Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corporation has faced ongoing delays in gaining government approval for its $10 billion electric vehicle (EV) project, raising concerns that it is lagging far behind rival startups that already had a growing presence in the world. the fast-growing local EV market.
According to media reports, the Beijing company had been in talks with the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) for months to obtain the required licenses, but without success.
Xiaomi EV Company was founded in September last year when it started the application process for EVs. The company currently employs 1,000 people.
Domestic rivals for startups such as Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng are already building momentum in the EV sector, with Nio also leading the way in establishing a battery swap network in China.
The government has stepped up oversight of the EV sector in recent months, asking new applicants to submit extensive documentation to prove their technological capabilities and financial stability.
Lei Jun, the co-founder of billionaire Xiaomi, hoped the company’s expertise in connected technology and building loyal user communities would give it a strong foothold in the Chinese EV market, which is expected to grow more than would be five million units. He had indicated that Xiaomi EV Company would be his last start-up.
Xiaomi executives continued to hope that the regulator would eventually approve the EV project, but feared that further significant delays would affect the company’s first product launch, currently slated for 2024.