilitated by the Group decreased from RMB2.8 billion in 2022 to RMB1.7 million (US$0.2 million) in 2023. The Group’s loan facilitation income and other related income decreased from RMB146.4 million in 2022 to RMB20.0 million (US$2.8 million) in 2023. The Group’s leasing income decreased from RMB155.5 million in 2022 to RMB57.4 million (US$8.1 million) in 2023. Although we believe such business transition allows the Group to focus on the automobile trading solutions and will benefit the Group’s business in the long run, the Group’s loan facilitation income and leasing income will likely decrease in the following years due to an expected decrease in the amount of financing transactions facilitated by it. Such trend may also adversely affect the Group’s profitability. Furthermore, the service fees charged to financial institutions could be affected by a variety of factors, including the competitive landscape of the automotive finance industry and regulatory requirements. Such service fees from financial institutions may also be affected by a change over time in the mix of the types of services offered. Competitors may also offer more attractive service fees, which may require the Group to reduce its service fees to compete effectively.

In addition, such financing facilitation service fees are sensitive to many macroeconomic factors beyond our control, such as inflation, recession, the state of the credit markets, changes in market interest rates, global economic disruptions, unemployment and fiscal and monetary policies. In the event that the amount of service fees charged to financial institutions decreases significantly in the future and the Group is not able to adopt any cost control initiatives, the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.

The laws and regulations governing the automotive and mobility industries or other industries related to the Group’s business in the PRC are subject to further changes and interpretation. If such business practices or the business practices of third parties that the Group collaborates with are deemed to violate any PRC laws or regulations, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.

The Group’s business may be subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the PRC governing the automotive and mobility industries. There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future laws and regulations. As of December 31, 2023, the Group had not been subject to any material fines or other penalties under any PRC laws or regulations as to its business operations. However, if the PRC government tightens regulatory framework for the automotive and mobility industries in the future, and subject industry participants such as the Group to new or specific requirements (including without limitation, capital requirements and licensing requirements), the Group’s business, financial condition and prospects would be materially and adversely affected. Compliance with existing and future rules, laws and regulations can be costly and if the Group’s practice is deemed to violate any existing or future rules, laws and regulations, it may face injunctions, including orders to cease non-compliant activities, and may be exposed to other penalties as determined by the relevant government authorities as well.

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The Office of the Leading Group for Specific Rectification against Online Finance Risks and the Office of the Leading Group for Specific Rectification against P2P Online Lending Risks jointly issued the Circular on Regulating and Rectifying Cash Loan Business on December 1, 2017, or Circular 141. Among other things, Circular 141 provides restrictions on banks’ collaboration with third parties in cash loan business. Pursuant to Circular 141, a bank may not outsource its core business functions, such as credit assessment and risk management, to third parties. Circular 141 also prohibits a bank participating in loan facilitation transactions from accepting credit enhancement services from a third party which has not obtained any license or approval to provide guarantees, including credit enhancement service in the form of a commitment to assume default risks. In addition, a bank may not permit its service provider in cash loan business to collect interest or fees from borrowers. There is still uncertainty as to the interpretation and application of the requirements in Circular 141. The opening paragraph of Circular 141 states, in relevant parts, that while the growth of cash loan business “has helped certain groups in society satisfy their needs for normal consumption credit to a certain extent, it has created several significant problems including, among other things, over-borrowing, repetitive credit approvals, improper collection practice, excessively high interest rates and intrusions on personal privacy, posing relatively large financial risk and societal risk.” While this statement suggests that the regulatory authorities are primarily concerned about abuses in the cash loan industry, it is uncertain whether any requirements in Circular 141 may be applicable to the automotive finance industry. In connection with the automotive financing facilitation business, the Group provides credit assessment service to financial institutions and the financial institutions make ultimate credit decisions. Under the arrangements with certain financial institutions, the Group is obligated to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers. If the relevant regulatory authorities determine that Circular 141 is applicable to the automotive finance industry, and the abovementioned business is deemed to be in violation of Circular 141, the Group could be subject to penalties and/or be required to significantly change such business model.

The Group operates insurance brokerage business through Fushun Insurance Brokerage Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of our Shanghai Cango. The insurance brokerage business is highly regulated in China, and the regulatory regime continues to evolve. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, or the CBIRC, which was merged into the National Financial Regulatory Administration in May 2023 according to the Reform Plan for the Party and State Institutions promulgated by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on March 16, 2023, has extensive authority to supervise and regulate the insurance industry in China and has been enhancing its supervision over this industry in recent years, and new laws, regulations and regulatory requirements have been promulgated and implemented from time to time. The Group faces challenges brought by these new laws, regulations and regulatory requirements, as well as significant uncertainties in the interpretation and application thereof. The Group might be required to spend significant time and resources in order to comply with any material changes in the regulatory environment, which could trigger significant changes to the competitive landscape of the insurance brokerage business and we may lose some or all of our competitive advantages during this process. Moreover, the National Financial Regulatory Administration and its local branches may conduct various examinations and inspections on the Group’s insurance brokerage business operations from time to time, which could cover a broad range of aspects, including financial reporting, tax reporting, internal control and compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. If any non-compliance incidents in the Group’s insurance brokerage business operation are identified, the Group may be required to take certain rectification measures in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, or be subject to other administrative penalties.

Furthermore, the Group also offers transaction facilitation services on Cango U-car app, which connects dealers looking for cars with dealers wishing to supply cars. Therefore, we may be regarded as an e-commerce platform operator under the E-commerce Law. The E-commerce Law and the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Online Trading impose a series of requirements on e-commerce platform operators, including requiring e-commerce platform operators to verify and update each dealer’s profile on a regular basis and monitor their market participant registration status. Any failure by us to comply with such laws and regulations could result in suspension of business, rectification orders and fines. We may also be held jointly liable with the dealers if we fail to take necessary actions under specific circumstances.

On August 1, 2019, the General Office of the State Council promulgated the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Well-regulated and Sound Development of the Platform Economy, or the Guiding Opinions on Platform Economy, which provide that the establishment of financial institutions, operation of financial activities, provision of financial information intermediary and transaction matching services shall be subject to entry administration according to the related laws and regulations. Due to the lack of further interpretations of the Guiding Opinions on Platform Economy, it is uncertain whether the Group will be deemed as providing “financial information intermediary and transaction matching services” under the Guiding Opinions on Platform Economy and be subject to entry administration. We cannot assure you that the Group will not be required in the future by the relevant governmental authorities to obtain additional approvals or licenses in this regard, and that such approvals or licenses will be obtained in a timely manner if required. Inability to obtain such approvals or licenses on a timely basis could have an adverse impact on the Group’s business.

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Shanghai Cango may be deemed to operate financing guarantee business by the PRC regulatory authorities.

The State Council promulgated the Regulations on the Administration of Financing Guarantee Companies, or the Financing Guarantee Rules, on August 2, 2017 which became effective on October 1, 2017. Pursuant to the Financing Guarantee Rules, “financing guarantee” refers to the activities in which guarantors provide guarantee to the guaranteed parties as to loans, bonds or other types of debt financing, and “financing guarantee companies” refer to companies legally established and operating financing guarantee business. According to the Financing Guarantee Rules, the establishment of financing guarantee companies shall be subject to the approval by the competent government authority, and unless otherwise stipulated, no entity may operate financing guarantee business without such approval. If any entity violates these regulations and operates financing guarantee business without approval, the entity may be subject to penalties including ban or suspension of business, fines of RMB500,000 to RMB1,000,000, confiscation of illegal gains if any, and if the violation constitutes a criminal offense, criminal liability shall be imposed in accordance with the law.

On April 2, 2018, the CBIRC, together with several other governmental authorities, jointly adopted (i) the Administrative Measures for the Financing Guarantee Business Permit, (ii) Measures for Measuring the Outstanding Amount of Financing Guarantee Liabilities, (iii) Administrative Measures for the Asset Percentages of Financing Guarantee Companies and (iv) Guidelines on Business Cooperation between Banking Financial Institutions and Financing Guarantee Companies, or the Four Supporting Measures of the Financing Guarantee Rules, which further stipulates that “financing guarantee business” under the Four Supporting Measures of the Financing Guarantee Rules, among other things, includes “guarantee business related to loans,” which refers to the activities whereby a guarantor provides guarantee for loans, online lending, financial leasing, commercial factoring, bill acceptance, letters of credit or other forms of debt financing. Furthermore, the CBIRC, together with several other governmental authorities, jointly issued the Supplementary Provisions on the Supervision and Administration of Financing Guarantee Companies on October 9, 2019, which provide that car dealers and car sales service providers shall not operate the business of providing guarantees for car consumption loans without the approval of competent regulatory authorities, and institutions providing client recommendation, credit evaluation and other services for lending institutions shall not provide financing guarantee services or provide such services in a disguised form without necessary approval from competent government authorities. If an institution without any financing guarantee business permit is engaged in the financing guarantee business, it shall be prohibited from continuing such unlicensed financing guarantee business and ordered to settle its remaining guarantee business properly. If the aforesaid institution intends to continue the financing guarantee business, it shall establish a financing guarantee company in accordance with applicable laws to conduct the financing guarantee business.

Under the arrangements with certain financial institutions, Shanghai Cango and Cango Financing Guarantee Co., Ltd., or Cango Financing, one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of Shanghai Cango, are obligated to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers. As of December 31, 2023, the total outstanding balance of financing transactions funded by financial institutions under such arrangements was RMB7.8 billion (US$1.1 billion), representing 78.0% of the total outstanding balance of financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform. Due to the lack of further interpretations of the aforementioned rules related to financing guarantee business, there is still uncertainty as to the exact scope and application of “operating financing guarantee business” and “providing financing guarantee services in a disguised form” under such regulations, and what factors the relevant regulatory authorities may consider in making such a determination. Therefore, it is uncertain whether Shanghai Cango would be deemed to operate financing guarantee business because of the current arrangements with certain financial institutions. The Group has utilized Cango Financing, a financing guarantee company established with the approval by the competent government authority governing the financing guarantee business and with the license to provide financing guarantee services, to provide guarantee for financial institutions in most cases, while in certain cases Shanghai Cango, which does not hold the license to operate financing guarantee business, still undertakes an obligation to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers under the arrangements with such financial institutions. If the relevant regulatory authorities determine that the aforesaid activities of Shanghai Cango under the current arrangements with certain financial institutions qualify as “operating financing guarantee business” or “providing financing guarantee services in a disguised form,” the Group may be required to either cease bearing credit risk as part of the arrangements with the financial institutions as described above, or adjust such arrangements with the financial institutions to the effect that only Cango Financing will bear the credit risk. If the Group is unable to satisfy such requirement, it may no longer be able to collaborate with the relevant financial institutions, or become subject to penalties, and the Group’s business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

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Furthermore, even if the Group successfully changes the arrangements with the financial institutions and only Cango Financing will provide such credit enhancement services in the future, the outstanding guarantee liabilities of a financing guarantee company may not exceed ten times of its net assets as required by the Financing Guarantee Rules. If the amount of guarantee liabilities exceeds ten times of Cango Financing’s total net assets, the Group may be required to increase the total net assets of Cango Financing by means of, among others, increasing the paid-up capital contribution. However, there can be no assurance that the Group will be able to make such capital contribution timely, or at all. Inability to make such capital contribution on a timely basis could have an adverse impact on our business.

The Group’s business of facilitating financing transactions between financial institutions and car buyers may constitute provision of intermediary service, and the agreements with these financial institutions may be deemed as intermediation contracts under the PRC Civil Code.

The Group’s business of facilitating financing transactions by connecting financial institutions and individual car buyers may constitute an intermediary service, and such services may be deemed as intermediation contracts under the PRC Civil Code. Under the PRC Civil Code, an intermediary may not claim for service fee and is liable for damages if it conceals any material fact intentionally or provides false information in connection with the conclusion of an intermediation contract, which results in harm to the client’s interests. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations—Regulation Related to Intermediation.” Therefore, if the Group fails to provide material information to financial institutions, or if it fails to identify false information received from car buyers or others and in turn provides such information to financial institutions, and in either case if the Group is also found to be at fault, due to failure or deemed failure to exercise proper care, such as to conduct adequate information verification or employee supervision, the Group could be held liable for damage caused to financial institutions as an intermediary pursuant to the PRC Civil Code. In addition, if the Group fails to complete the obligations under the agreements entered into with financial institutions, the Group could also be held liable for damages caused to financial institutions pursuant to the PRC Civil Code.

