The Chinese technology company Xiaomi has completed the registration of a new automobile company, with a registered capital of RMB 10 billion (around $1.5 billion), with founder & CEO Lei Jun to serve as the new company’s legal representative.
Just the drive technology for electric passenger vehicles is not the only area of interest for the Chinese technology specialist: Xiaomi is busy building up staff for it’s automotive business. Notably, Lei Jun posted a job ad via his Weibo account for the company’s autonomous driving business unit st the end of July, intending to enlist 500 technicians for in-house developed Level 4 smart driving capability. The new division is planned to cost around $10 billion USD over the next ten years as well.
The decision to manufacture electric cars is not a new one by Xiaomi, who initially made the announcement in March this year, after vehemently denying that such a decision fell just a month prior. This is still not the company’s first foray into BEV technology, however, as the company presented a foldable electric scooter in 2019, after announcing it’s development in late 2016. The company also began invested in the Chinese EV manufacturer Xpeng in 2019 as well.
Xiaomi has also been buying up other companies to boost their knowledge base, such as the acquisition of DEEPMOTION TECH, a Beijing-based startup, for $77.37 million in late August. The company focuses digital mapping technology, which will be used for autonomous drive development.
Exactly what kind of vehicles will be produced by the phone manufacturer is still open, but the situation is highly reminiscent of Apple’s attempts at entering the e-mobility market. After the patent announcements in 2018, things got quiet around Apple’s project, but have been picking up steam again recently, as the US American company secured access to battery supply from CATL and BYD and hired a new manager to oversee development.
– ADVERTISEMENT –