If you thought Xiaomi jumping into the electric kick scooter game was neat, you’re going to love what the company has in store in the transport department for the rest of this decade.
In a blog post, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun announced the company’s plans to get into the electric car business, calling it “one of the most important decisions Xiaomi has ever made.”
Jun added that he will be serving as the new subsidiary’s CEO, and that the tech firm will invest $10 billion (more than P485 billion) into the EV business over the next 10 years with initial funding of 10 billion Chinese yuan (P73.8 billion).
“By stepping into a new domain, we will certainly encounter many challenges. The automobile industry features great complexity, huge amount of investment, long product cycle, and low fault tolerance, which requires us to treat it with full respect and seriousness,” Jun said.
“Facing these challenges with a fearful heart as if we are walking on thin ice. Besides, the other key players have kick-started this business six years earlier than us, we have to catch up with all the efforts to win the game as an industry successor.”
Playing catch-up sounds about right. A handful of tech giants—including Foxconn and reportedly Apple, too—are already chasing the EV dream. And, of course, there are also automotive giants like Nissan, Volkswagen, and BMW that are already well into building their own electric cars.
While Jun acknowledged that Xiaomi has a tall task ahead of it, he also emphasized that the company has a few clear advantages. He claims his firm has “the most extensive experiences in software and hardware integration,” and that Xiaomi has “a lot of long-accumulated key technologies” applicable to the new business. He also considers the company’s existing user base as a major plus.
“We will enter this new journey with huge investment, seriousness, and enduring patience. At present, the preparation work at the initial stage has been strictly and systematically carried out,” Jun added.
So, what are your expectations for Xiaomi’s electric car dreams? Think the brand will be able to follow through on everything mentioned above?