If you thought Xiaomi, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, had finished making the news, you’d be mistaken. The Chinese tech company has officially launched its new Electric Vehicle business, aptly named Xiaomi EV Inc.
Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s CEO, announced that he would be heading the venture and that it would be his last.
“I am willing to put all my personal reputation on the line and fight for the future of our smart electric vehicle,” said Lei in March when the company first announced plans to enter the EV sector.
Xiaomi zooms into another sector
According to Nikkei Asia, Xiaomi has invested an initial 10 billion CNY (R22 billion) and plans to spend a total of 64 billion CNY (R142 billion) over the next ten years. On top of that, Xiaomi’s EV section has hired around 300 people.
In an attempt to jumpstart its entry into the EV market, the Chinese company acquired Deepmotion, an autonomous driving tech startup. This should give the company a much-needed boost and will mean the engineers won’t have to start from scratch.
Its entry into the EV sector comes when the brand’s central business is at its highest point so far. In July it overtook Apple to become the second-largest global smartphone manufacturer. Not long after that, it overtook Samsung to become Europe’s top dog for smartphones.
Because the new EV company is still in its infancy, don’t expect launch dates for the next couple of years. It is still unconfirmed whether we’ll get the new EVs in South Africa, or anywhere other than China. We can only wait and see.