The factory's hiring of general workers signals that 's EVs are about to enter production, according to local media.

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is hiring a large number of workers for its electric vehicle (EV) factory in Beijing, where it is headquartered, just as the company reportedly qualifies to produce EVs.

Xiaomi's car factory recently began hiring workers, opening up a number of positions including painting and battery shops, local media outlet Sina Tech reported, adding that this means Xiaomi's cars are about to enter the production phase.

Since August, Xiaomi has been opening up its auto factory for general workers, with a shortfall of more than 100 and a quick hiring process, Sina Tech quoted a supplier source who provides recruitment services for Xiaomi's auto factory as saying.

General workers who have graduated for less than a year are paid RMB 4,300 ($590) per month, which is 18 months' salary a year, and need to have experience as an intern at an auto factory, according to the report.

Those who have graduated for more than a year are paid between RMB 4,300 and RMB 5,500 per month, also for 18 months of salary a year, but experience working in an automotive factory is required.

Offering these positions is Xiaomi's EV plant in Yizhuang, Beijing, which is being built in two phases, with a combined annual production capacity expected to be 300,000 units, the report noted.

Both the first and second phases of the plant have an annual capacity of 150,000 units, with the first phase having been completed and passed acceptance in June, the report said.

The factory is open for general worker recruitment, meaning Xiaomi's EVs will soon enter the production phase, according to the report.

On March 30, 2021, Xiaomi made an announcement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the company plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary for its smart EV business.

On October 19, 2021, Xiaomi's founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun said that Xiaomi's car-making business was progressing far beyond his expectations, and that the first car was expected to be officially mass-produced in the first half of 2024.

On March 5 this year, Lei reiterated that Xiaomi's first EV would be mass-produced in the first half of 2024 and that the model had already completed winter testing.

Reuters reported yesterday that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which oversees new investment and capacity in China's auto sector, gave the nod for EV manufacturing to Xiaomi earlier this month.

While the NDRC's approval brings Xiaomi one step closer to mass-producing EVs, it still needs to get approval from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which is responsible for evaluating the technical and safety requirements of new automakers and models, according to the report.

Xiaomi has big ambitions for the automotive business, even though it's a latecomer.

The only way for Xiaomi to succeed in the EV space is to become one of the top five in the world and ship more than 10 million units a year, Lei tweeted last October.

When the EV industry reaches maturity, the world's top five brands will have more than 80 percent of the market share, he said at the time.

It's worth noting that China's EV industry is now growing at a significantly slower rate than last year.

In the January-July period, retail sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), in China amounted to 3.73 million units, a year-on-year increase of 36.57 percent, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Retail sales of BEVs during this period were 2.51 million units, up 19.32 percent year-on-year.

For comparison, from January to July last year, China's retail sales of NEVs amounted to 2.73 million units, up 121.34 percent year-on-year, while retail sales of BEVs amounted to 2.11 million units, up 107.53 percent year-on-year.

($1 = RMB 7.2786)

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