The Group may not be able to enforce its rights against car buyers.

The Group offers car buyers various value-added services associated with purchasing a car with financing. Such services mainly involve registrations of license plates and collaterals with the relevant government authorities. However, the Group does not enter into written contracts with some car buyers, and for those the Group had written contracts with, the contract terms are not clear about the service fees charged. In the event a legal dispute arises between a car buyer and the Group, the Group may not be able to enforce the rights against the relevant car buyer. Failure to enforce such rights may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, results of operation and financial condition.

The scale of Shanghai Chejia’s business may be limited by its total net assets.

In September 2013, the Ministry of Commerce, or the MOFCOM, promulgated the Measures for Supervision and Administration of Financing Lease Enterprises, pursuant to which the risk assets of a financing lease enterprise may not exceed ten times of its total net assets. In April 2018, the MOFCOM transferred the duties to make rules on the operation and supervision of financing lease companies to the CBIRC, which was merged into the National Financial Regulatory Administration. In May 2020, the CBIRC promulgated the Interim Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Financial Leasing Companies, which provide that the risk assets of a financing lease enterprise may not exceed eight times of its total net assets, and the term “risk assets” of a financing lease enterprise refer to its total assets, net of cash, bank deposits, Chinese treasury bonds, and supersede the relevant provision in the abovementioned measures. Please refer to “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulation Related to Financing Lease” for more details. As the governmental authorities may promulgate more laws, regulations or rules, there are uncertainties how these new measures will be interpreted and implemented. Shanghai Chejia funds financing leases for car buyers on Cango platform, and its risk assets consist of financing lease receivables relating to the financing leases it funds.

Shanghai Chejia is the Group’s consolidated affiliate. If the amount of financing lease receivables of Shanghai Chejia exceeds the statutory limits, the Group may be required to increase the total net assets of Shanghai Chejia by means of, among others, increasing the paid-up capital contribution. However, there can be no assurance that the Group will be able to make such capital contribution timely, or at all. Inability to make such capital contribution on a timely basis could have an adverse impact on the Group’s business.

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The Group faces intense competition and it may not be able to compete effectively.

The automotive transaction industry in China is large yet competitive. The Group competes against automotive transaction platforms that connect various players across the automotive transaction value chain, to facilitate automotive and automotive-related transactions. The competitors may offer a greater variety of car models in lower prices in their automotive transaction platforms and/or deliver better user experience. We may also in the future face competition from new entrants that will increase the level of competition. We anticipate that more established companies, including technology companies that possess large, existing user bases, substantial financial resources and sophisticated technological capabilities may also enter the market in the future. Our competitors may operate different business models, have different cost structures or participate selectively in different industry segments. They may ultimately prove to be more successful or more adaptable to customer demand and new regulatory, technological and other developments. Some of the current and potential competitors may have significantly more financial, technical, marketing and other resources than the Group and may be able to devote greater resources to the development, promotion, sales and support of their platform, product and solution and service offerings. Competitors may also have longer operating history, greater brand recognition and brand loyalty and broader or closer relationships with dealers, financial institutions, OEMs or other automotive transaction industry participants than the Group. Additionally, a current or potential competitor may acquire, or form a strategic alliance with, one or more of the other competitors. These competitors may be better at developing new products and solutions and services, offering more attractive fees, responding more quickly to new technologies and undertaking more extensive and effective marketing campaigns. More players may enter the automotive transaction industry and intensify the market competition. In response to competition and in order to grow or maintain the amount of automotive transactions facilitated to dealers, the Group may have to lower and/or adjust the various fees charged or pay to the different platform participants, which could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, profit margins and results of operations. If the Group is unable to compete with such companies and meet the need for innovation in the industry, the demand for services on Cango platform could stagnate or substantially decline, which could harm the Group’s business and results of operations.

If the Group’s new solutions and services do not achieve sufficient market acceptance or provide the expected benefits to platform participants, the Group’s financial condition, results of operations and competitive position will be materially and adversely affected. New solutions and services may also subject the Group to regulatory risks.

The Group has incurred and will continue to incur expenses and consume resources to develop and market new solutions and services for platform participants, including dealers, financial institutions and car buyers. The Group may also develop new solutions and services for other industry participants, such as OEMs and insurance brokers and companies. New solutions and services must achieve high levels of market acceptance in order for the Group to recoup its investment in developing, acquiring and bringing them to market.

Existing or new solutions and services and changes to Cango platform could fail to attain sufficient market acceptance for many reasons, including but not limited to:

failure to predict market demand accurately and supply solutions and services that meet this demand in a timely fashion;
platform participants may not like, find useful or agree with any changes made;
failure to properly price new solutions and services;
negative publicity about solutions and services or Cango platform’s performance or effectiveness;
views taken by regulatory authorities that the new solutions and services or platform changes do not comply with PRC laws, rules or regulations applicable to the Group; and
the introduction or anticipated introduction of competing solutions and services by competitors.

If new solutions and services do not achieve adequate acceptance in the market or provide the expected benefits to platform participants, the Group’s competitive position, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed. In addition, the Group may incur higher cost and expenses as a result of new solutions and services. New solutions and services may also subject the Group to additional regulatory or licensing requirements. Failure by the Group to comply with any such new regulatory or licensing requirements could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

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We are subject to certain risks relating to our agreement with Didi Chuxing.

Through a series of equity investments in the first half of 2018, Didi Chuxing has become a strategic shareholder of our company. For further information, see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees — E. Share Ownership.” Pursuant to the shareholders agreement, we may not set up any joint venture, partnership or enter into any strategic cooperation arrangements with certain competitors of Didi Chuxing, for so long as Didi Chuxing’s shareholding percentage in our company is not lower than five percent. Such restrictions may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We may need additional capital to pursue 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.

Since inception, the Group has issued equity securities and borrowed from financial institutions to support the growth of the Group’s business. As the Group intends to continue to make investments to support the growth of its business, the Group may require additional capital to pursue its business objectives and respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances, including developing new solutions and services, further enhance the risk management capabilities, increasing sales and marketing expenditures to improve brand awareness and engage car buyers through expanded online channels, enhancing operating infrastructure and acquiring complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, the Group may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. However, additional funds may not be available when the Group needs them, on terms that are acceptable to the Group, or at all. Repayment of the debts 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 the Group may suffer default and foreclosure on its assets if its operating cash flow is insufficient to service debt obligations, which could in turn result in acceleration of obligations to repay the indebtedness and limit the Group’s sources of financing.

Volatility in the credit markets may also have an adverse effect on the Group’s 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 we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our Class A ordinary shares. If the Group is unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to the Group when the Group requires it, the Group’s ability to continue to pursue its business objectives and to respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances could be significantly limited, and the Group’s business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected.

Failure to adequately recover value of car collaterals may materially and adversely affect the Group’s results of operations.

All financing transactions facilitated through Cango platform are secured by car collaterals. Change in the residual value of car collaterals securing these financing transactions may affect their recoverability. How such change affects the Group’s results of operations depends on the funding arrangement for the relevant financing transaction. The Group is not obligated to bear credit risk for financing transactions funded by certain financial institutions. Nonetheless, it charges such financial institutions fees for disposals of recovered cars, and such fees are based on a percentage of the proceeds from disposals. As such, a decrease in residual value of car collaterals results in a decrease in the fee charged for disposals. Under the arrangements with certain other financial institutions, Shanghai Cango and Cango Financing are obligated to purchase the relevant financing receivables upon certain specified events of default by car buyers. After purchasing such financing receivables, security interest in the collateral is also transferred to the Group. The Group incurs losses as residual value of car collaterals declines below the amount the Group expected to recover. In addition, the Group’s consolidated affiliate Shanghai Chejia directly funds financing leases, in which case security interest in the relevant collaterals belongs to Shanghai Chejia.

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Residual values of car collaterals are often affected by factors beyond the Group’s control. After purchase by a car buyer, a car may suffer damage from traffic accidents. In addition, the introduction of new car models and overall trend of gradual decrease in used car prices with the age of cars may cause the residual value of cars to decrease. Restrictions on inter-city or inter-province transfer of used cars imposed by various local government authorities in China may also result in lower residual value of cars that likely will be transferred to such cities with local transfer restrictions. Although the central PRC government has issued several official opinions or circulars to prohibit such local restrictions and market segregation, aiming to stimulate inter-city or inter-province used car trading by deregulation, certain transfer restrictions are still officially allowed. Residual value may also be adversely affected due to inappropriate handling of the third parties the Group collaborates with, such as warehouses. Existing pricing models may not be able to capture all factors that may affect the residual value of car collaterals. Significant decrease in residual value of car collaterals may lower the recoverability of financing transactions and undermine the cost efficiency of the Group’s recovery efforts, which may materially and adversely affect its results of operations. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that the Group will be able to dispose car collaterals at residual values, or at all.

Any harm to Cango brand or reputation or any damage to the reputation of dealers and financial institutions the Group collaborates with or other third parties or the industry where the Group operates or failure to enhance existing brand recognition could have a material adverse effect on the Group’s results of operations and growth prospects.

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

maintain the quality and reliability of Cango platform;
maintain and develop relationships with dealers, financial institutions, insurance brokers and insurance companies;
maintain and develop relationships with OEMs;
provide prospective car buyers and existing car buyers with superior experiences;
effectively manage and resolve any complaints of dealers, financial institutions or car buyers; and
effectively protect personal information and privacy of car buyers and any data received from any third parties.

Any malicious or inadvertent negative allegations made by the media or other parties about the foregoing or other aspects of the Group, including but not limited to the management, business, compliance with law, financial condition or prospects, whether with merit or not, could severely hurt the Group’s reputation and harm the Group’s business and results of operations.

As the automotive and mobility markets in China are under rapid development and the regulatory framework for the markets is also evolving, negative publicity about this industry may arise from time to time. Negative publicity about China’s automotive and mobility markets in general may also have a negative impact on the Group’s reputation, regardless of whether the Group has engaged in any inappropriate activities. Furthermore, any negative development in the automotive and mobility markets, such as bankruptcies or failures of platforms providing automotive trading solutions, and especially a large number of such bankruptcies or failures, or negative perception of the industry as a whole, such as any unethical or illegal activity by other industry players or any failure of platforms providing automotive solutions to detect or prevent unethical or illegal activities, even if factually incorrect or based on isolated incidents, could compromise the Group’s image, undermine the trust and credibility the Group has established and impose a negative impact on the ability to attract new dealers, financial institutions, car buyers and other platform participants. Negative developments in the automotive and mobility markets, such as widespread misrepresentations of conditions of cars, breach of car selling contracts, car buyer defaults, unethical or illegal activities by industry players and/or the closure of platforms providing automotive solutions, may also lead to tightened regulatory scrutiny of the sector and limit the scope of permissible business activities that may be conducted by companies like the Group. If any of the foregoing takes place, the Group’s business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

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

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Fraudulent activities associated with car buyers could negatively impact the Group’s results of operations, brand and reputation and cause the use of the Group’s services to decrease.

The Group is subject to the risk of fraudulent activities associated with car buyers, who may provide it with information that is inaccurate or misleading. The Group does not and may not be able to verify all the information received from car buyers. To the extent the Group verifies car buyers’ information, existing resources, technologies and fraud detection tools may be insufficient to accurately detect and prevent fraud. Furthermore, parties that handle car buyer information, such as dealers and sales agents, may aid car buyers in committing frauds. A significant increase in fraudulent activities could lead to higher overdue ratios, negatively affect the results of operations and harm Cango brand and reputation. An overall increase of fraudulent activities in the automotive finance market or the consumer finance industry or incidence of high-profile fraudulent activity could even lead to regulatory intervention and may divert management’s attention and cause the Group to incur additional expenses and costs. Moreover, inaccurate, misleading or incomplete car buyer information could also potentially subject the Group to liability as an intermediary under the PRC Civil Code. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations—Regulation Related to Intermediation.” Although the Group has not been materially affected by fraudulent activities associated with car buyers in the past, there is still a possibility that such fraudulent activities may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations in the future.

Fluctuations in interest rates could negatively affect the Group’s reported results of operations.

