Nio CEO says phone business is in research stage
Nio co-founder and CEO William Li.

Asian Tech Press (Mar. 31) -- CEO of Chinese electric carmaker Nio Inc. (NYSE:NIO) said the company's smartphone business is in the research stage.

William Li Bin, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Nio, responded to rumors of making smartphones in an interview that it is still in the research stage.

Nio's original intention to make phones may have come from its electric car users. In the interview, Li said that feedback from Nio customers on whether they could have a phone that connects better with their electric vehicles prompted Nio to look into the industry.

Li believed that even if Nio were to make phones, it is not thinking in terms of commercial success, but whether users need an Nio phone and whether the phone can enhance experience of Nio consumers.

"We will actively look at this direction and are clear that it is easy to make a phone, but it is challenging to do it well," Li stressed.

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