Beijing government officials have visited GAC NIO to discuss plans for investment with the company's founder and CEO Liao Bing, according to Auto-time, adding that if negotiations go well, GAC NIO's headquarters or new production base is expected to be relocated to Beijing.
The report cited sources close to Liao as saying that GAC NIO executives, including Liao, had previously approached local governments several times to seek financing, including Zhejiang and Henan. This time, Beijing government personnel took the initiative to visit GAC NIO's home base, which means that both sides have a strong intention to cooperate.
According to Chinese technology blog iFanr, GAC NIO did not immediately deny the news, only saying that it is not allowed to disclose too many details at this stage. The company said there will be a formal disclosure in the next month that will involve a relatively large deal.
Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Guangzhou, GAC NIO is a car brand that is a joint venture between state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group and new carmaker NIO. Among them, Guangzhou Automobile and NIO systems each hold 45 percent of the shares and are the main shareholders of GAC NIO, with GAC NIO holding only 10 percent.
Auto-time quoted a GAC NIO insider as saying that the financing required a vote by both shareholders. At present, GAC NIO's financing is still in the angel round.
The fever of capital chasing new car makers has cooled down, but many local governments are still actively looking for partners. Hefei chose NIO, Wenzhou took WM Motor, and Zhaoqing attracted XPeng to build a factory.
Now the Beijing government is interested in throwing an olive branch to GAC NIO, which means that GAC NIO's financing journey may take a key step.
In addition to the local government, GAC NIO has also contacted several financial institutions. Previously, China Times reported that GAC NIO has made substantial contact with Beijing Financial Holding Group Co.
In addition to possible new developments at the capital level, GAC NIO may also welcome new partners at the product level.
The Auto-time report says that GAC has recently reached a strategic cooperation with Baidu, which provides an opportunity for GAC NIO to cooperate with the search giant. "The company is currently in contact with the Baidu team, and it may become an important part of the future product strategy," GAC NIO insiders said.