The Group charges service fees to financial institutions for facilitating financing transactions. If prevailing market interest rates decline, the operating margins of financial institutions may decrease, which may force the Group to lower the service fees it is able to charge them. If the Group does not sufficiently lower such service fees and keep the fees competitive in such instances, financial institutions may decide not to utilize such services because of the less competitive service fees and may take advantage of lower service fees offered by other companies, and the Group’s ability to retain, attract and engage prospective financial institutions as well as its competitive position may be severely undermined. On the other hand, if prevailing market interest rates increase, car buyers would be less likely to finance car purchases with credit or the Group may need to reduce the service fees to mitigate the impact of increased interest rates, and its financial condition and profitability could also be materially and adversely affected.

Furthermore, relevant regulatory and judicial authorities may change the private lending rate of interest that can be charged by non-financial institutions from time to time. On August 20, 2020, China’s Supreme People’s Court, or the SPC, announced its decision to lower the cap for such private lending rate in a revised judicial interpretation. Under the revised judicial interpretation, such total annual percentage rates (inclusive of any default rate, default penalty and any other fee) exceeding four times that of China’s benchmark one-year loan prime rate, or LPR, as published each month will not be legally protected. Based on the LPR of 3.45% as published on April 22, 2024, such cap would be 13.8%.

The Group’s quarterly results may fluctuate significantly partly due to seasonality and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of business.

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

ability to maintain existing relationships with business partners and establish new relationships with additional business partners, such as dealers, car buyers and OEMs;
the amount of automobile trading transactions and insurance transactions on Cango platform;
overdue ratios of financing transactions facilitated;
the mix of solutions and services offered;
the amount and timing of the Group’s operating cost and expenses and the maintenance and expansion of existing business, operations and infrastructure;

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emphasis on experience of car buyers, instead of near-term growth;
the timing of expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses;
proper and sufficient accounting policies with respect to risk assurance liabilities and implementation;
network outages or security breaches;
general economic, industry and market conditions; and
changes in applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, the Group has experienced, and expects to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in its revenues and results of operations. Such revenue trends reflect car purchase patterns by car buyers. Car buyers in China tend to purchase a higher volume of cars in the second half of each year, in part due to the introduction of new models from automakers. Further, the holiday period following the Chinese New Year is in the first quarter, which may contribute to lower activity levels in that quarter of each year. As a result of these factors, the Group’s revenues may vary from quarter to quarter. The Group’s actual results may differ significantly from its targets or estimated quarterly results. Therefore, you may not be able to predict the Group’s annual results of operations based on a quarter-to-quarter comparison of its results of operations. The quarterly fluctuations in the Group’s revenues and results of operations could result in volatility and cause the price of our ADSs to fall. As the revenues grow, these seasonal fluctuations may become more pronounced.

We may not realize the benefits we expect from our investments in certain securities and investment products, and this may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We have made short-term investments in a public company and wealth management products, which are primarily invested in various types of debt securities. As of December 31, 2023, the Group had short-term investments of RMB635.1 million (US$89.4 million) and restricted cash – current – bank deposits held for short-term investments of RMB1.7 billion (US$ 235.2 million). We cannot assure you as to the return of our investments and we may need to recognize losses in connection with these investments, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any significant disruption in the Group’s IT systems, including events beyond control, could prevent the offering of solutions and services through Cango platform or reduce their attractiveness and result in a loss of car buyers, financial institutions and other platform participants.

In the event of a system outage, malfunction or data loss, the ability to provide services would be materially and adversely affected. The satisfactory performance, reliability and availability of the Group’s technology and underlying network infrastructure are critical to the operations, user service, reputation and ability to attract new and retain existing car buyers and financial institutions. The Group’s IT systems infrastructure is currently deployed, and relevant data is currently maintained through a customized cloud computing system. The Group’s servers are housed at third-party data centers, and its operations depend on the service providers’ ability to protect such systems in their facilities as well as their own systems against damage or interruption from natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures, air quality issues, environmental conditions, computer viruses or attempts to harm these systems, criminal acts and similar events, many of which may be beyond control. Many of the Group’s mobile applications are also provided through third-party app stores and any disruptions to the services of these app stores may negatively affect the delivery of such mobile applications to users. Moreover, if the arrangement with these service providers are terminated or if there is a lapse of service or damage to their facilities or if the services are no longer cost-effective, the Group could experience interruptions in solutions and service as well as delays and additional expense to serve platform participants. The ability to exchange information and obtain credit data from third parties could also be interrupted.

Any interruptions or delays in service, whether as a result of third-party error, the Group’s error, natural disasters or security breaches, whether accidental or willful, could harm the relationships with platform participants and the Group’s reputation. The Group may not have sufficient capacity to recover all data and services lost in the event of an outage. These factors could disrupt business operations, damage Cango brand and reputation, divert employees’ attention, reduce revenue, subject us to liability and cause platform participants to abandon solutions and services on Cango platform, any of which could adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Technology is a critical aspect in the efficient operation of the Group’s business, and if any of the Group’s systems contain undetected errors, or if the Group fails to effectively implement technology initiatives or anticipate future technology needs or demands, the Group’s operations may be materially and adversely affected.

The efficient and reliable operation of the Group’s business depends on technology as well as the Group’s IT systems. The Group’s systems, enterprise applications and software on which the Group depends for the operation of its business may contain programming errors or other defects that the Group’s internal testing did not detect. The occurrence of such undetected errors or defects in the Group’s systems and software could disrupt operations, damage reputation and detract from the experience of users.

In addition, the Group’s future success depends on its ability to anticipate technology development trends and identify, develop and commercialize new technology initiatives in a timely and cost-effective manner in order to deliver services demanded by platform participants. However, the Group may fail to recruit, train and retain qualified research and development personnel, and there can be no assurance that the Group will be able to implement new technology initiatives effectively, or that the Group will be successful in anticipating new technology needs and demands of customers and of the market at large. Moreover, it may take an extended period of time for the Group’s new technologies and services to gain market acceptance, if at all. If the Group fails to effectively implement technology initiatives or anticipate future technology needs or demands, its operations may materially and adversely affected.

Misconducts and errors by employees and third parties collaborated with could harm the Group’s business and reputation.

The Group is exposed to many types of operational risks, including the risk of misconduct and errors by employees and third-party business partners collaborated with. The Group’s business depends on these employees and third parties, such as dealers, financial institutions and sales agents, to interact with car buyers, process large numbers of transactions and support the collection process. The Group could be materially and adversely affected if transactions are improperly executed, if personal information was disclosed to unintended recipients or if an operational breakdown or failure in the processing of transactions occurred, whether as a result of human error, purposeful sabotage or fraudulent manipulation of the Group’s operations or systems. It is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct or errors by employees or third-party business partners, and the precautions the Group takes to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses. If any of the employees or third-party business partners take, convert or misuse funds, documents or data or fail to follow the rules and procedures when interacting with car buyers, the Group could be liable for damages and subject to regulatory actions and penalties. The Group could also be perceived to have facilitated or participated in the illegal misappropriation of funds, documents or data, or the failure to follow existing rules and procedures, and therefore be subject to civil or criminal liability. Any of these occurrences could result in the Group’s diminished ability to operate its business, potential liability to car buyers, inability to attract car buyers, reputational damage, regulatory intervention and financial harm, which could negatively impact the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

If the Group is unable to safeguard the security of the confidential information of car buyers, dealers or third parties it collaborates with and adapt to the relevant regulatory framework as to protection of such information, the Group’s business and operations may be adversely affected.

We face challenges from the evolving regulatory environment regarding cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection. Many of these laws and regulations and interpretations of which are subject to changes and uncertainties, and any actual or alleged failure to comply with these laws and regulations could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. The Group collects, stores and processes certain personal and other data from car buyers, dealers and other third parties, which makes it an attractive target and potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins or similar disruptions. While the Group has taken steps to protect the confidential information that it has access to, these security measures could be breached. Because techniques used to sabotage or obtain unauthorized access to systems change frequently and generally are not recognized until they are launched against a target, the Group may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Any accidental or willful security breaches or other unauthorized access to the Group’s system could cause confidential car buyer information to be stolen and used for criminal purposes. Security breaches or unauthorized access to confidential information could also expose the Group to liability related to the loss of the information, time-consuming and expensive litigation and negative publicity. If security measures are breached because of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance or otherwise, or if design flaws in the Group’s technology infrastructure are exposed and exploited, the relationships with car buyers, dealers and/or financial institutions could be severely damaged, the Group could incur significant liability and its business and operations could be adversely affected.

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In addition, PRC government authorities have enacted a series of laws and regulations in regard of cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection. On June 10, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, or the SCNPC, promulgated the PRC Data Security Law, which took effect on September 1, 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, 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, illegally acquired or used. The PRC Data Security Law also provides a national security review procedure for those data activities which may have an impact on national security. On August 20, 2021, the SCNPC promulgated the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, effective from November 1, 2021. The Personal Information Protection Law requires, among others, that (i) the processing of personal information should have a clear and reasonable purpose which shall be directly related to the processing purpose, in a method that has the least impact on personal rights and interests, and (ii) the collection of personal information shall be limited to the minimum scope necessary to achieve the processing purpose and to avoid the excessive collection of personal information. Different types of personal information and personal information processing will be subject to various rules on consent, transfer, and security. Entities processing personal information shall bear responsibilities for their personal information processing activities, and adopt necessary measures to safeguard the security of the personal information they process. Entities processing personal information that fail to comply with the Personal Information Protection Law could be ordered to take remedial measures, suspend or terminate their services, or face confiscation of illegal income, fines or other penalties.

On December 28, 2021, the CAC, together with certain other PRC governmental authorities, promulgated the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which took effective on February 15, 2022. Pursuant to these measures, the purchase of network products and services by an operator of critical information infrastructure or the data processing activities of a network platform operator that affect or may affect national security will be subject to cybersecurity review. The competent governmental authorities may also initiate a cybersecurity review on the operators if the authorities believe that the network product or service or data processing activities of such operators affect or may affect national security.

On November 14, 2021, the CAC promulgated the draft Regulations on the Administration of Cyber Data Security for public comment, pursuant to which data processors conducting the following activities must apply for cybersecurity review: (i) merger, reorganization or division of internet platform operators that possess a large number of data resources related to national security, economic development or public interests that affect or may affect national security; (ii) listing abroad of data processors processing over one million users’ personal information; (iii) listing in Hong Kong which affects or may affect national security; or (iv) other data processing activities that affect or may affect national security. Further, the draft regulations require internet platform operators to establish platform rules, privacy policies and algorithm strategies related to data, and solicit public comments on their official websites and sections related to personal information protection for no less than 30 working days when they formulate platform rules or privacy policies or makes any amendments that may have a significant impact on users’ rights and interests. In addition, platform rules and privacy policies formulated by operators of large internet platforms with more than 100 million daily active users, or amendments to such rules or policies by operators of large internet platforms with more than 100 million daily active users that may have significant impacts on users’ rights and interests shall be evaluated by a third-party organization designated by the CAC and reported to local branch of the CAC for approval. The CAC has solicited comments on this draft until December 13, 2021, but there is no definite timetable as to when the draft regulations will be enacted.

In the meantime, the PRC regulatory authorities have also enhanced the supervision and regulation on cross-border data transmission. For example, on July 7, 2022, the CAC promulgated the Measures for the Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer, which came into effect on September 1, 2022. These measures require a data processor who provides data to overseas recipients and falls under any of the specified circumstance to apply for a security assessment of cross-border data transfer by the national cybersecurity authority through its local counterpart. On February 22, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China promulgated the Measures on the Standard Contract for Cross-border Transfer of Personal Information, which became effective on June 1, 2023. These measures require personal information processors who provide personal information to overseas recipients through standard contracts and fall under any of the specified circumstance to file with the local counterpart of the Cyberspace Administration of China within ten business days from the effective date of the relevant standard contracts. Furthermore, on March 22, 2024, the Cyberspace Administration of China promulgated the Provisions on Promoting and Standardizing Cross-Border Data Transfer which set forth the circumstances exempted from performing the security assessment or filing procedures for cross-border data transfer and further clarify the thresholds and senarios for data processors to go through these procedures as stipulated under the aforementioned measures. However, uncertainties still exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of these measures in practice and how they will affect the Group’s business operation.

