Chinese tech company Xiaomi is set to build its first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Beijing. City government officials announced that the smartphone manufacturer would be building its factory in the outskirts of Beijing as part of its plans to enter into the rapidly growing EV market in China.
Xiaomi signed a deal with the committee of the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area for its planned factory, which will be built in Yizhuang - a suburb located just southeast of the city. Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun, along with Xiaomi president Wang Xiang, signed the deal over the weekend.
The Yizhuang economic development zone is home to the manufacturing facilities of several major Chinese tech companies. The economic zone is home to factories that manufacture high-tech products such as semiconductors and electric vehicles. Companies such as Baidu, JD.com, and China's top chip foundry Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corporation, have facilities in Yizhuang.
The Chinese government praised the company and its project, claiming that Xioami epitomizes what it is to be an "outstanding Chinese technology" company. Officials said that Xioami's project should help make Beijing the innovation center for smart electric vehicles, a technology that China wants to dominate internationally.
The Beijing-based tech giant plans to build the factory in two phases. Xiaomi said the factory should have an annual production capacity of around 150,000 electric vehicles. The company expects the first vehicle to roll out of the factory's production line sometime in 2024.
Apart from producing vehicles, the factory in Beijing will also be the headquarters for Xiaomi's electric vehicle subsidiary. It will also house the company's sales and research and development centers. Wang said that the development of the company's electric vehicle business is progressing as planned, and they are looking to hire more than 500 workers for the new project.
Xiaomi originally announced its intentions of entering the electric vehicle market in March. The company, which is currently the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer, said it plans to compete with other Chinese tech firms in the sector directly. Other tech companies that have recently joined the rapidly growing industry include Huawei Technologies and internet giant Baidu.
Xiaomi did not disclose how much it would be investing in the project. However, the company did say in March that it planned to invest up to $10 billion in its electric vehicle business over the next decade. Recently, the company acquired autonomous driving technology company DeepMotion for $77.4 million.