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The Xiaomi car may not be what you think it is

Xiaomi's announcement of its first car, the Speed Ultra 7 (SU7), attracted discussions on its price, technology and the phonemaker's future.

Some of the leaked details seem solid, while many others, according to Xiaomi, are not well-founded.

Infographics of Xiaomi's main suppliers began circulating on the Chinese-language internet not long after the company's December press release. But the information is not that trustworthy.

"After verifying, [we found] at least 50 percent of the content is absolutely wrong," Xiaomi posted on Chinese microblog service Weibo on Tuesday. "We are deeply confused to see such misleading information."

Xiaomi didn't specify which part of the content is correct or incorrect.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the Beijing-based smartphone giant, commented under the Weibo post saying, "There are many untrue rumors and defamation about Xiaomi cars and we will clarify things timely."

High-end goal vs. mid-range history

It's been more than a thousand days since Chinese phonemaker Xiaomi announced it is entering the car market and the company has yet to sell a car.

Lei proclaimed that Xiaomi aims to become a global top-five carmaker in 15 to 20 years, building cars of the same quality as Tesla and Porsche.

Such a bold claim attracted much attention, considering the company's history of making mid-range and cost-effective smartphones.

"Let's be friends and set the base price at 1,999 yuan ($280)," many people joked on social media about the SU7's unrevealed price, referring to the base prices of the first five flagship smartphones sold by Xiaomi.

Releasing their first smartphone in 2011, Xiaomi used to be a brand that serves enthusiasts and strives for the best cost effectiveness.

But later – especially after the company went public in China's Hong Kong in 2018 – they priced up their flagship smartphone series and entered the high-end market, leaving the cost-effective models to sub-brand RedMi.

Xiaomi didn't reveal the price of the SU7 series during the December 28 press release. Lei said the SU7 won't be priced at 99,999 yuan ($14,000) or 149,999 yuan ($21,000), adding that the price has not been determined yet and will be "reasonably high."

"When I watched the press release, I was like 'stop talking or I can't afford it!'" said an analyst on question-and-answer website Zhihu.com, attracting nearly 300 upvotes, asking Xiaomi to pack less features and lower the car's price.

(Cover via CFP.)

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