Chinese electric vehicle company NIO officially announced Thursday that it will enter Norway, its first stop to test the waters of overseas markets. Speaking with the media before the launch, NIO founder, chairman and CEO William Li commented on China's increasingly crowded electric vehicle industry.
"Whether or not NIO qualifies for the final round, we don't know yet, but some conclusions will start to emerge by about 2024," he said.
In Li's view, competition in China's electric vehicle industry is an endless game, and there is no day when NIO can relax.
The industry is now increasingly crowded in China, with a slew of tech companies, including Baidu and Xiaomi, announcing their entry into the car-making space, which is set to intensify competition.
Li believes that for Chinese entrepreneurs, they will face many competitors in all industries. "We welcome more competition, which is positive and reflects the dynamism of the industry," he said.
There may be some overheating in some areas of the industry, but the gathering of more talent and capital is a good thing, he said.
Starting a business in China's smart electric vehicle industry is fortunate, and the Chinese government has long-term goals and is committed to promoting carbon neutrality, according to Li.
China has a complete industry chain and the world's largest auto market, he said, adding that local Chinese brands are very competitive, "I focused on local Chinese brands at the Shanghai auto show, such as the Kivi EV."
Chinese vehicles are already excellent in many ways, and relying on such a market, NIO can be very confident, Li said.
For NIO, the company has grown to more than 9,000 full-time employees, but still hasn't reached its peak in 2019, when it was close to 10,000, he said, adding that NIO's staff is now primarily in R&D and user services.