The United States prides itself on being a free economy that provides equal opportunities for all, however, this perception is seemingly not shared by Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio, Inc. (NASDAQ:NIO).
“The world should be more open and stop politicizing business,” said Nio’s CEO William Li in an interview with the Financial Times. The executive said he sees a radical change in the global political climate since the time Nio was set up in 2015, adding the pandemic further stirred up “division and antagonism.”
Li questions why, despite Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk receiving a “red-carpet treatment” from Chinese officials during his visit in June, Chinese companies encounter obstacles when trying to market their high-tech vehicles in the U.S.
“Chinese consumers have a wide range of [new energy vehicles] to choose from. Why can’t these products be enjoyed by U.S. consumers as well?” he asked.
Li also rejected claims that the success of domestic startups in China has to do with rising patriotism among younger Chinese consumers. “Chinese consumers are just like consumers everywhere around the world, they focus on quality,” he said.
The Nio CEO warns that foreign brands unable to keep up with Chinese innovation could find themselves in a “dangerous situation.”
Nio is among the electric vehicle startups in China that have carved a niche for their vehicles among consumers. The company has popularized its “battery-swapping” service in China, thereby making its cars affordable to consumers.
With the competition in the domestic market heating up, a newer breed of NEV manufacturers are eyeing global expansion. Nio for one has started selling cars in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands. So have others, including Warren Buffett-backed BYD Company Ltd. (OTC:BYDDY) (OTC:BYDDF) and XPeng, Inc. (NYSE:XPEV).
Nio currently has its North American headquarters and advanced research and innovation center in San Jose, California.
China is set to overtake Japan as the biggest exporters of car this year after wresting the second position from Germany in 2022, the FT report said.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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