Electric vehicle maker NIO is taking a stand against alleged misinformation that was spread on Chinese social media platforms. Similar to fellow EV maker Tesla, which has taken a hardline approach to inaccurate reports, NIO has taken the legal route to counter misinformation that has reportedly harmed the company.
As per local reports, NIO has filed a lawsuit against Cheshiji, a popular vlogger with 6.5 million followers on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok. NIO has accused the influencer of spreading false information and damaging its reputation. The EV maker is demanding a public apology on the vlogger’s Douyin homepage and compensation of RMB 2 million ($290,000).
In a video from June last year, Cheshiji alleged that the EV maker was discriminating against Chinese consumers because its flagship ES8 SUV was priced significantly higher in China compared to Norway. The vlogger noted that the ES8 was priced at RMB 470,000 to RMB 630,000 ($68,000 to $91,000) in China, but it only has an approximate price tag of RMB 410,000 ($59,000) to RMB 460,000 ($66,500) in Norway.
NIO noted that the vlogger’s comparison was incorrect, especially since Norway exempts EVs from import duties and value-added tax. NIO also noted that the prices for China mentioned by the vlogger included the cost of the ES8’s battery, while the prices listed for Norway did not. Despite this, the video gained over 330,000 likes, which the company argued had a severe negative impact on its brand reputation.
NIO maintained that the base prices of its vehicles are generally the same worldwide. The company noted that the difference in costs lies in factors such as shipping costs, local taxes, and operating costs in different regions.
This was not the first time that NIO ended up defending itself against misinformation. In a similar case last month, another Douyin vlogger, Laotan Shuoche, was ordered to apologize and pay damages to NIO for spreading false information. The influencer was found guilty of violating NIO’s reputation rights. The influencer was required to post an apology on his channel and pay damages of RMB 80,000 (about $11,500).
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