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The Group obtains consents from car buyers on Cango platform to use their personal information within the scope of authorization and has taken technical measures to ensure the security of such personal information and prevent the personal information from being divulged, damaged or lost. Furthermore, pursuant to confidentiality provisions in the cooperation agreements with financial institutions, the Group has the obligation to safeguard car buyers’ personal information and to only use such information within the authorized scope. The Group may face litigation brought by financial institutions or car buyers, if it fails to satisfy such confidentiality obligations in the relevant cooperation agreements, or if the use of car buyers’ data falls outside of the scope of their authorization, as the case may be. Furthermore, there is uncertainty as to the interpretation and application of such laws which may be interpreted and applied in a manner inconsistent with current policies and practices or require changes to the features of the Group’s system. PRC governmental authorities have taken a series of strict examinations and inspections against illegal activities of collecting or using data and personal information, and it was reported that numerous mobile applications or website operators were ordered to rectify their illegal activities, or imposed with warnings, fines or other administrative penalties, or even became subjects of criminal investigations. We cannot rule out the possibility that operators like the Group would also be subject to more comprehensive and stricter supervision by the competent governmental authorities on cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection in the future. The regulatory framework for cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection in China and worldwide is continuously evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future, and there can be no assurance that the existing car buyer information protection system and technical measures will be considered sufficient under applicable laws and regulations. If the Group is unable to address any information protection concerns, or to comply with the then applicable laws and regulations, the Group may incur additional costs and liability and its reputation, business and operations might be adversely affected. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations—Regulation Related to Cybersecurity, Internet Information Security and Privacy Protection” for more details.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis could be impaired.

As a U.S. public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of the NYSE. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting. Commencing with our fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, we must perform system and process evaluation and testing of our internal controls over financial reporting to allow management to report on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in our Form 20-F filing for that year, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In addition, beginning at the same time, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

Our management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2023. See “Item 15. Controls and Procedures — Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” Our independent registered public accounting firm has issued a report, which has concluded that we maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023.

However, our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objectives will be met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.

We may not be able to always maintain an effective internal control over financial reporting for a variety of reasons. Among others, the Group’s operations are based in China, an emerging market where the overall internal control environment may not be as strong as in more established markets. If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner, or if we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements. If that were to happen, the market price of our ADSs could decline and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the NYSE, SEC or other regulatory authorities.

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The ability of U.S. authorities to bring actions for violations of U.S. securities law and regulations against us, our directors, executive officers or the expert named in this annual report may be limited and therefore you may not be afforded the same protection as provided to investors in U.S. domestic companies.

The SEC, U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and other authorities often have substantial difficulties in bringing and enforcing actions against non-U.S. companies such as the Group, and non-U.S. persons, such as our directors and executive officers in China. Due to jurisdictional limitations, matters of comity and various other factors, the SEC, DOJ and other U.S. authorities may be limited in their ability to pursue bad actors, including in instances of fraud, in emerging markets such as China. The Group conducts substantially all of its operations in China and substantially all of the Group’s assets are located in China. In addition, a majority of our directors and executive officers reside within China. There are significant legal and other obstacles for U.S. authorities to obtain information needed for investigations or litigation against the Group or our directors, executive officers or other gatekeepers in case the Group or any of these individuals engage in fraud or other wrongdoing. In addition, local authorities in China may be constrained in their ability to assist U.S. authorities and overseas investors more generally. As a result, if we have any material disclosure violation or if our directors, executive officers or other gatekeepers commit any fraud or other financial misconduct, the U.S. authorities may not be able to conduct effective investigations or bring and enforce actions against the Group, our directors, executive officers or other gatekeepers. Therefore, you may not be able to enjoy the same protection provided by various U.S. authorities as it is provided to investors in U.S. domestic companies.

The Group may not be able to prevent others from unauthorized use of its intellectual property and the Group may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims, either of which could harm our business and competitive position.

The Group regards its trademarks, domain names, copyrights, know-how, proprietary technologies and similar intellectual property as critical to its success, and the Group relies on trademark and trade secret law and confidentiality, invention assignment and non-compete agreements with its employees and others to protect its proprietary rights. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Intellectual Property.” However, there can be no assurance that any of the Group’s intellectual property rights would not be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, or such intellectual property will be sufficient to provide the Group with competitive advantages. In addition, other parties may misappropriate the Group’s intellectual property rights, which would cause the Group to suffer economic or reputational damage. Because of the rapid pace of technological change, there can be no assurance that all of the Group’s proprietary technologies and similar intellectual property will be patented in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all. For example, the Group does not hold any patent relating to the existing credit assessment model. Furthermore, parts of the Group’s business rely on technologies developed or licensed by other parties, or co-developed with other parties, including open source software, and the Group may not be able to obtain or continue to obtain licenses and technologies from these other parties on reasonable terms, or at all.

Intellectual property protection may not be sufficient in the jurisdiction in which the Group operates. 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 the Group for any such breach. Accordingly, the Group may not be able to effectively protect its intellectual property rights or to enforce its contractual rights in China. Preventing any unauthorized use of the Group’s intellectual property is difficult and costly and the steps the Group takes may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of its intellectual property. In the event that the Group resorts to litigation to enforce its intellectual property rights, such litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of its managerial and financial resources. We can provide no assurance that the Group will prevail in such litigation. In addition, the Group’s trade secrets may be leaked or otherwise become available to, or be independently discovered by, our competitors. Any failure in protecting or enforcing the Group’s intellectual property rights could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition and results of operations.

Meanwhile, we cannot be certain that the Group’s operations or any aspects of its business do not or will not infringe upon or otherwise violate trademarks, copyrights, know-how, proprietary technologies or other intellectual property rights held by other parties. The Group may be from time to time in the future subject to legal proceedings and claims relating to the intellectual property rights of others. In addition, there may be other parties’ trademarks, copyrights, know-how, proprietary technologies or other intellectual property rights that are infringed by the Group’s services or other aspects of its business without its awareness. Holders of such intellectual property rights may seek to enforce such intellectual property rights against the Group in China, the U.S. or other jurisdictions. If any infringement claims are brought against the Group, we may be forced to divert management’s time and other resources from the Group’s business and operations to defend against these claims, regardless of their merits.

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Currently, open source software is used in certain aspects of Cango platform and business operations, and it is expected that open source software will continue to be used in the future. The Group may face claims from others claiming ownership of, or seeking to enforce the terms of, an open source license, including by demanding release of the open source software, derivative works or our proprietary source code that was developed using such software. These claims could also result in litigation, require the Group to purchase a costly license or require it to devote additional research and development resources to change its technologies, any of which would have a negative effect on its business and operating results. In addition, if the license terms for the open source software the Group utilizes change, it may be forced to reengineer or discontinue relevant solutions or incur additional costs. We cannot be certain that open source software in the existing solutions is incorporated in a manner that is consistent with internal policies.

Additionally, the application and interpretation of China’s intellectual property right laws and the procedures and standards for granting trademarks, copyrights, know-how, proprietary technologies or other intellectual property rights in China are still evolving, and there can be no assurance that PRC courts or regulatory authorities would agree with our analysis. If the Group were found to have violated the intellectual property rights of others, the Group may be subject to liability for its infringement activities or may be prohibited from using such intellectual property, and the Group may incur licensing fees or be forced to develop alternatives of its own. As a result, the Group’s business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

If the Group fails to keep up with the technological developments and implementation of advanced technologies, the Group’s business, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

Technology is applied to serve Cango platform participants more efficiently and bring them better user experience. The Group’s success will in part depends on the ability to keep up with the changes in technology and the continued successful implementation of advanced technology, including cloud computing, distributed architecture and big data analytics. If the Group fails to adapt Cango platform and services to changes in technological development in an effective and timely manner, the Group’s business operations may suffer. Changes in technologies may require substantial expenditures in research and development as well as in modification of existing services. Technical hurdles in implementing technological advances may result in the services becoming less attractive to platform participants, which, in turn, may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, results of operations and prospects.

As the Group’s business develops, it may be required to obtain additional license or permits.

The Telecommunications Regulations of the PRC, the Administrative Rules for Foreign Investment in Telecommunications Enterprises and other relevant regulations on the operation of VATS business provide a license requirement for operating such business in the PRC. The Group currently engages in the VATS business, including value-added online services for platform participants, through Shanghai Yungu. Therefore, Shanghai Yungu has obtained the relevant VATS licenses as required. However, as the Group continually enriches the service offerings, we cannot assure you that the Group will be able to obtain all the requisite license for providing VATS or other services on a timely basis or at all. The Group’s inability to obtain such license or any delay in obtaining such license could have a material and adverse impact on its business and results of operations.

We are subject to risks relating to leased properties.

Currently all of the Group’s offices and vehicle storage warehouses are on leased premises. The Group may not be able to successfully extend or renew these leases upon expiration of the current terms on commercially reasonable terms or at all, and may therefore be forced to relocate the relevant offices and warehouses. Such relocation could disrupt operations and result in significant relocation expenses, which could adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, it might be difficult to locate desirable alternative sites for the current offices and warehouses, and failure in relocating the affected operations could adversely affect our business and operations.

Pursuant to the Land Administration Law of the PRC, land in urban districts is owned by the state. The owner of a property built on state-owned land must possess the proper land and property title certificate to demonstrate that it is the owner of the premises and that it has the right to enter into lease contracts with the tenants or to authorize a third party to sublease the premises. We have entered into certain lease agreements with parties who had not produced evidence of proper legal title of the premises. If such parties are not the owners of the premises, and the actual owners successfully challenge the validity of the relevant leases, the Group would be forced to relocate from the relevant premises. Although the Group may seek damages from the counterparties to the lease agreements, there can be no assurance that it would be able to collect such damages.

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Failure to fully comply with PRC labor-related laws may expose the Group to potential penalties.

The PRC government has promulgated laws and regulations to enhance labor protections, such as the Labor Contract Law, the Social Insurance Law and the Regulations on the Administration of Housing Funds. Such laws and regulations require companies operating in China to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance, housing funds and other welfare-oriented payment obligations, and contribute to the plans in amounts equal to certain percentages of salaries, including bonuses and allowances, of employees up to a maximum amount specified by the relevant local government from time to time. The requirement of employee benefit plans has not been implemented consistently by the local authorities in China given the different levels of economic development in different locations. The Group did not pay, or was not able to pay, certain social insurance and housing fund contributions in strict compliance with the relevant PRC regulations for and on behalf of the employees due to differences in local regulations and inconsistent implementation or interpretation by local authorities in the PRC. It may be required to make up the contributions for these plans as well as to pay late fees and fines, and our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Any failure by the Group or third parties it collaborates with to comply with applicable anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations could damage reputation, result in significant penalties, and decrease revenues and profitability.

The Group has implemented various policies and procedures in compliance with all applicable anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations, including internal controls and “know-your-customer” procedures, for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, the Group relies on financial institutions to have their own appropriate anti-money laundering policies and procedures. Financial institutions it collaborates with are subject to anti-money laundering obligations under applicable anti-money laundering laws and regulations and are regulated in that respect by the PBOC. The Group has adopted commercially reasonable procedures for monitoring financial institutions it collaborates with.

The Group has not been subject to fines or other penalties, or suffered business or other reputational harm, as a result of actual or alleged money laundering or terrorist financing activities in the past. However, existing policies and procedures may not be completely effective in preventing other parties from using the Group or any financial institutions it collaborates with as a conduit for money laundering (including illegal cash operations) or terrorist financing without the Group’s knowledge. If the Group were to be associated with money laundering (including illegal cash operations) or terrorist financing, its reputation could suffer, and the Group could become subject to regulatory fines, sanctions, or legal enforcement, including being added to any “blacklists” that would prohibit certain parties from engaging in transactions with it, all of which could have a material adverse effect on the Group’s financial condition and results of operations. Even if the Group and financial institutions it collaborates with comply with applicable anti-money laundering laws and regulations, it and these financial institutions may not be able to fully eliminate money laundering and other illegal or improper activities in light of their complexity and the secrecy of these activities. Any negative perception of the industry, such as that which may arise from any failure of other automotive financing solution facilitation service providers to detect or prevent money laundering activities, even if factually incorrect or based on isolated incidents, could compromise the Group’s image, undermine the trust and credibility the Group has established, and negatively impact its financial condition and results of operation.

