It’s a giant jump from smartphones to electric vehicles, but one Chinese-owned company is taking that leap of faith to rival Tesla and a growing number of Chinese companies in the rapidly expanding EV market.
According to CNBC, Xiaomi is the world’s third-largest smartphone maker. Its entry into the EV market makes it the latest Chinese venture to try to capitalise on that growing market in China.
Xiaomi, announced on Tuesday that it plans to invest more than US$10 billion over the next decade to get its line of EVs up and running according to Bloomberg.
It faces heavy traffic in the Chinese EV market, where several domestic companies (Geely, BYD, Nio, Xpeng, and Baidu) are already challenging Tesla in the crowded marketplace offering affordable EVs to Chinese consumers.
EVs are hot in China, where estimates say that two million of the cars will be sold in the country in 2021. That’s a 51% increase over last year’s sales figures.
Xiaomi is not the first tech company to enter the EV market. Apple and Huawei Technologies also have their sights set on the sector as the autonomous industry is expected to grow, Bloomberg reports.
Apple has been rumoured to soon announce an agreement with an automaker for a self-driving car, but the company has remained silent on the subject and its plans for the Apple Car appear to have stalled in recent months, with reports suggesting that potential partnerships with the likes of Nissan, Hyundai and Kia all appear to have run out of road.
Xiaomi appears to be in it for the long haul and said in its shareholder filing that it “hopes to offer quality smart electric vehicles to let everyone in the world enjoy smart living anytime, anywhere”.