The Smartphone Company That's Fast-Tracking Its EV Push

The already crowded electric vehicle market will soon have another contender, and the competition is from a player, which has made a name for itself in an unrelated field.

What Happened: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will launch its EV project in a month or two, CnEVPost reported, citing a local media outlet that quoted sources close to Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun.

Xiaomi is planning to focus on the mid-to-high-end market and make EVs with strong technological attributes, the report said.

The brand positioning is likely to be similar to that of XPeng Inc. XPEV.

Jun reportedly met with NIO Limited NIO founder William Li in February for guidance on EV manufacturing.

Xiaomi is scouting for external talent to head the venture, although internal promotion could not be ruled out, the report said.

Related Link: Xiaomi Wins Court Ruling Over U.S. Government Investment Restrictions

In late February, when rumors of Xiaomi's potential foray into EV manufacturing broke out, the company clarified in a filing with the Hong Kong exchange that it hasn't initiated the project formally and is merely paying attention to developments in the industry.

Why It's Important: Xiaomi is an established name in the smartphone industry and is giving Apple Inc. AAPL a run for its money in the key Chinese market.

In the fourth quarter, Xiaomi stood third in terms of shipments, behind Apple and Samsung, with a 12.9% share in the market.

Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi also focuses on smart hardware connected by an Internet of Things platform.

Related Link: Potential Partners For An Apple Car Grow In Number, With Nissan The Latest To Express Interest

Photo by Plerxemo via Wikimedia.

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