Lei Jun, the founder of Chinese consumer electronics maker Xiaomi, once again talked about the company’s vehicle business. On February 9, Lei said at the company’s most recent investor day that a quarter of his time was spent on mobile phones, IoT and high-end partnerships, half on cars and a quarter on other things.
Lei noted that Xiaomi Auto is striving to enter the top five in the world within the next 15-20 years, adding that Xiaomi Auto’s 100% ownership lies in company-wide resource reuse. In the past three years, Xiaomi has set up 10,000 offline Chinese stores, which are very helpful in marketing Xiaomi Auto.
Regarding the time frame, Lei said, “Vehicles are a century-old field. As long as you are optimistic about the automobile industry, it is never too late. The development of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers is 6-7 years ahead of Xiaomi , But Xiaomi’s advantage lies in electronic technology and user experience, and the delivery time in 2024 is just right.
Last year, Xiaomi Auto and other new businesses attracted more than 3 billion yuan ($439 million) of investment, with more than 2,300 R&D personnel. In September last year, the first batch of soft-film vehicles went offline as scheduled, and winter tests began in December, showing that each team’s progress was better than expected.
On August 11 last year, The Paper reported that Xiaomi invested 3.3 billion yuan in R&D in the field of autonomous driving in the first phase, and established an R&D team with a scale of more than 500 people. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s self-driving technology has entered its testing phase. In the first phase, 140 test vehicles are planned, with the goal of entering the auto industry in 2024. This means that in the last six months, Xiaomi’s R&D team has expanded to around 1,800 people.
Talking about Xiaomi Auto’s profit expectation, Lei said that in the long run, in addition to the hardware advantage, the vehicle software advantage is more important. “Xiaomi’s advantage lies in its ability to integrate. Cars can integrate sales, after-sales service and charging piles. In the future, cars may integrate more and more services,” Lei said.
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Lei predicted that the macro environment will improve this year, and the consumer electronics market has begun to gain momentum, but risks and challenges still exist. In terms of business strategy, Xiaomi has placed profits at an important place, optimized its management structure, improved its efficiency and business model, and will maintain huge cash reserves and invest carefully.
“We are a company that serves users. We look forward to connecting mobile phones, cars and smart home appliances one day. We do not rule out mergers and acquisitions of some good companies,” Lei said. But we will consider stable operations.”
When talking about ChatGPT, Adam Zeng, president of Xiaomi’s mobile phone department, introduced that ChatGPT is based on a large AI model, with 100 billion-level parameters, data volume, manual labeling and other techniques. Xiaomi has always invested in big AI models and ChatGPT has extensive applications in the field, such as Xiaoai Tongxue, an intelligent voice assistant and robot.