Why did Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi fire its three employees?

Xiaomi Corp, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, has reportedly terminated three employees for “spreading rumours” about Xiaomi’s car venture. As per a report in the Times of India, these individuals were dismissed for significantly misguiding the market and disrupting the normal operations related to Xiaomi’s cars.

Xiaomi unveiled its debut car, the Xiaomi SU7, in filings submitted to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

There are indications that Xiaomi is edging closer to entering the electric vehicle (EV) market. An automotive division of Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd (BAIC Group), a separate entity, has sought regulatory approval to manufacture two cars under the Xiaomi brand.

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Images from the Ministry of Industry and Information’s (MIIT) website displayed both models sporting a “MI” logo on the front and bearing the “Xiaomi” name on the rear.

In November, Xiaomi was observed advertising numerous job openings for auto sales, including roles like new energy vehicle sales manager and Xiaomi car showroom manager in Beijing and Shanghai, Reuters reported citing to STAR Market Daily, a business publication.

Xiaomi SU7

The ToI report further said that last month, Xiaomi unveiled its debut car, the Xiaomi SU7, in filings submitted to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The electric sedan, bearing Xiaomi’s renowned ‘Mi’ branding, will be contract-manufactured by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co Ltd (BAIC).

The MIIT filing details three versions of the vehicle: SU7, SU7 Pro, and SU7 Max. Reports suggest that the Xiaomi SU7 is approximately 4,997 mm long, 1,963 mm wide, 1,455 mm tall, and boasts a 3,000 mm wheelbase, offering wheel sizes between 19 and 20 inches. Weight varies between 1,980 to 2,205 kg, depending on the specific version.

Xiaomi will equip the base model(s) with a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery sourced from BYD, while higher trims will feature a larger CATL battery pack. The SU7 is reportedly available with two powertrain options: a rear-wheel-drive version, featuring a 220 kW (295 hp) motor and a top speed of 210 kmph, and a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive version generating 495 kW (664 hp) of maximum power and a top speed of 265 kmph.

During a company earnings call in late August, Xiaomi President Lu Weibing mentioned that the company’s progress in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing is advancing ahead of the schedule. The company experienced a 4% revenue decline in the second quarter compared to the previous year, attributed to the contraction in China’s smartphone market.

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