CEO said the company will fight back against organized crimes, as Li Mega's design has been hit with an avalanche of negative comments over the past few days.

(A picture of the Li Mega shown on the Li Auto website.)

The CEO of Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) vowed to fight back against possible criminal behavior as the company's first battery electric vehicle (BEV) model, the Li Mega, was hit with an avalanche of negative Internet comments that threatened to drive away potential customers.

"To the users and friends of Li Auto, what happened in the past 10 days should be clear to everyone," Li Xiang, the company's founder, chairman and CEO, wrote in its personal WeChat status today.

"For those organized illegal and criminal acts, we are already dealing with them by legal means," he said.

Li didn't explicitly mention what it was about, but apparently, he was referring to the verbal attacks on the Li Mega MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) after the model was launched.

Li Auto officially launched the Li Mega on March 1, and it's currently only available in the Max trim, with a starting price of RMB 559,800 ($77,840), making it Li Auto's highest-priced model currently on sale.

The Li Mega looks like the locomotive of a Chinese high-speed rail, a unique design that aims to reduce wind resistance for better range.

The Li Mega's wind resistance is just 0.215, about the same as a coupe, Li Auto said.

The model boasts a CLTC range of 710 kilometers powered by a 102.7-kWh battery pack and can get a 500-kilometer range on a 12-minute charge, according to the company.

However, the rear design of the Li Mega has been described by many on Chinese social media as resembling a coffin, an analogy that is negative for a car where safety is important.

In the first few days of the Li Mega's launch, this analogy was only spread to a small extent. But over the past few days, more and more people have been making fun of the model, and the comment sections of Li Auto's livestreams on social media platforms, including Douyin, have been flooded with similar remarks.

Li Auto has repeatedly said that the company is confident that the Li Mega will be the top seller in the market for cars priced at RMB 500,000 and above.

Li Mega is going to challenge monthly sales of 8,000 units after its launch, the company's senior vice president Zou Liangjun said in a January 12 interview with local media.

However, according to several local media reports, fewer than 4,000 orders were placed for the Li Mega in the first 72 hours after its launch, and Li Auto has so far not announced the number of firm orders for the model.

The model's future has become even more worrisome in the past few days as negative comments surrounding the Li Mega's appearance have erupted.

"Though in darkness, we still choose light," Li wrote in his WeChat status.

"If I choose to give in to the darkness, or even join it, then I and those around me will become what we hate, and the society we are in will get darker and darker," he said.

"After much deliberation, we decided to start fighting back and countering the darkness with light," Li said.

Li Auto began deliveries of the Li Mega today, and there are already images on Chinese social media of owners sharing their deliveries of the model, although Li Auto has yet to officially announce the start of deliveries.

($1 = RMB 7.1917)

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