We expect that most people in the United States, Canada and Europe have never heard the name William Li or the name of his most recent company Nio, but we are sure you will in the near future.

Here is our two minute biography brief bio of William Li:

Like Elon Musk, Mr. Li is a serial entrepreneur who is successful with disruptive tech.  Nio makes EV’s in China with the quality of Land Rover.  Nio’s most interesting differentiator is that their vehicles provide battery swapping options.  You can charge the battery if you want, or you can replace it by driving in a small container sized building in the corner of a parking lot, in about 7 minutes.

Li grew up in rural Chinese village that was so poor, it did not have electricity until he was 10 years old.  By the time he was 17 he pulled the highest score in Peking University’s National Entrance Exam and went on to get a Law, Sociology, AND Computer Science undergrad degree while working dozens of part time jobs.

By the year 2000, he had already founded two companies, the most notable of which is BitAuto that promotes and sells used cars in the same way AutoTrader.com does in Canada and the US.  He turned BitAuto from a money losing, debt laden firm to a multi-billion dollar company and in 2010 at the age of 36, he listed BitAuto on the NYSE.  In 2017 he took his car finance company public on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Founded in 2014 with big money from TenCent, Xiaomi and JD.com some of Li’s personal billions, Nio setup in Munich, London San Jose and Shanghai.  By 2015, Nio had won the Formula E racing championship and was producing the worlds fastest autonomous supercar In June 2019, Nio’s stock was at $2 a share but just like Tesla’s meteoric rise, by January of 2021 Nio is at $62 a share and they are producing and selling the ES6 and ES8 EV SUV’s and the EC6 EV sedan, all battery swap capable.

Nio is worth more than GM, Ford or Mercedes.

Today, instead of being compared to Elon Musk, many compare him to Steve Jobs because of his steady determined hand and incredible focus on detail.  He certainly differs from Jobs in that he is not stuck on his own persona and usually rides the train in economy class.  He owns only a 500 square foot apartment for his kids to be near their school, because he does not want property to distract him from his goals.

 


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