Chairman Wang Chuanfu was seen visiting an House campus and walking with William Li, sparking new rumors of a possible partnership between the two.

There were rumors late last year that NIO (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) might partner with BYD, and now a picture circulating on Chinese social media has renewed those rumors.

BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu showed up at an NIO House campus and was accompanied by William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, according to an image shared by Ouyang Chen, founder of local automotive media ddxq.tech, on his Weibo.

"Curious what they'll be talking about over dinner ......," the auto blogger, who has about 1.23 million followers on Weibo, said.

(BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu (first from right) and William Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO, talk at an NIO campus.)

The blogger did not provide any more information, including which city the NIO House is located in.
But CnEVPost recognized the man on the far left in the picture as an executive at the JAC-NIO Hefei manufacturing facility, which he gave us a tour of on December 5, 2020.

The following picture was also taken during our visit to the campus, and the building also confirms that the location is the NIO House in the JAC-NIO Hefei manufacturing base.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

In the comments section of the blogger's Weibo, several users speculated that Wang and Li might be talking about battery cooperation.

On December 23 last year, local technology media 36kr reported that NIO staff frequently appeared at BYD, and the two sides were negotiating business cooperation.

NIO was in deep contact with BYD, and the two sides were at the end of discussions about cooperation on the former's sub-brand, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The report did not provide more information about the NIO sub-brand or what the partnership would look like, but hinted that the move comes at a time when several Chinese car companies are looking to diversify their battery suppliers.

BYD's blade batteries are already favored by many leading car companies, and not only was 's partnership with BYD about to be finalized, but NIO was also in deep contact with BYD, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.