From time to time we may evaluate and potentially consummate strategic investments or acquisitions, which could require significant management attention, disrupt business and adversely affect the financial results.

We may evaluate and consider strategic investments, combinations, acquisitions or alliances to further increase the value of the Group’s services, better serve car buyers, and enhance the Group’s competitive position. For example, in June 2018, January 2019 and July 2019, the Group made a series of equity investments in Li Auto. At the end of September 2018, the Group completed the acquisition of Shanghai Chejia. In 2019, the Group acquired Shanghai Quanpin Automobile Sales Co., Ltd., which wholly owns Fushun Insurance Brokerage Co., Ltd., to operate the insurance brokerage business.

These transactions could be material to the Group’s financial condition and results of operations if consummated. If we are able to identify an appropriate business opportunity, we may not be able to successfully consummate the transaction and, even if we do consummate such a transaction, we may be unable to obtain the benefits or avoid the difficulties and risks of such transaction, which may result in investment losses.

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Strategic investments or acquisitions will involve risks commonly encountered in business relationships, including:

difficulties in assimilating and integrating the operations, personnel, systems, data, technologies, products and services of the acquired business;
inability of the acquired technologies, products or businesses to achieve expected levels of revenue, profitability, productivity or other benefits, including the failure to successfully further develop the acquired technology;
difficulties in retaining, training, motivating and integrating key personnel;
diversion of management’s time and resources from normal daily operations and potential disruptions to the ongoing businesses;
strain on current liquidity and capital resources;
difficulties in executing intended business plans and achieving synergies from such strategic investments or acquisitions;
difficulties in maintaining uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies within the overall organization;
difficulties in retaining relationships with existing customers, employees and business partners of the acquired business;
risks of entering markets in which we have limited or no prior experience;
regulatory risks, including remaining in good standing with existing regulatory bodies or receiving any necessary pre-closing or post-closing approvals, as well as being subject to new regulators with oversight over an acquired business;
assumption of contractual obligations that contain terms that are not beneficial to us, require us to license or waive intellectual property rights or increase our risk for liability;
liability for activities of the acquired business before the acquisition, including intellectual property infringement claims, violations of laws, commercial disputes, tax liabilities and other known and unknown liabilities; and
unexpected costs and unknown risks and liabilities associated with strategic investments or acquisitions.

Any future investments or acquisitions may not be successful, may not benefit the Group’s business strategy, may not generate sufficient revenues to offset the associated acquisition costs or may not otherwise result in the intended benefits.

The Group’s business depends on the continued efforts of our senior management. If one or more members of our senior management were unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, the Group’s business may be severely disrupted.

The Group’s business operations depend on the continued services of our senior management, particularly the executive officers named in this annual report. In particular, Mr. Xiaojun Zhang, our founder and chairman, and Mr. Jiayuan Lin, our founder and chief executive officer, are critical to the management of the Group’s business and operations and the development of its strategic direction. While we have provided various incentives to our management, there can be no assurance that we can continue to retain their services. If one or more members of our senior management were unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, we may not be able to replace them easily or at all, the Group’s future growth may be constrained, the Group’s business may be severely disrupted, and the Group’s financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected, and the Group may incur additional expenses to recruit, train and retain qualified personnel. Any new executive we recruit may fail to develop or implement effective business strategies. In addition, although we have entered into confidentiality and non-competition agreements with our management, there is no assurance that any member of our management team will not join our competitors or form a competing business. 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.

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Intense competition for employees and increases in labor costs in the PRC may adversely affect the Group’s business and results of operations.

We believe the Group’s success depends on the efforts and talent of the Group’s employees, including sales and marketing, operations, risk management, research and development and finance personnel. The Group’s future success depends on its continued ability to attract, develop, motivate and retain qualified and skilled employees. Competition for highly skilled sales and marketing, operations, risk management, research and development and finance personnel is extremely intense. The Group may not be able to hire and retain these personnel at compensation levels consistent with its existing compensation and salary structure. Some of the companies with which the Group competes for experienced employees have greater resources than the Group and may be able to offer more attractive terms of employment.

In addition, the Group invests significant time and expenses in training its employees, which increases their value to competitors who may seek to recruit them. If the Group fails to retain its employees, the Group could incur significant expenses in hiring and training their replacements, and the quality of services and ability to serve dealers, financial institutions, car buyers and other industry participants could diminish, resulting in a material adverse effect to our business.

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, the Group is required by PRC laws and regulations to pay various statutory employee benefits, including pension insurance, housing funds, medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance to designated government agencies for the benefit of the employees. We expect that the Group’s labor costs, including wages and employee benefits, will continue to increase. Unless we are able to control the Group’s labor costs or pass on these increased labor costs, the Group’s financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Our corporate actions will be substantially controlled by certain of our principal shareholders, who will have the ability to control or exert significant influence over important corporate matters that require approval of shareholders, which may deprive you of an opportunity to receive a premium for your ADSs and materially reduce the value of your investment.

In May 2018, our co-founders Mr. Xiaojun Zhang and Mr. Jiayuan Lin entered into a voting agreement, which was amended and restated in June 2019. Pursuant to the amended and restated voting agreement, the co-founders shall reach a consensus before exercising their voting rights with respect to our shares. As of March 31, 2024, our co-founders collectively exercised 91.8% of the aggregate voting power of our issued and outstanding share capital. For further information, see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—E. Share Ownership.” As a result of the ownership concentration, these shareholders have the ability to control or exert significant influence over important corporate matters, investors may be prevented from affecting important corporate matters involving our company that require approval of shareholders, including:

the composition of our board of directors and, through it, any determinations with respect to our operations, business direction and policies, including the appointment and removal of officers;
any determinations with respect to mergers or other business combinations;
our disposition of substantially all of our assets; and
any change in control.

These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders, including the holders of the ADSs. Furthermore, this concentration of ownership may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, which could have the dual effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and reducing the price of the ADSs. As a result of the foregoing, the value of your investment could be materially reduced.

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We are a “controlled company” under the rules of NYSE and, as a result, will rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that provide protection to shareholders of other companies.

We are a “controlled company” as defined under the NYSE Listed Company Manual. Our co-founders Mr. Xiaojun Zhang and Mr. Jiayuan Lin collectively hold more than 50% of the aggregate voting power of our company. In May 2018, the co-founders entered into a voting agreement, which was amended and restated in June 2019. The amended and restated voting agreement provides that they shall reach a consensus before exercising their voting rights with respect to our shares. For so long as we remain a controlled company under that definition, we are permitted to elect to rely, and will rely, on certain exemptions from corporate governance rules, including an exemption from the rule that a majority of our board of directors must be independent directors. As a result, you will not have the same protection afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to these corporate governance requirements.

We may incur substantial share-based compensation expenses.

On May 25, 2018, we adopted the Share Incentive Plan 2018, which permits the grant of options, restricted shares, restricted share units and other share-based awards to our employees, directors and consultants. The maximum aggregate number of ordinary shares that may be issued pursuant to the share incentive plan is 27,845,526 initially. Additional ordinary shares may be reserved for issuance of equity awards as determined by our board of directors. We have granted options to purchase our ordinary shares to certain of our officers and employees since then. For example, in June 2022, we granted (i) options to purchase 6,000,000 Class A ordinary shares to Mr. Xiaojun Zhang, our co-founder and chairman, and (ii) options to purchase 6,000,000 Class A ordinary shares to Mr. Jiayuan Lin, our co-founder, director and chief executive officer. These share options were granted in consideration of Mr. Zhang and Mr. Lin’s roles in guiding our Group’s profitable investment in Li Auto. We are required to account for options granted to our employees, directors and consultants. We are required to classify options granted to our employees, directors and consultants as equity awards and recognize share-based compensation expense based on the fair value of such share options, with the share-based compensation expense recognized over the period in which the recipient is required to provide service in exchange for the share option or other equity award. We believe the granting of share-based compensation is of significant importance to our ability to attract, retain and motivate our management team and talented employees, and we will continue to grant share-based compensation to employees in the future. As a result, the expenses associated with share-based compensation may increase significantly, which may have an adverse effect on the Group’s results of operations and financial condition. The Group recognized RMB38.5 million (US$5.4 million) of share-based compensation expenses in 2023.

We may not have sufficient insurance coverage.

Insurance companies in China currently do not offer as extensive an array of insurance products as insurance companies in more developed economies. Currently, we do not have enough business liability or disruption insurance to cover the Group’s operations. We have determined that the costs of insuring for these risks and the difficulties associated with acquiring such insurance on commercially reasonable terms make it impractical for the Group to have such insurance. Any uninsured business disruptions may result in the Group incurring substantial costs and the diversion of resources, which could have an adverse effect the Group’s our financial condition and results of operations.

The Group is or may be subject to potential liability in connection with pending or threatened legal proceedings and other matters, which could adversely affect the Group’s business or financial results.

From time to time, the Group has become and may in the future become a party to various legal or administrative proceedings arising in the ordinary course of its business, including breach of contract claims, anti-competition claims and other matters. Such proceedings are inherently uncertain, and their results cannot be predicted with certainty. Regardless of the outcome and merit of such proceedings, any such legal action could have an adverse impact on the Group’s business because of defense costs, negative publicity, diversion of management’s attention and other factors. In addition, it is possible that an unfavorable resolution, including any judgment or settlement subjecting the Group to liability, of one or more legal or administrative proceedings, whether in the PRC or in another jurisdiction, could materially and adversely affect its business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows in a particular period or damage its reputation.

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The Group may be subject to product liability claims if people or properties are harmed by cars purchased through Cango platform.

Cars purchased through Cango platform may be defectively designed or manufactured. As a result, the Group may be exposed to product liability claims relating to personal injury or property damage. Third parties subject to such injury or damage may bring claims or legal proceedings against the Group because it facilitates the financing or sale of the product. Although the Group would have legal recourse against the OEMs or dealers under PRC law, attempting to enforce such rights against the OEMs or dealers may be expensive, time-consuming and ultimately futile. In addition, the Group does not currently maintain any third-party liability insurance or product liability insurance in relation to cars purchased through Cango platform. As a result, any material product liability claim or litigation could have a material and adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Even unsuccessful claims could result in the expenditure of funds and managerial efforts in defending them and could have a negative impact on the Group’s reputation.

A severe or prolonged downturn in the Chinese or global economy could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any prolonged slowdown in the Chinese or global economy may have a negative impact on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. In particular, general economic factors and conditions in China or worldwide, including the general interest rate environment and unemployment rates, may affect consumers’ demand for cars. Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in declines in economic activities in China and other parts of the world and raised concerns about the prospects of the global economy. There have also been concerns over conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, which have resulted in volatility in financial and other markets. Furthermore, the economies may also be affected by the tensions in the relationship between China and the United States. If present Chinese and global economic uncertainties persist, there will be difficulty in obtaining financial institutions to fund financing transactions to car buyers. Adverse economic conditions could also reduce car buyers’ ability to make payments. Should any of these situations occur, the Group’s business and financial condition will be negatively impacted. Additionally, continued turbulence in the international markets may adversely affect our ability to access the capital markets to meet liquidity needs.

The Group’s operations depend on the performance of the internet infrastructure and fixed telecommunications networks in China.

Almost all access to the internet in China is maintained through state-owned telecommunication operators under the administrative control and regulatory supervision of the MIIT. The Group’s IT systems infrastructure is currently deployed, and the data is currently maintained through a customized cloud computing system. The Group’s servers are housed at third-party data centers. Such service provider may have limited access to alternative networks or services in the event of disruptions, failures or other problems with China’s internet infrastructure or the fixed telecommunications networks provided by telecommunication service providers. With the expansion of business, the Group may be required to upgrade its technology and infrastructure to keep up with the increasing number and variety of transactions on Cango platform. There can be no assurance that the current data centers and the underlying internet infrastructure and the fixed telecommunications networks in China will be able to support the demands associated with the continued growth in internet usage.

In addition, we have no control over the costs of the services provided by telecommunication service providers which in turn, may affect the costs of data center services. If the prices paid for data center services rise significantly, the Group’s results of operations may be adversely affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected our results of operations.

