That's in contrast to 's William Li's view that the automotive industry is not a winner-take-all business, but rather one where there is a great deal of personalized demand to be met.

(Image credit: EV)

The founder of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi believes competition in the auto industry will be "winner takes all," unlike some other executives in China's electric vehicle (EV) sector.

"Smart EVs may be the same as the consumer electronics and software industries, which are winner-take-all," Lei Jun, founder, chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi, said in an interview with state-run broadcaster CCTV, according to a video of the interview released on January 20.

If the company can't get into the top five positions globally, it may end up not surviving, Lei said, adding that this is why Xiaomi's board of directors approved a $10 billion investment in Xiaomi EV at its inception.

"I think we are deeply aware of the brutal competition," he said.

Xiaomi Group has been facing tough competition since its inception, Lei said, adding, "Even though we are entering the extremely competitive automotive space, I still believe Xiaomi can win in the end."

Founded in April 2010, Xiaomi has become one of the world's largest smartphone makers. It officially announced on March 30, 2021 that it was joining the car-making bandwagon, stating that it would made an initial investment of RMB 10 billion ($1.4 billion) in its automotive business, with a projected investment of $10 billion over the next 10 years.

Xiaomi EV unveiled its first model, the SU7, on December 28, and Lei said at the time that Xiaomi hopes to become one of the top five global carmakers through 15-20 years of efforts.

Lei's ambitious goal is in contrast to the views of some other car company executives that the auto industry will be diverse.

Nio (NYSE: NIO) founder, chairman and CEO William Li has repeatedly said in past analyst calls and media interviews that the auto industry isn't winner-take-all, and that consumers have a lot of personalized needs that need to be met.

However, that doesn't mean Nio's Li had been underestimating the competition or lacks ambition.

Nio wants to be one of the world's top five automakers by 2030, Li said in an October 2022 interview with German media outlet Heise Autos.

Li Xiang, 's founder, chairman and CEO, said in an internal letter dated February 22, 2021, that the company aims to achieve 1.6 million units sold by 2025, capturing a 20 percent share of the Chinese market.

Li Auto's vision is to become the world's leading artificial intelligence company by 2030, he said in another letter on January 28, 2023.

He Xiaopeng, 's (NYSE: XPEV) chairman and CEO, said in January 2023 that the company aims to see sales of 1.2 million by 2027 and to reach a share of around 30 percent in the fully self-driving car market.

Neither Li Auto's Li nor Mr. He mentioned anything about winner-take-all or similar views.

($1 = RMB 7.1953)

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