Why this autonomous vehicle veteran joined a legged robotics startup

Zhang Li‘s career path has looked like a bellwether for China’s tech trends. When the Cisco veteran joined WeRide in 2018, the Chinese autonomous vehicle company was less than a year old. In the next few years, the country would become a breeding ground for three AV unicorns, including WeRide, of which valuation surged to $4.4 billion last year.
Zhang’s resignation from WeRide in June, three months after the company filed confidentially for an IPO, came as a surprise to some people. But as we learned about his next step, it became evident that his decision was driven by …