The Group experienced certain disruptions in its operations in certain periods from 2020 to 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and measures undertaken by the Chinese government to contain the spread of COVID-19, which negatively affected the Group’s business to some extent. In particular, the Group’s revenue decreased from RMB3,921.7 million for 2021 to RMB1,980.5 million for 2022. Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreaks interrupted the Group’s collection efforts and affected car buyers’ ability to make repayments. As a result, the Group experienced an uptick in delinquency rates. M1+ and M3+ overdue ratios were 2.61% and 1.38%, respectively, as of December 31, 2022, as compared to 1.62% and 0.86%, respectively, as of December 31, 2021. Any future COVID-19 outbreaks in China may again adversely affect the Group’s business, results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

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We face risks related to natural disasters, health epidemics and other outbreaks, which could significantly disrupt our operations.

The Group is vulnerable to natural disasters and other calamities. Fire, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, power loss, telecommunications failures, break-ins, war, riots, terrorist attacks or similar events may give rise to server interruptions, breakdowns, system failures or internet failures, which could cause the loss or corruption of data or malfunctions of software or hardware as well as adversely affect the ability to provide services.

The Group’s business could also be adversely affected by the effects of COVID-19 coronavirus, Ebola virus disease, H1N1 flu, H7N9 flu, avian flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, or other epidemics. The Group’s business operations could be disrupted if any of its employees is suspected of having COVID-19 coronavirus, Ebola virus disease, H1N1 flu, H7N9 flu, avian flu, SARS or another contagious disease or condition, since it could require the Group’s employees to be quarantined and/or its offices to be disinfected. In addition, the Group’s results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent that any of these epidemics harms the Chinese economy in general.

Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure

We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to operate the Group’s business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise have a material adverse effect as to the Group’s business.

Cango Inc. is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company. We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to operate the Group’s business. Therefore, investors in our ADSs do not hold equity interests in our consolidated VIEs in China but instead hold equity interests in a Cayman Islands holding company, and investors in our ADSs may never directly hold equity interests in our consolidated VIEs. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements among Can Gu Long, the Consolidated VIEs and Their Shareholders.” All of the Group’s revenue is attributed to our consolidated VIEs. These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our consolidated VIEs. If our consolidated VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, our recourse to the assets held by our consolidated VIEs is indirect and we may have to incur substantial costs and expend significant resources to enforce such arrangements in reliance on legal remedies under PRC law. These remedies may not always be effective, particularly in light of uncertainties in the PRC legal system. Furthermore, in connection with litigation, arbitration or other judicial or dispute resolution proceedings, assets under the name of any of record holder of equity interest in our consolidated VIEs, including such equity interest, may be put under court custody. As a consequence, we cannot be certain that the equity interest will be disposed pursuant to the contractual arrangement or ownership by the record holder of the equity interest.

All of these contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in the PRC. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC laws and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. However, these contracts such as ours have not been tested in the PRC legal procedures. Uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the relevant PRC laws and regulations could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant time delays or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, it would be very difficult to allow us to receive economic benefits from our consolidated VIEs, and the Group’s ability to conduct its business and the Group’s financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. See “—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties.”

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

We, through one of our subsidiaries and a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in the PRC, have entered into a series of contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements among Can Gu Long, the Consolidated VIEs and their Shareholders.” If our consolidated VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, we may incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. We may also have to rely on legal remedies under PRC laws, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which we cannot assure you will be effective under PRC laws. For example, if the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs were to refuse to transfer their equity interests in the consolidated VIEs to us or our designee when we exercise the purchase option pursuant to these contractual arrangements, or if they were otherwise to act in bad faith toward us, then we may have to take legal actions to compel them to perform their contractual obligations.

All the agreements under our contractual arrangements are governed by PRC laws and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC laws and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. Uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the relevant PRC laws and regulations could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. Meanwhile, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a VIE should be interpreted or enforced under PRC laws. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of such arbitration should legal action become necessary. In addition, under PRC laws, rulings by arbitrators are final and parties cannot appeal arbitration results in court unless such rulings are revoked or determined unenforceable by a competent court. If the losing parties fail to carry out the arbitration awards within a prescribed time limit, the prevailing parties may only enforce the arbitration awards in PRC courts through arbitration award recognition proceedings, which would require additional expenses and delay. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delay or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, we may not be able to receive economic benefits from our consolidated VIEs and leverage relevant rights and licenses held by it which we require in order to operate the Group’s business, and our ability to conduct the Group’s business may be negatively affected. See “—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties.”

The arbitration provisions under these contractual arrangements have no effect on the rights of our shareholders to pursue claims against us under United States federal securities laws.

The shareholders of our consolidated VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business and financial condition.

The interests of the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs in their capacities as such shareholders may differ from the interests of our company as a whole, as what is in the best interests of our consolidated VIEs, including matters such as whether to distribute dividends or to make other distributions to fund our offshore requirement, may not be in the best interests of our company. There can be no assurance that when conflicts of interest arise, any or all of these shareholders will act in the best interests of our company or those conflicts of interest will be resolved in our favor. In addition, these shareholders may breach or cause our consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries to breach or refuse to renew the existing contractual arrangements with us.

Currently, we do not have arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs may encounter. We, however, could, at all times, exercise our option under the exclusive option agreement to cause them to transfer all of their equity ownership in our consolidated VIEs to a PRC entity or individual designated by us as permitted by the then applicable PRC laws. In addition, if such conflicts of interest arise, we could also, in the capacity of attorney-in-fact of the then existing shareholders of our consolidated VIEs as provided under the power of attorney, directly appoint new directors of our consolidated VIEs. We rely on the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs to comply with PRC laws and regulations, which protect contracts and provide that directors and executive officers owe a duty of loyalty to our company and require them to avoid conflicts of interest and not to take advantage of their positions for personal gains, and the laws of the Cayman Islands, which provide that directors have a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to act honestly in good faith with a view to our best interests. However, the legal frameworks of China and the Cayman Islands do not provide guidance on resolving conflicts in the event of a conflict with another corporate governance regime. If we cannot resolve any conflicts of interest or disputes between us and the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

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

We currently engage in telecommunications-related businesses, including value-added online services for platform participants, through Shanghai Yungu, one of our consolidated VIEs. The PRC government regulates telecommunications-related businesses through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. These laws and regulations also include limitations on foreign ownership of PRC companies that engage in telecommunications-related businesses. Specifically, as for the telecommunications businesses open for foreign investment according to China’s WTO commitment, foreign investors are generally not allowed to own more than a 50% equity interest in any PRC company engaging in value-added telecommunications businesses, except for e-commerce, domestic conferencing, store-and-forward, and call center services.

Because we are an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are classified as a foreign enterprise under PRC laws and regulations, and our wholly foreign-owned enterprise in the PRC is a foreign-invested enterprise, or a FIE. Accordingly, our subsidiary is not eligible to operate a substantial portion of VATS business in China. As such, we conduct our business in China through our consolidated VIEs and their affiliates. Our PRC subsidiary has entered into a series of contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders, which enable us to (i) receive substantially all of the economic benefits of the consolidated VIEs and (ii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests and assets in the consolidated VIEs when and to the extent permitted by PRC law. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we have control over and are the primary beneficiary of the consolidated VIEs for accounting purposes and hence consolidate its financial results as our consolidated VIEs under U.S. GAAP. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements among Can Gu Long, the Consolidated VIEs and Their Shareholders.”

We believe that our corporate structure and contractual arrangements comply with the current applicable PRC laws and regulations. Our PRC legal counsel, Fangda Partners, based on its understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, is of the opinion that each of the contracts among our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders is valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with its terms, except that the pledges in respect of our consolidated VIEs’ equity interests would not be deemed validly created until they are registered with the local administration for market regulation. However, as there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that the PRC government authorities would agree that our corporate structure or any of the above contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. PRC laws and regulations governing the validity of these contractual arrangements are uncertain and the relevant government authorities have discretion in interpreting these laws and regulations.

On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress approved the Foreign Investment Law, and on December 26, 2019, the State Council promulgated the Implementing Rules of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China, or the Implementing Rules, to further clarify and elaborate the relevant provisions of the Foreign Investment Law. The Foreign Investment Law and the Implementing Rules, both taking effect on January 1, 2020, do not explicitly classify whether variable interest entities that are controlled through contractual arrangements would be deemed as foreign invested enterprises if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors. The interpretation and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law and the Implementing Rules may be subject to changes, and it is still unclear how the Foreign Investment Law and the Implementing Rules would affect our VIE structure and business operation. See “—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law and its implementing rules, and how they may impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

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

revoking the Group’s business and operating licenses;
levying fines on the Group;
confiscating any of the Group’s income that they deem to be obtained through illegal operations;

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shutting down the Group’s services;
discontinuing or restricting the Group’s operations in China;
imposing conditions or requirements with which the Group may not be able to comply;
requiring us to change our corporate structure and contractual arrangements;
restricting or prohibiting our use of the proceeds from overseas offering to finance our consolidated VIEs’ business and operations; and
taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to our business.

Furthermore, new PRC laws, rules and regulations may be introduced to impose additional requirements that may be applicable to our corporate structure and contractual arrangements. Occurrence of any of these events could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if the imposition of any of these penalties or requirement to restructure our corporate structure causes us to lose the rights to direct the activities of our consolidated VIEs or our right to receive their economic benefits, we would no longer be able to consolidate the financial results of such VIEs in our consolidated financial statements. Accordingly, if the PRC government determines that our contractual arrangements do not comply with PRC regulations, or if these regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, our ADSs may decline in value or become worthless if we are unable to assert contractual control rights over the assets of our consolidated VIEs. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements among Can Gu Long, the Consolidated VIEs and Their Shareholders.”

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

Under applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. The PRC enterprise income tax law requires every enterprise in China to submit its annual enterprise income tax return together with a report on transactions with its related parties to the relevant tax authorities. The tax authorities may impose reasonable adjustments on taxation if they have identified any related party transactions that are inconsistent with arm’s length principles. We may face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements among our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders were not entered into on an arm’s length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under applicable PRC laws, regulations and rules, and adjust their income in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary or consolidated VIEs for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase their tax liabilities without reducing their tax expenses. In addition, if our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary requests the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs to transfer their equity interests in our consolidated VIEs at nominal or no value pursuant to these contractual arrangements, such transfer could be viewed as a gift and subject the relevant subsidiary to PRC income tax. Furthermore, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on our PRC subsidiary and consolidated VIEs for adjusted but unpaid taxes according to applicable regulations. The Group’s financial position could be materially and adversely affected if the tax liabilities of our PRC subsidiary and consolidated VIEs increase, or if they are required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.

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

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

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, the Group’s business and operations may be materially and adversely affected.

Under PRC law, legal documents for corporate transactions, including agreements and contracts that the Group’s 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 Market Regulation, or the SAMR, formerly known as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or the SAIC. The Group generally executes legal documents by affixing chops or seals, rather than having the designated legal representatives sign the documents.

The Group has three major types of chops—corporate chops, contract chops and finance chops. The Group uses 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. The Group uses contract chops for executing leases and commercial contracts. The Group uses finance chops generally for making and collecting payments, including issuing invoices. Use of corporate chops and contract chops must be approved by the Group’s legal department and administrative department and use of finance chops must be approved by the Group’s finance department. The chops of our subsidiary and consolidated VIEs are generally held by the relevant entities so that documents can be executed locally. Although the Group usually utilizes chops to execute contracts, the registered legal representatives of our subsidiary and consolidated VIEs have the apparent authority to enter into contracts on behalf of such entities without chops, unless such contracts set forth otherwise.

In order to maintain the physical security of the Group’s chops, we generally have them stored in secured locations accessible only to the designated key employees of the Group’s legal, administrative or finance departments. The designated legal representatives of the relevant entities generally do not have access to the chops. Although the Group has approval procedures in place and monitor its key employees, including the designated legal representatives of our subsidiary and consolidated VIEs, the procedures may not be sufficient to prevent all instances of abuse or negligence. There is a risk that the Group’s key employees or designated legal representatives could abuse their authority, for example, by binding our subsidiary and consolidated VIEs with contracts against our interests, as we would be obligated to honor these contracts if the other contracting party acts in good faith in reliance on the apparent authority of the Group’s chops or signatures of the Group’s legal representatives. If any designated legal representative obtains control of the chop in 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 action 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 the Group’s chops and seals or other controlling intangible assets for whatever reason, the Group could experience disruption to its normal business operations. The Group may have to take corporate or legal action, which could involve significant time and resources to resolve while distracting management from the Group’s operations, and the Group’s business and operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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Risks Relating to Doing Business in China

Changes and developments in the political and economic policies of the PRC government may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations and may result in our inability to sustain the Group’s growth and expansion strategies.

