That's disappointing... I was having issues opening C4D Lite in AE22 and jumped through hoops to get it to work. Now that it's working I come to discover that I can't import .ai files directly. WTH?
The workaround I found is that I can use an old version of AE (AE2018) to open and old version of C4D Lite (R19), use Merge Objects to import .AI there, save it, and then use AE22/C4D R25 to open and edit in. Not sure why I'm even bothering going through all of that but I was hoping to get familiar with the latest version of these apps.