The Wuhan Municipal Bureau of Commerce responded recently to citizens that the city had communicated with leading Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi, and is now in active negotiations with the company to promote the project’s settlement in Wuhan, according to reporting by Jiemian News. Xiaomi has not yet issued an official response on the matter.
On March 30, Xiaomi announced at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it planned to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary for the smart electric vehicle business. Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi, later announced on Weibo that the firm’s smart electric vehicle business had been officially established, confirming its entry into the competitive field of car manufacturing.
According to the announcement, the initial investment into the subsidiary was 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion), while investments over the next 10 years would reach $10 billion. Lei Jun would also serve as the CEO of the smart electric vehicle business.
Looking through the records about Xiaomi on the Wuhan Message Board, the official network platform for Wuhan citizens’ opinions and suggestions, people can see that since Xiaomi officially announced its car business, there has been a voice on the platform suggesting that Wuhan Municipal Government should introduce a Xiaomi car-building project.
Many departments across the city responded to a message that reads “Introducing Xiaomi car-building project,” and all of them attached great importance to the idea.
In addition to Wuhan, another Chinese city – Xi’an – also extended an invitation to Xiaomi regarding its car-making project. In April this year, the Xi’an government said it would continue to closely coordinate the Xiaomi car building project with the new energy automobile industry in the city. Additionally, Auto-time reported that officials from the eastern province of Anhui have been in contact with Xiaomi Auto and intend to introduce a Xiaomi car-building project to the city of Hefei.
Since the firm’s announcement that it would enter the field of EVs, where exactly Xiaomi Auto’s operations would land was hotly debated by the market. On July 23, Wang Hua, general manager of Xiaomi’s public relations department, responded to reports that the firm’s auto business would be located in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, affirming that the news was not true and that people needed to wait for official disclosures by the company.
On August 10, Chinese state-owned automobile company JAC Motors denied rumors that it would build cars for Xiaomi.