The Chinese tech-giant Xiaomi has officially confirmed its plans to enter the smart electric vehicle business. It will be investing RMB 10 billion (roughly $1.55 billion) initially in the first phase. Setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary, the company plans to increase the investment to a total of $10 billion over the next ten years.
According to several media reports, the Xiaomi Corporation had been planning to enter the smart mobility business. As per reports, the company will be working with the Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors and also use its manufacturing facility. The latter also has an electric car under the Ora badging, showcased last year in India at the Auto Expo 2020. However, in a regulatory filing, Great Wall indicated that it had not discussed such a partnership with Xiaomi.
Xiaomi has also confirmed that CEO Lei Jun will also serve as the CEO of the new smart electric vehicle business. It added, “Xiaomi hopes to offer quality smart electric vehicles to let everyone in the world enjoy smart living anytime, anywhere.”
The company’s foray into mobility solutions does not come as a surprise as an increasing number of tech companies of late have confirmed their plans to build electric vehicles. Baidu, a Chinese tech company, announced its collaboration in January 2021 with Geely to build an Android-based electric car in the next three years. In another example, Huawei also announced a tie-up with Changan Automobile to manufacture its EV.
It’s not just Chinese tech companies that are jumping into the electric vehicle bandwagon. The largest company in the world (in terms of market valuation), Apple, also confirmed its plans to build a battery-powered electric vehicle in December 2020.
As per McKinsey’s analysis of the global electric vehicles market, EV sales rose 65 percent from 2017 to 2018, and in 2019, around 2.3 million units were sold.
Apart from the electric vehicle, Xiaomi has announced a new foldable smartphone Mi Mix Fold, a new fitness bands Mi Band 6, and a new range of premium laptops, Mi Laptop Pro.