Xiaomi is known for making and selling many things, but it looks like the Chinese juggernaut is looking to enter a brand new vertical: that of electric cars. According to an announcement the company made through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), Xiaomi is now looking at making electric cars. According to the announcement, the company will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate the new venture, with an initial investment of RMB 10 billion (or around Php 73.9 billion) to begin with.
Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun will be the CEO of the new business.
Xiaomi isn’t the first smartphone company that’s dabbling into the auto business – Apple is looking to tap into the vertical with Hyundai-Kia soon, and according to reports is looking at using Great Wall Motor’s factory.
Rumors suggest that Xiaomi is looking to disrupt the electric car market with aggressive pricing just like they did with their smartphone business, aiming their products at the mass market.
Great Wall Motors is one of China’s largest automobile manufacturers and is the largest SUV and pick-up producer currently. Great Wall has their own range of electric vehicles, with the first one launched back in 2017 dubbed the Great Wall C30EV
Xiaomi’s smart car ambitions will certainly face several hurdles in China, but their offerings may just be what the Philippines need to jumpstart the local EV scene.
While cars like the ones made by Tesla, are certainly more popular in the cultural zeitgeist, the high cost of Tesla-made EVs makes them almost impossible to acquire for anyone not living in a first-world country. If Xiaomi can offer the same bang-for-the-buck pricing scheme for their electric cars as they do for literally all of the products they make and manufacture currently, then we wouldn’t be surprised if our next car would have a Xiaomi badge in front of it.