Smartphone giant Xiaomi joins China's red-hot EV business
Updated 13:13, 02-Sep-2021
The Xiaomi logo at a Xiaomi shop in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2021. /Reuters

The Xiaomi logo at a Xiaomi shop in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2021. /Reuters

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi said on Wednesday it has completed the official business registration for its electric vehicle (EV) unit, a milestone in its push into the country's automotive sector. 

The new unit, to be called Xiaomi EV, was registered in Beijing and opened with a registered capital of 10 billion yuan ($1.55 billion) and Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun as its legal representative, Xiaomi said in a statement. 

Some 300 employees have so far been hired for the EV unit and it continues to recruit talent, it said. 

The smartphone maker, which surpassed Apple to become the world's second top-selling brand behind Samsung in the second quarter of 2021, confirmed its foray into the EV sector in March, pledging to invest $10 billion over the next 10 years. 

"I am willing to put all my personal reputation on the line and fight for the future of our smart electric vehicle," Lei said in March when he announced the EV plans. 

The chairman said at the time that the push into EV would mark his "last major entrepreneurial project." 

China has become the world's biggest electric car market in the past decade. Data shows that China's EV sales increased 8 percent to 1.3 million units in 2020, compared with 2019. The country exported 41 percent of the total sales worldwide. 

The EV sales will reach about 9 million units in China by 2030, representing an annual growth rate of 24 percent, according to a forecast by consultancy McKinsey. 

Xiaomi said on Wednesday it has since conducted more than 2,000 interview surveys and visited over 10 industry peers and partners. However, it has revealed few details of its strategy for the automotive sector or vehicle types it intends to launch. 

Last week, the company said it purchased autonomous driving technology startup DeepMotion for over $77 million to boost its research and development. 

Earlier in August, Reuters reported that Xiaomi had entered talks with beleaguered real estate giant Evergrande Group to purchase a stake in the latter's automotive unit. 

(With input from Reuters) 

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