The Latest: Autonomous truck driving technology company TuSimple (TSP.US) said on Wednesday it is “evaluating strategic alternatives for its U.S. business.”

Looking Up: Such language typically means TuSimple is exploring the possible sale of its U.S. business. Such a sale could provide the company with cash to fund its remaining money-losing operations, mostly in China.

Take Note: TuSimple’s U.S. business is more advanced and closer to potential commercialization than its China business. Thus, a sale of the U.S. business could delay TuSimple’s commercialization of its autonomous-driving technology by several years.

Digging Deeper: TuSimple is one of the world’s leading developers of autonomous driving technology for trucks, but has encountered a number of difficulties over the last two years. The company was investigated by the U.S. national security regulator two years ago over its China ties. More recently, its executive ranks fell into turmoil last year after its board fired one of the company’s co-founders for failure to disclose his dealings with another Chinese autonomous driving technology company. The sale of the U.S. business could address the national security concerns. 

Market Reaction: TuSimple’s U.S.-listed shares were down 4.5% in early Thursday trade in New York after the announcement. The shares now trade in the middle of their 52-week range.

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Reporting by Doug Young

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