After smartphones, electric cars. Chinese giant Xiaomi announced on Tuesday that it will bet on the production of electric vehicles, in which it expects to invest around 10 billion dollars (8.5 billion euros) over the next decade. Thus it joins competitors Apple and Huawei, which will also be developing their own vehicles.
The company will create a new division, to which it will allocate an initial investment equivalent to 1.3 billion euros, which will be led by the company’s co-founder, Lei Jun. “We have a deep pocket for this project”, he stressed the multimillionaire, cited by Bloomberg, at the project presentation event, which took place in Beijing. “I am fully aware of the risks inherent in the automotive industry. I am also aware that this project will take at least three to five years, and that it will require tens of millions of investments,” he said.
According to Bloomberg, Xiaomi intends to launch itself into the electric vehicle business alone, without the participation of outside investors. Last week, Reuters said the company would work in partnership with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors. Without giving any details, Lel Jun only guaranteed that this will be “the last startup” of his career.
In a statement, Xiaomi stresses that “it hopes to offer quality smart electric vehicles that enable everyone in the world to enjoy smart life anytime, anywhere”.
Xiaomi is the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and in the last quarter of last year it was the brand whose sales grew the most in China, ahead of Huawei. The entry into the electric car business comes at a time when the appetite for these vehicles increases in China, driven by incentives. In 2021, 1.9 million electric cars should be sold in the country, which represents an annual increase of 51%, according to Canalys forecasts. The Chinese government wants that by 2025, a fifth of the cars sold in the country will be electric.