BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu has clarified the comments about Xiaomi after they sparked widespread discussion.
Speaking at the China Auto Chongqing Summit 2021 on June 13, Wang said that reports that he had persuaded Xiaomi founder Lei Jun to give up building cars were misinterpreted by the media, and that BYD and Xiaomi were actually in talks on a number of projects to build cars.
We have a very good relationship with Mr. Lei of Xiaomi and OEM a lot of Xiaomi phones. We have a strategic partnership.
BYD supports the development of Xiaomi's car business, and not only support, BYD and Xiaomi are negotiating some cooperation projects in the car field.
On June 10, Wang said at the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum that many well-known people have announced their entry into the car-making industry, but there are not many companies that have an edge in this area right now. "I hope that Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, will not lose money and waste time at the same time," he said.
For building a car, RMB 5 billion is not worth anything, such as the RMB 100 billion Lei is ready to invest, Wang said.
"The point is that the three years you are prepared to invest cannot be bought by money. Losing RMB 5 billion may not be a big deal if the strategy is going in the wrong direction, but losing three years of time is significant," Wang said.
In Wang's view, more companies joining the car-making bandwagon is good for existing electric car players because 90 percent of vehicles sold in China are fuel-powered, and the addition of these companies is expected to make the whole pie bigger.
Wang said Sunday that he used Xiaomi as an example of how important it is for a company to have a strategic direction in order to grow in a space.
A company that has a good strategic direction will take fewer detours, while a bad strategic direction could cause the company to lose three or four years of time and opportunities in the face of stiff competition, he said.
(BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu at the China Auto Chongqing Summit 2021.)