Xiaomi Auto may take over BAIC BJEV's production site in Qingdao, Shandong province in eastern China, a local media report said.
Xiaomi Auto, the car-building arm of Xiaomi, may be taking over the Qingdao, Shandong province, production site of BAIC BJEV, the electric vehicle (EV) division of Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC Group) in eastern China, local media outlet Cailian reported today.
The report doesn't provide any more details, though it seems to imply that Xiaomi is trying to advance its own car-building plans by acquiring a plant that has the qualifications to build cars in China.
Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Xiaomi is in talks with BAIC Group about partnering to produce EVs and is exploring different options, including Xiaomi buying a stake in the Beijing Hyundai No. 2 plant, which has the full license to produce cars in China.
Xiaomi is eyeing a production partnership as it faces delays in getting a license to produce cars independently, according to the report.
The partnership could see vehicles built by BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co, the EV brand of BAIC Group, and co-branded with Xiaomi.
While the aging No. 2 plant would require significant upgrades to produce EVs, BluePark's production capacity could be used to produce Xiaomi-BAIC vehicles, Bloomberg's report said.
A BAIC Group source later told local media that it had "not heard of it." A BAIC BluePark source said there was no definitive information available.
Xiaomi's EV project is facing difficulties getting regulatory approval and has been discussing licensing issues with officials at the National Development and Reform Commission for months without success, according to a July 29 Bloomberg report.
China has been stepping up scrutiny of its EV industry after a rush to the sector led to a series of high-profile bankruptcies.
Many of the new Chinese car makers that have been established in recent years have been able to produce cars by acquiring factories that previously had car-making credentials, such as Li Auto and WM Motor.
Others have chosen to build vehicles in partnership with existing car companies, such as NIO with JAC and Jidu Auto with Geely.