When the tight supply of semiconductors started to dent auto production in China late last year, it was generally seen as a temporary problem. Now nearly six months into 2021, the threat posed by chronic chip shortages to the Chinese auto industry looms large.
Xiaomi, the major smartphone maker, went public this week with bold plans to develop intelligent electric vehicles. A late entrant to the EV sector, Xiaomi has the potential to develop into a force that few other players could ignore.
China’s biggest manufacturer of local-branded automobiles is plowing resources into EVs, like all carmakers. But it’s also applied to use the Zeekr name for air conditioners, clothing, furniture, fast food, beer and even firecrackers.
Carmakers serious about tapping the growing EV market have come to realize they must assume a greater role in building a robust charging network, rather than counting on fast-expanding public charging sites.