In this week’s spring product launch, Xiaomi laid plans for its entrance into the EV market. Over the course of the next 10 years, Xiaomi will invest $10 billion into its smart electric car business. For a company that covers a vast array of tech products, from TVs and phones to robot vacuums and electric scooters, the move is not a huge surprise, but the news may have some of the big names worried.
The 2021 new product launch included some great-looking tech products, such as the Mi 11 Ultra smartphone, the Mi Smart Band 6 sports tracker and the Mi Mix Fold – its first foldable smartphone. The announcement to move into the electric vehicle market, however, was probably the most significant.
Xiaomi founder and CEO, Lei Jun, called the EV market a natural choice for the company as a means to expand its artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) ecosystem. “Smart electric vehicles represent one of the largest business opportunities in the next decade and represent an indispensable component of smart living,” said Lei.
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The EV subsidiary will be wholly owned by Xiaomi and will be led by Lei Jun himself. The project he describes as “the last entrepreneurship in my life.” Lei admits that Xiaomi is a latecomer to the EV market but has confidence that they can build a great car, asking his fans to be patient. “One day I hope there will be a Xiaomi car on each and every street.”
While there have been reports of Xiaomi using the Great Wall Motor Company’s factory to make the vehicles, there was no mention of this in the press conference and Great Wall has denied discussing a partnership with Xiaomi.
Xiaomi isn’t the only Chinese tech firm looking at the EV market. Search engine giant Baidu announced plans to make EVs back in January using a plant owned by Geely – the parent company of Geely Auto, Proton, Lotus and Volvo.