William Li, The Chinese Elon Musk, Revolutionizes The Electric Car

They say that we all have a double in some part of the world, in some cases it is obvious (the Oslen twins, for example), and in others you have to use a little imagination. In this last group we can include Elon Musk . Is there a person who physically looks like the CEO of Tesla ? I do not know. Is there a person who looks like you in business? Yes.

It’s about William Li . His name may not say much at first glance and the vast majority of people most likely have to google it to find out who we are talking about. If they do, they will discover that it is the founder and current CEO of NIO , the Asian manufacturer of electric cars, popularly known as the Chinese Tesla.

Li founded NIO in 2014 and since then it has not stopped growing, to such an extent that it currently has a market capitalization of $ 50 billion . This figure has allowed it to position itself as the leading brand of this type of vehicle in the Asian market, surpassing Xpeng (39.28 billion) and Li Auto (33.2 billion).

The path Li has had to travel to get here has not been easy. In fact, the company is not in a good financial situation, so much so that it has declared losses in all the years. In 2020 it registered red numbers worth 5.300 million dollars, half that in 2019, when it lost 11.287 million, its annus horribilis .

An annus horribilis that William Li seems to dodge, indeed, is one of the greatest fortunes in China . Bloomberg estimates its capital at 5.7 billion dollars, although it is still a long way from the 73.9 billion of Zhong Shanshan, president of the Nongfu Spring, and the 49.2 billion of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Despite his multimillion-dollar assets, the falls in NIO’s stock in recent months (more than 30% so far this year) have expelled him from the list prepared by Bloomberg that brings together the richest men in the world. world.

The origin of his fortune
His wealth comes not only from NIO, throughout his business career he has founded around 40 companies . Like Bitauto, a company focused on the automotive world but on marketing and digital content that saw the light in 2018 under Li’s command. He was its president until 2020. Add to that list also Uxin Ltd, a Beijing-based company that operates as a nationwide used car dealer in China. Li is its current director.

Li’s big entrepreneurial moment came in September 2018 when NIO began trading on Wall Street at $ 6.26 a share, and the initial public offering (IPO) brought the company’s valuation to $ 6.4 billion . Three years later, its securities are trading nearly 500% higher, at $ 39.31 and its market capitalization exceeds $ 64.41 billion. Some increases that will go further if the estimates of the Bloomberg analyst consensus are heeded, which predict a revaluation of 52% for the next twelve months.

“NIO could be the next Tesla”

Despite the fact that in recent years there have been countless occasions in which NIO has been compared to Tesla and William Li to Elon Musk, the Asian company has always tried to disengage and has explained on more than one occasion that its objective is not to fight against the American. Although this is still far from happening, more and more analysts are predicting this surprise .

“NIO could be the next Tesla”, this is how blunt they are from Investors Alley. Confidence in NIO despite huge losses is based on car delivery data. Only in September it delivered 10,628 vehicles, 125% more than in the same period of the previous year. And during the three months of the summer (June, July and August) the figure was 24,439 vehicles, 100% more than during the same months of 2020.

Analysts like Li more than Musk
And these figures will continue to increase in the coming months, in fact, Li has a very clear goal to achieve: to enter the European market. And you know how you want to do it: through Norway. He made it clear in early May when he took to a stage in Shanghai and uttered two words: “Norway 2021”, in this way the founder of NIO virtually introduced his new team from Oslo.

The reality is that analysts like Li more than Musk, or rather, they like NIO more than Tesla. 87% of analysts who follow the Asian in Bloomberg recommend buying their titles compared to 48% who advise buying those of Tesla. More striking is the number of pessimists. Only 3% say that it is the best time to remove the Asian from the portfolio compared to 28% in the North American. The difference is that the Asian will not reach the moon.

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