Substantially all of the Group’s operations are conducted in the PRC and all of its revenue is sourced from the PRC. Accordingly, the Group’s financial condition and results of operations are affected to a significant extent by economic, political and legal developments in the PRC.

The PRC economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the extent of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. A substantial portion of productive assets in China is owned by the government. In addition, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth by allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, restricting the inflow and outflow of foreign capital, regulating financial services and institutions and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall PRC economy, but may also have a negative effect on the Group. The Group’s financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations that are applicable to the Group. The PRC government also has significant authority to exert influence on the ability of a China-based issuer, such as the Group, to conduct its business, control over securities offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investments in an issuer with substantial operations in China. The PRC government may intervene or influence the operations of an issuer with substantial operations in China, such as the Group, if such issuer is found to violate the relevant PRC laws and regulations, which could result in a material change in the Group’s operations and/or the value of our ADSs. In particular, the PRC government has recently and may in the future promulgate new laws and regulations to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in issuers with substantial operations in China. Any such regulatory oversight or control could cause the value of our ADSs to significantly decline or become worthless. See “—Changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties.” In addition, the PRC government has implemented in the past certain measures to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity, which in turn could lead to a reduction in demand for the Group’s services and consequently have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Changes and developments in the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations may subject us to uncertainties.

Substantially all of the Group’s operations are conducted in the PRC, and are governed by PRC laws, rules and regulations. Our PRC subsidiary and consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries are subject to laws, rules and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China.

The overall effect of legislation over the past decades has significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investment in China. However, the PRC legal system is still evolving rapidly, and the PRC governmental authorities may continue to promulgate new laws and regulations regulating the Group’s business. We cannot assure you that the Group’s business operations would not be deemed to violate any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, which in turn may limit or restrict the Group, and could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business and operations. In addition, rules and regulations in China can change quickly with little advance notice. Uncertainties due to evolving laws and regulations could impede the ability of a China-based issuer, such as the Group, to obtain or maintain permits or licenses required to conduct business in China. In the absence of required permits or licenses, governmental authorities could impose material sanctions or penalties on us. In addition, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, and we may not be aware of the Group’s violation of these policies and rules until after the occurrence of the violation. Furthermore, if China adopts more stringent standards with respect to environmental protection or corporate social responsibilities, the Group may incur increased compliance cost or become subject to additional restrictions in its operations.

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Furthermore, the PRC government has significant oversight and discretion over the conduct of the Group’s business and may intervene with or influence the Group’s operations as the government deems appropriate to further regulatory, political and societal goals. The PRC government has recently published new policies that significantly affected certain industries and China-based issuers, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future release regulations or policies that could adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Recent statements and regulatory actions by the PRC government, such as those related to the use of VIEs, overseas offering and listing of China-based companies, data security and anti-monopoly concerns, may give rise to regulatory restrictions on the Group’s ability to conduct its business and/or accept foreign investments. For example, certain PRC regulatory authorities issued Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities, or the Opinions, which were available to the public on July 6, 2021. The Opinions emphasize the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings of China-based companies, and propose to take effective measures, such as promoting the establishment of relevant regulatory systems for prevention and resolution of the risks and contingencies faced by China-based overseas-listed companies, amending the special provisions of the State Counsel on overseas offering and listing by companies limited by shares, and clarifying the responsibilities of administrative and regulatory authorities. Furthermore, on February 17, 2023, the CSRC promulgated the Trial Administrative Measures of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, or the Overseas Listing Trial Measures, and five supporting guidelines on the application of regulatory rules, which took effect from March 31, 2023, requiring Chinese domestic companies’ overseas offerings and listings of equity securities be filed with the CSRC. The Overseas Listing Trial Measures clarify the scope of overseas offerings and listings by Chinese domestic companies which are subject to the filing and reporting requirements thereunder, and provide, among others, that Chinese domestic companies that have already directly or indirectly offered and listed securities in overseas markets prior to the effectiveness of the Overseas Listing Trial Measures shall fulfil their filing obligations and report relevant information to the CSRC within three working days after conducting a follow-on offering of equity securities on the same overseas market, and follow the relevant reporting requirements within three working days upon the occurrence and public disclosure of any specified circumstances including (i) change of control; (ii) investigations or sanctions imposed by overseas securities regulatory agencies or other relevant competent authorities; (iii) change of listing status or transfer of listing segment; and (iv) voluntary or mandatory delisting. In addition, where the main business of an issuer undergoes material change after overseas offering and listing, and is therefore beyond the scope of business stated in the filing documents, such issuer shall follow the relevant reporting requirements within three working days after occurrence of the changes. The interpretation, implementation and enforcement of the Overseas Listing Trial Measures may be subject to changes. In addition, we cannot guarantee that new rules or regulations promulgated in the future will not impose any additional requirement on us or otherwise tighten the regulations on PRC companies seeking overseas offering or listing. If it is determined that any approval, filing or other administrative procedure from the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities is required for our previous listing or future follow-on public offering or debt financing activities, we cannot assure you that we can obtain the required approval or accomplish the required filings or other regulatory procedures in a timely manner, or at all. If we fail to obtain the relevant approval or complete the filings and other relevant regulatory procedures, we may face penalties by the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities, which may include fines and penalties on our operations in China, limitations on our operating rights in China, restrictions on or prohibition of the payments or remittance of dividends by our subsidiaries in China, or other actions that could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and prospects, as well as the trading price of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares.

In addition, any administrative and court proceedings in China may be time-consuming, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. Since PRC administrative and court authorities have certain discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection the Group enjoys. These uncertainties may impede the Group’s ability to enforce the contracts it has entered into and/or its intellectual property rights and could materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

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The M&A Rules and certain other PRC regulations establish required procedures for acquisitions conducted by foreign investors that could make it more difficult for the Group to grow through acquisitions.

On August 8, 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including the MOFCOM, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the State Administration of Taxation, the SAIC, the CSRC, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, jointly adopted the Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, which came into effect on September 8, 2006 and were amended on June 22, 2009. The M&A Rules established, among other things, additional procedures and requirements that are expected to make merger and acquisition activities in China by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. For example, the M&A rules require that the MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor takes control of a PRC domestic enterprise if (i) any important industry is concerned, (ii) such transaction involves factors that have or may have impact on the national economic security, or (iii) such transaction will lead to a change in control of a domestic enterprise which holds a famous trademark or PRC time-honored brand. The approval from the MOFCOM shall be obtained in circumstances where overseas companies established or controlled by PRC enterprises or residents acquire affiliated domestic companies. Mergers, acquisitions or contractual arrangements that allow one market player to take control of or to exert decisive impact on another market player must also be notified in advance to the anti-monopoly enforcement authority when the threshold under the Provisions on Thresholds for Prior Notification of Concentrations of Undertakings, or the Prior Notification Rules, issued by the State Council in August 2008 and most recently amended in January 2024 is triggered. In addition, the security review rules issued by the MOFCOM that became effective in September 2011 specify that mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors that raise “national defense and security” concerns and mergers and acquisitions through which foreign investors may acquire de facto control over domestic enterprises that raise “national security” concerns are subject to strict review by the MOFCOM, and the rules prohibit any activities attempting to bypass a security review, including by structuring the transaction through a proxy or contractual control arrangement. Furthermore, as required by the Measures for the Security Review of Foreign Investment, promulgated by the National Development and Reform Commission and the MOFCOM on December 19, 2020 and effective as of January 18, 2021, investments in military, national defense-related areas or in locations in proximity to military facilities, or investments that would result in acquiring the actual control of assets in certain key sectors, such as critical agricultural products, energy and resources, equipment manufacturing, infrastructure, transport, cultural products and services, information technology, internet products and services, financial services and technology sectors, are required to obtain approval from designated governmental authorities in advance. The Group may grow its business in part by acquiring other companies operating in our industry. Complying with the requirements of the new regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including approval from the MOFCOM or other governmental authorities, may delay or inhibit the Group’s ability to complete such transactions, which could affect the Group’s ability to expand its business or maintain its market share. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulations— M&A Rules and Overseas Listings.”

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Uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law and its implementing rules and how they may impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The VIE structure through contractual arrangements has been adopted by many China-based companies, including us, to obtain necessary licenses and permits in the industries that are currently subject to foreign investment restrictions in China. See “—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure” and “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure.” The MOFCOM published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law in January 2015, or the 2015 Draft FIL, according to which, variable interest entities that are controlled via contractual arrangements would also be deemed as foreign-invested entities, if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors. In March 2019, the PRC National People’s Congress promulgated the Foreign Investment Law, and in December 2019, the State Council promulgated the Implementing Rules to further clarify and elaborate the relevant provisions of the Foreign Investment Law. The Foreign Investment Law and the Implementing Rules both became effective from January 1, 2020 and replaced the major previous laws and regulations governing foreign investments in the PRC. Pursuant to the Foreign Investment Law, “foreign investments” refer to investment activities conducted by foreign investors (including foreign natural persons, foreign enterprises or other foreign organizations) directly or indirectly in the PRC, which include any of the following circumstances: (i) foreign investors setting up foreign-invested enterprises in the PRC solely or jointly with other investors, (ii) foreign investors obtaining shares, equity interests, property portions or other similar rights and interests of enterprises within the PRC, (iii) foreign investors investing in new projects in the PRC solely or jointly with other investors, and (iv) investment in other methods as specified in laws, administrative regulations, or as stipulated by the State Council. The Foreign Investment Law and the Implementing Rules do not introduce the concept of “control” in determining whether a company would be considered as a foreign-invested enterprise, nor do they explicitly provide whether the VIE structure would be deemed as a method of foreign investment. However, the Foreign Investment Law has a catch-all provision that includes into the definition of “foreign investments” made by foreign investors in China in other methods as specified in laws, administrative regulations, or as stipulated by the State Council, and as the relevant government authorities may promulgate more laws, regulations or rules on the interpretation and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the concept of “control” as stated in the 2015 Draft FIL may be embodied in, or the VIE structure adopted by us may be deemed as a method of foreign investment by, any of such future laws, regulations and rules. If our consolidated VIEs were deemed as a foreign-invested enterprise under any of such future laws, regulations and rules, and any of the businesses that the Group operates would be in any “negative list” for foreign investment and therefore be subject to any foreign investment restrictions or prohibitions, further actions required to be taken by the Group under such laws, regulations and rules may materially and adversely affect the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, if future laws, administrative regulations or provisions mandate further actions to be taken by companies with respect to existing contractual arrangements, the Group may face substantial uncertainties as to whether it can complete such actions in a timely manner, or at all. Failure to take timely and appropriate measures to cope with any of these or similar regulatory compliance challenges could materially and adversely affect the Group’s current corporate structure, business, financial condition and results of operations.

PRC regulations relating to investments in offshore companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC-resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiary to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiary or limit our PRC subsidiary’s ability to increase its registered capital or distribute profits.

PRC residents are subject to restrictions and filing requirements when investing in offshore companies. 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, or SAFE Circular 37, on July 4, 2014. 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, referred to in SAFE Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle.” Pursuant to SAFE Circular 37, “control” refers to the act through which a PRC resident obtains the right to carry out business operation of, to gain proceeds from or to make decisions on a special purpose vehicle by means of, among others, shareholding entrustment arrangement. 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 increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. In the event that a PRC shareholder holding interests in a special purpose vehicle fails to fulfill the required SAFE registration, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose vehicle may be prohibited from making profit distributions to the offshore parent 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 subsidiary. Moreover, failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of foreign exchange controls. According to the Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Policies for the Foreign Exchange Administration of Direct Investment released on February 13, 2015 by SAFE, local banks will examine and handle foreign exchange registration for overseas direct investment, including the initial foreign exchange registration and amendment registration, under SAFE Circular 37 from June 1, 2015.

