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William Li (李斌)

Founder & CEO



Founder & CEO











What makes William Li a Global Shaker?

William Li (李斌) is the founder, CEO and chairman of NIO, China’s answer to Tesla. Known as the “Elon Musk of China,” he founded NIO in 2014, which has since raised $2.1 billion through four rounds of funding. NIO filed an IPO at the New York Stock Exchange in 2018.

The company started taking orders for its first car, an electric SUV, in December 2017. The company’s second car, the EP9, is a track day car (two-door coupe) that can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.7 seconds. It has set multiple record lap times for an electronic car. The automobile manufacturer owns its own Formula E team as well and has participated in the FIA Formula E Championship since its inauguration. NIO’s third car, a 5-seater SUV, was put into production in 2019.

William is a serial entrepreneur and has co-founded and invested in dozens of companies in the internet and automotive industries. In 2000, he founded Bituato, a leading internet content and marketing services provider for the automotive industry in China.

Born in Anhui, China, he received a bachelor’s in sociology at Peking University, where he also took classes in law. During his studies, he founded Beijing Antarctic Technology Development Co., which was one of the earliest internet companies in China.

In 2017, William received several awards as one of the top businessmen in China, such as GQ China Entrepreneur of the Year, China Automobile Dealers Association Person of the Year, and Top 10 Economic Personages of China.

Last updated: April 23, 2019