Li said in a short video on Douyin that he took test rides and test drove the first model of the Onvo brand on the factory campus.

(William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Nio, shows the interior space of the Onvo sub-brand's first model in a short video on Douyin.)

William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Nio (NYSE: NIO), showed off the interior of the first model of the company's sub-brand Onvo (乐道, Ledao in Chinese) in a short video as he begins to try to reach out to potential customers more through social media platforms.

Li said in a video today on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, that he took test rides and test drove the first model of the Onvo brand on the factory campus.

With four people inside, Li said he couldn't show too many details, but showed the space in the second row of the model.

Li is 180 centimeters tall, and his video shows the model's spacious interior in the second row.


On March 13, two spy photos of the Onvo L60 circulated widely on Chinese social media, bringing the name of the Nio sub-brand to light.

The next day, March 14, Nio confirmed the Onvo name during a media Q&A following its long-life battery strategy launch in Beijing, saying that the brand's official launch is expected to be in early to mid-May.

Li explained at the time why the Chinese name is Ledao, and re-emphasized that the sub-brand will target the family market.

The Onvo L60 will be a direct competitor to 's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model Y. Li said in a user communication on March 2 in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, that those who recently wish to buy a Model Y can wait a little while, as the sub-brand's first model will certainly be cheaper.

Li didn't provide much more information about the model in the short video, but shared more details about his first live stream on the evening of March 14 in Douyin.

The livestream generated RMB 33,088 ($4,600) in user donations, all of which will be donated to the Formula Student program, he said.

He and Fu Yuwu, honorary chairman of the China Society of Automotive Engineers, launched the program in 2009, and to date, nearly 300 teams from more than two hundred universities have participated, Li said.

The program has provided a lot of expertise to the Chinese automotive industry, Li said.

Li's explanation was intended to clear up recent rumors that he had earned about RMB 1.3 million yuan in donations from his first live stream on Douyin.

Li is not an active user of social media, but he seems to be increasing his experimentation with these new platforms.

He has 561,000 followers on Weibo, but makes almost no personal comments.

On Douyin, he gained more than 100,000 followers after completing his first live stream, and has 233,000 followers as of today.

($1 = RMB 7.1991)

Nio to officially launch Onvo brand in May, explains meaning of name