GAC NIO on Dec. 31 posted on its official Weibo account that it became the first auto company in China to accept Bitcoin as payment for vehicle purchases.
Soon after the announcement, the company revised the statement, changing “Bitcoin” into “digital currency.” As for the poster, the Bitcoin logo remained the same while the company only altered “accepting Bitcoin” to “accepting digital yuan.”
Later, the company removed both posts, denying any of the two payments.
Established in 2018, GAC NIO was a company jointly founded by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Group) and NYSE-listed electric vehicle manufacturer Shanghai NIO Auto Co., Ltd. (NIO).
The two sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement with a total investment of 1.28 billion yuan and registered capital of 500 million yuan to focus on research and development, sales and services of intelligent connected new energy vehicles (NEVs) under the brand GAC NIO. GAC Group and NIO respectively own 45% and 55% of the new company.
Since many netizens mixed NIO with GAC NIO, EV maker NIO posted on Weibo to steer clear from the rumor, stating that the company never had any plan for customers to purchase cars with Bitcoin.
NIO also explained in the post’s comment section that GAC NIO is a jointly invested but independently operating company, and NIO only plays the role of an investor.
Chinese cryptocurrency miners Huobi Mall and BTC.TOP announced on Sunday that they have suspended their operations on mainland China after the country escalated its crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading activities, contributing to a slump in the cryptocurrency markets.