The Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is preparing to become a supplier of electric cars itself. The corresponding investments were made a few months ago, but now Xiaomi is making it clear how seriously they mean it: Company founder Lei Jun is taking over the management of the project.
As Xiaomi announced in a press release published in China, the company officially founded its branch for work on electric cars today. The project operates under the name Xiaomi EV Company Ltd. and will be equipped with a seed capital of 10 billion yuan, the equivalent of 1.3 billion euros, according to CEO Lei Jun on Twitter.
The Xiaomi boss also stated that he would personally take over the management of the company, which he announced a few months ago. Even then, he said that working on electric vehicles would be the last big project for him before he retired. For the next 10 years, Xiaomi had already announced investments of 10 billion dollars in the project some time ago.
Small team with 300 employees from 20,000 applicants
Initially, Xiaomi’s electric car division had a comparatively small number of employees. A team of initially 300 people has been put together from 20,000 applicants who are supposed to lay the foundations for working on the Xiaomi EV project. There have been talks between Xiaomi and various partners and potential takeover candidates from the field of electromobility for a long time.
Xiaomi only took over DeepMotion in August, which specializes in the development of technologies for self-driving cars. In addition, there have been rumors for a long time that Xiaomi wants to cooperate with the contract manufacturer Foxconn and is also interested in taking over the electric vehicle division of the real estate company Evergrande.
Lei had already made it clear in March that Xiaomi wants to work on electric vehicles with full commitment. He was ready to put his own reputation on the line to fight for the future of Xiaomi’s “Smart Electric Vehicle”, he said at the time.
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