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Mr. Xiaojun Zhang, Mr. Jiayuan Lin and several other beneficial owners of our ordinary shares have completed the SAFE registration pursuant to SAFE Circular 37 in 2018. We have notified substantial beneficial owners of ordinary shares who we know are PRC residents of their filing obligation and other compliance obligations relating to offshore investment. Nevertheless, we may not be aware of the identities of all of our beneficial owners who are PRC residents. We do not have control over our beneficial owners and there can be no assurance that all of our PRC-resident beneficial owners will comply with SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, and there is no assurance that the registration under SAFE Circular 37 and any amendment will be completed in a timely manner, or will be completed at all. The failure of our beneficial owners who are PRC residents to register or amend their foreign exchange registrations in a timely manner pursuant to SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, or the failure of future beneficial owners of our company who are PRC residents to comply with the registration procedures set forth in SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, may subject such beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiary to fines and legal sanctions. Failure to register or comply with relevant requirements may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital to our PRC subsidiary and limit our PRC subsidiary’s ability to distribute dividends to our company. These risks may have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding our employee share incentive plan may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

Pursuant to SAFE Circular 37, PRC residents who participate in share incentive plans in overseas non-publicly-listed companies due to their position as director, senior management or employees of the PRC subsidiaries of the overseas companies may submit applications to SAFE or its local branches for the foreign exchange registration with respect to offshore special purpose companies. Our directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC residents and who will be granted options may follow SAFE Circular 37 to apply for the foreign exchange registration before our company becomes an overseas listed company. We and our directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC residents and who have been granted options are subject to the Notice on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plan of Overseas Publicly Listed Company, issued by SAFE in February 2012, according to which, employees, directors, supervisors and other management members participating in any stock incentive plan of an overseas publicly listed company who are PRC residents are required to register with SAFE through a domestic qualified agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas listed company, and complete certain other procedures. However, there can be no assurance that they can successfully register with SAFE in full compliance with the rules. Failure to complete the SAFE registrations may subject them to fines and legal sanctions and may also limit the ability to make payment under our share incentive plan or receive dividends or sales proceeds related thereto, or our ability to contribute additional capital into our wholly-foreign owned enterprise in China and limit our wholly-foreign owned enterprise’s ability to distribute dividends to us. We also face regulatory uncertainties that could restrict our ability to adopt additional share incentive plans for our directors and employees under PRC law.

We may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiary to fund offshore cash and financing requirements. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiary to make payments to us may have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business.

We are a holding company and may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiary and on remittances from the consolidated VIEs, for our offshore cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders, fund inter-company loans, service any debt we may incur outside of China and pay our expenses. When our PRC subsidiary or the consolidated VIEs incur additional debt, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other distributions or remittances to us. Furthermore, the laws, rules and regulations applicable to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliates permit payments of dividends only out of their retained earnings, if any, determined in accordance with applicable accounting standards and regulations.

Under PRC laws, rules and regulations, enterprises incorporated in China is required to set aside at least 10% of its net income each year to fund certain statutory reserves until the cumulative amount of such reserves reaches 50% of its registered capital. These reserves, together with the registered capital, are not distributable as cash dividends. As a result of these laws, rules and regulations, our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliates are restricted in their ability to transfer a portion of their respective net assets to their shareholders as dividends, loans or advances. In addition, registered capital and capital reserve accounts are also restricted from withdrawal in the PRC, up to the amount of net assets held in each operating subsidiary.

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Limitations on the ability of our consolidated VIEs to make remittance to the wholly-foreign owned enterprise and on the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends to us could limit our ability to access cash generated by the operations of those entities, including to make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our businesses, pay dividends to our shareholders or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

We may be treated as a resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, and we may therefore be subject to PRC income tax on our global income.

Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementing rules, enterprises established under the laws of jurisdictions outside of China with “de facto management bodies” located in China may be considered PRC tax resident enterprises for tax purposes and may be subject to the PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on their global income. “De facto management body” refers to a managing body that exercises substantive and overall management and control over the production and business, personnel, accounting books and assets of an enterprise. The State Administration of Taxation issued the Notice Regarding the Determination of Chinese-Controlled Offshore-Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprises on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or Circular 82, on April 22, 2009. Circular 82 provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the “de facto management body” of a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise is located in China. Although Circular 82 only applies to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises, not those controlled by foreign enterprises or individuals, the determining criteria set forth in Circular 82 may reflect the State Administration of Taxation’s general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises. If we were to be considered a PRC resident enterprise, we would be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on our global income. In such case, our profitability and cash flow may be materially reduced as a result of our global income being taxed under the Enterprise Income Tax Law. We believe that none of our entities outside of China is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes. 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.”

Dividends paid to our foreign investors and gains on the sale of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by our foreign investors may become subject to PRC tax.

Under the Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementing rules issued by the State Council, a 10% PRC withholding tax is applicable to dividends paid to investors that are non-resident enterprises, which do not have an establishment or place of business in the PRC or which have such establishment or place of business but the dividends are not effectively connected with such establishment or place of business, to the extent such dividends are derived from sources within the PRC. Any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors is also subject to PRC tax at a current rate of 10%, if such gain is regarded as income derived from sources within the PRC. If we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends paid on our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs, and any gain realized from the transfer of our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs, would be treated as income derived from sources within the PRC and would as a result be subject to PRC taxation. Furthermore, if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends paid to individual investors who are non-PRC residents and any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors may be subject to PRC tax (which in the case of dividends may be withheld at source) at a rate of 20%. Any PRC tax liability may be reduced by an applicable tax treaty. However, if we or any of our subsidiaries established outside China are considered a PRC resident enterprise, it is unclear whether holders of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares would be able to claim the benefit of income tax treaties or agreements entered into between China and other countries or areas. If dividends paid to our non-PRC investors, or gains from the transfer of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors, are deemed as income derived from sources within the PRC and thus are subject to PRC tax, the value of your investment in our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares may decline significantly.

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We and our shareholders face uncertainties with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises or other assets attributed to a Chinese establishment of a non-Chinese company, or immovable properties located in China owned by non-Chinese companies.

On February 3, 2015, the State Administration of Taxation issued the Bulletin on Issues of Enterprise Income Tax on Indirect Transfers of Assets by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or Bulletin 7. Pursuant to this Bulletin 7, an “indirect transfer” of assets, including non-publicly traded equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise, by non-PRC resident enterprises may be re-characterized and treated as a direct transfer of PRC taxable assets, if such arrangement does not have a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of avoiding payment of PRC enterprise income tax. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax. According to Bulletin 7, “PRC taxable assets” include assets attributed to an establishment in China, immovable properties located in China, and equity investments in PRC resident enterprises, in respect of which gains from their transfer by a direct holder, being a non-PRC resident enterprise, would be subject to PRC enterprise income taxes. When determining whether there is a “reasonable commercial purpose” of the transaction arrangement, features to be taken into consideration include: whether the main value of the equity interest of the relevant offshore enterprise derives from PRC taxable assets; whether the assets of the relevant offshore enterprise mainly consists of direct or indirect investment in China or if its income mainly derives from China; whether the offshore enterprise and its subsidiaries directly or indirectly holding PRC taxable assets have real commercial nature which is evidenced by their actual function and risk exposure; the duration of existence of the business model and organizational structure; the replicability of the transaction by direct transfer of PRC taxable assets; and the tax situation of such indirect transfer and applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements. In respect of an indirect offshore transfer of assets of a PRC establishment, the resulting gain is to be included with the enterprise income tax filing of the PRC establishment or place of business being transferred and would consequently be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%. Where the underlying transfer relates to the immovable properties located in China or to equity investments in a PRC resident enterprise, which is not related to a PRC establishment or place of business of a non-resident enterprise, a PRC enterprise income tax of 10% would apply, subject to available preferential tax treatment under applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements, and the party who is obligated to make the transfer payments has the withholding obligation. Bulletin 7 does not apply to transactions of sale of shares by investors through a public stock exchange where such shares were acquired from a transaction through a public stock exchange. On October 17, 2017, the State Administration of Taxation promulgated the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues Concerning the Withholding of Non-resident Enterprise Income Tax at Source, or SAT Circular 37, which became effective on December 1, 2017. SAT Circular 37, among other things, simplified procedures of withholding and payment of income tax levied on non-resident enterprises.

We face uncertainties as to the reporting and other implications of certain past and future transactions where PRC taxable assets are involved, such as offshore restructuring, sale of the shares in our offshore subsidiaries or investments. Our company may be subject to filing obligations or taxed if our company is transferor in such transactions and may be subject to withholding obligations if our company is transferee in such transactions under Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37. For transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiary may be requested to assist in the filing under Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these circulars, or to establish that our company should not be taxed under these circulars, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to restrictions on currency exchange.

All of the Group’s revenue is denominated in Renminbi. Under current PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, such as profit distributions and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from the SAFE, by complying with certain procedural requirements. Currently, our PRC subsidiary may purchase foreign currency for settlement of “current account transactions,” including payment of dividends to us, by complying with certain procedural requirements. However, the relevant PRC governmental authorities may limit or eliminate our ability to purchase foreign currencies in the future for current account transactions. Foreign exchange transactions under the capital account remain subject to limitations and require approvals from, or registration with, SAFE and other relevant PRC governmental authorities. Since a significant amount of the Group’s future revenue and cash flow will be denominated in Renminbi, any existing and future restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to utilize cash generated in Renminbi to fund our business activities outside of the PRC or pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs, and may limit our ability to obtain foreign currency through debt or equity financing for our onshore subsidiary and consolidated VIEs.

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PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may restrict or prevent us from using the proceeds of the initial public offering to make loans to our PRC subsidiary and our consolidated VIEs, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary.

In utilizing the proceeds of our initial public offering, we, as an offshore holding company, are permitted under PRC laws and regulations to provide funding to our PRC subsidiary, which is treated as a foreign-invested enterprise under PRC laws, through loans or capital contributions. However, loans by us to our PRC subsidiary to finance its activities cannot exceed statutory limits and must be registered with the local counterpart of SAFE and capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary are subject to the requirement of making necessary filings in the Foreign Investment Comprehensive Management Information System, and registration with other governmental authorities in China.

SAFE promulgated the Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming the Administration of Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or Circular 19, effective on June 1, 2015, in replacement of the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues Concerning the Improvement of the Administration of the Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 142, the Notice from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Relevant Issues Concerning Strengthening the Administration of Foreign Exchange Businesses, or Circular 59, and the Circular on Further Clarification and Regulation of the Issues Concerning the Administration of Certain Capital Account Foreign Exchange Businesses, or Circular 45. According to Circular 19, the flow and use of the RMB capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested company is regulated such that RMB capital may not be used for the issuance of RMB entrusted loans, the repayment of inter-enterprise loans or the repayment of banks loans that have been transferred to a third party. Although Circular 19 allows RMB capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise to be used for equity investments within the PRC, it also reiterates the principle that RMB converted from the foreign currency-denominated capital of a foreign-invested company may not be directly or indirectly used for purposes beyond its business scope. Thus, it is unclear whether SAFE will permit such capital to be used for equity investments in the PRC in actual practice. SAFE promulgated the Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming and Standardizing the Foreign Exchange Settlement Management Policy of Capital Account, or Circular 16, effective on June 9, 2016 and amended in December 2023, which reiterates some of the rules set forth in Circular 19, but changes the prohibition against using RMB capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested company to issue RMB entrusted loans to a prohibition against using such capital to issue loans to non-associated enterprises. Violations of SAFE Circular 19 and Circular 16 could result in administrative penalties. Circular 19 and Circular 16 may significantly limit our ability to transfer any foreign currency we hold, including the net proceeds from our initial public offering, to our PRC subsidiary, which may adversely affect the Group’s liquidity and our ability to fund and expand the Group’s business in the PRC.

Due to the restrictions imposed on loans in foreign currencies extended to any PRC domestic companies, we are not likely to make such loans to our consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries, each a PRC domestic company. Meanwhile, we are not likely to finance the activities of our consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries by means of capital contributions given the restrictions on foreign investment in the businesses that are currently conducted by our consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries.

In light of the various requirements imposed by PRC regulations on loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies, we cannot assure you that we will be able to complete the necessary government registrations or obtain the necessary government approvals on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future loans to our PRC subsidiary or consolidated VIEs or future capital contributions by us to our PRC subsidiary. As a result, uncertainties exist as to our ability to provide prompt financial support to our PRC subsidiary or consolid