Chinese tech company Xiaomi - primarily known for its budget smartphones has finally gone official with its electric vehicle venture. The company has announced that it has completed the official formalities and has set up a new business entity called Xiaomi EV Inc.
Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun has announced that he will be in charge of the new business unit and the company has invested $1.5 billion (or 10 billion CNY). According to Jun, this new business entity will be his last major entrepreneurial project.
Xiaomi has reportedly (opens in new tab) hired over 300 employees for the new business unit and plans to spend over $1.5 billion in the next 10 years in the electronic vehicle business. Lei Jun was recently quoted saying, “I am willing to put all my personal reputation on the line and fight for the future of our smart electric vehicle,” suggesting how serious the brand is about making an impact in affordable electric vehicles.
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In line with the plans, the company has already acquired Deepmotion – a startup that focuses on autonomous driving technology for $77.4 million. This acquisition will give Xiaomi a headstart in this fast-paced industry. The company even held talks with Evergrande Group to buy the latter's EV business, however, those talks didn’t result in a positive outcome.
Apart from Xiaomi, a handful of tech companies are looking to venture into the electric vehicles business. This includes Apple, Huawei, Baidu etc. with Tesla that has established itself as a market leader already. Though Xiaomi, unlike most, is looking to make an impact in the small car segment – which could be affordable and feature-rich.
As per reports, Xiaomi has been busy researching zero-emission vehicles for the last few months and is in talks with several automakers, however, is yet to decide the manufacturing partner for its electric vehicle business.
Xiaomi’s decision to announce the new venture also comes at a time when its core business is at an all-time high. The company after piping Apple initially and later Samsung to become the world’s number one smartphone brand. The company also announced that its revenues and net profits have increased by 64% and 87.4% respectively.
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