Xiaomi first-gen electric vehicle launch potentially delayed as the OEM gets red-flagged by Chinese authorities
Xiaomi has been hinting at the debut of its first ever car during other, actual launch events for its flagship mobile devices over the last couple of years now. The global hardware giant is so committed to breaking into this market that it has earmarked up to US$10 billion of its capital to make sure it happens; in addition, it is said to be a particular pet project of its CEO Lei Jun at present. However, these aspirations are now reportedly in jeopardy thanks to circumstances that might be beyond the company's control.
The Chinese automotive market - particularly that for EVs - is currently perceived as booming. However, this much opportunity apparently has its downsides, as it has recently seen a spate of catastrophic start-up failures, and might face severe saturation on top of that.
Nevertheless, Xiaomi Auto is forging onward, with the next step in achieving its goal of becoming a successful marque being the acquisition of a Chinese carmaking license. However, the country's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), possibly with the increasing amount of risk in the industry in mind, has reportedly requested a veritable truck-load of documentation from the OEM before it secures the authorization it needs to proceed with its EV dreams.
This regulatory submission reportedly includes evidence that Xiaomi has the capital and industrial capacity to proceed with EV production, not to mention the engineers and designers required for the same. Xiaomi might argue that it does indeed meet all these requirements already; however, the NDRC might disagree.
In addition, the OEM's EV arm has only technically existed since September 2021, which is not likely to help its regulatory status. All in all, the latency to qualifying as a licensed manufacturer is now said to push the launch of the first-gen Xiaomi car beyond 2024 as allegedly planned.