On August 23rd, according to two informed sources cited by foreign media, Xiaomi obtained approval from China’s national planning department to produce electric vehicles (EVs). This marks an important step for the smartphone manufacturer towards its goal of starting car production early next year.
The above report states that the National Development and Reform Commission, which is responsible for regulating new investments and production capacity in China’s automotive industry, has approved Xiaomi Corporation, headquartered in Beijing, to produce electric vehicles earlier this month. Xiaomi‘s joint venture is the fourth one to receive approval from the NDRC since late 2017.
The qualification for automobile production has been one of the most concerned topics both externally and internally since Xiaomi announced its entry into the car manufacturing industry. According to previous reports, it was widely believed that Xiaomi might take over Beijing Baowo’s car manufacturing qualification, but this speculation has never been confirmed by Xiaomi. In June of this year, Beijing Baowo Automobile voluntarily applied to cancel its automobile production qualification, which means that Xiaomi cannot directly obtain cooperation in terms of qualifications from Baowo. The topic of how Xiaomi will obtain its car manufacturing qualification has once again sparked discussions.
For the Xiaomi car team currently conducting intensive vehicle testing at the Yizhuang factory in Beijing, automobile production qualifications are seen as a morale booster by internal employees. Previously, some Xiaomi car employees have expressed that they often privately discuss the qualification for car manufacturing and believe that until it is officially announced, their work will be difficult to enter a completely stable state.
Just last week, Lei Jun delivered another annual speech for Xiaomi, but he remained silent about the progress of Xiaomi‘s car project throughout. According to insider sources, three days after the speech, Lei Jun went to Xiaomi‘s factory in Yizhuang and personally conducted a company-wide meeting. The source also mentioned that Lei Jun brought some good news during this meeting, but did not disclose any specific details.