Xiaomi denies rumoured in-house car development

The Chinese tech company Xiaomi has denied media reports that it is planning its own electric car. Instead, there are now rumours about corresponding plans by Huawei.

The Chinese online platform Late Post had reported a few days ago that Xiaomi had decided to enter the production of electric cars after years of consideration and a specially implemented “Micar” project. Other Asian tech groups had also announced electric car projects or collaborations in the past, such as Baidu, Foxconn and Alibaba.

Xiaomi has since denied that a decision has been made. “The Group has not initiated any formal project regarding the study of electric vehicle manufacturing business,” it said in a statement. However, the Group admits it is monitoring the industry and its trends.

The latter part of the statement can mean many things; after all, Xiaomi or company founder and CEO Lei Jun is invested in both Xpeng and Nio. Thus, there is an interest in keeping an eye on the industry, even if only to control its own investment.

While the rumours surrounding Xiaomi have now been denied, they are boiling up around another Chinese company: according to unspecified insiders, Huawei is planning to build and sell electric cars under its own brand. Two insiders stated that Huawei Technologies is in talks with the state-owned carmaker Changan to cooperate in production or to use its plants. But there are also said to be talks with other carmakers. BluePark, an EV subsidiary of BAIC, is mentioned here. Huawei is said to have already started internal designs, and the project could be made official in the course of the year.

The company itself denies this; at least the part about producing electric cars under its own brand. “Huawei is not a car manufacturer,” a spokesperson said. “Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However through ICT, we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs to build better vehicles.”

Huawei is already active in the eMobility industry. In November 2020, the company had unveiled an electric motor. In January, it was revealed that Chinese carmaker Seres is relying on Huawei’s electric drive for its SF5.

In the reports, the plans are justified by the ongoing US sanctions. With access to key components restricted for almost two years, the company could be facing a partial sale of its smartphone business and a “potentially major change in direction”.

hkexnews.hk (rumour denial by Xiaomi), techcentral.co.zastandardmedia.co.ke (Huawei rumours), huaweicentral.com (electric drive for Seres)


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