Xiaomi in talks with BAIC to produce electric cars -Bloomberg News

Xiaomi logos are seen during a press conference in Hong Kong, China, June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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Aug 26 (Reuters) – Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp ( 1810.HK ) is considering an electric vehicle (EV) production tie-up with Beijing Automotive Group Co ( BAIC ) ( 1958.HK ) as it faces delays in acquiring license to manufacture cars on its own, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Such partnerships between electric car startups and traditional automakers are becoming more common in China as state planners restrict production licenses to new electric car makers in an effort to curb overinvestment.

Chinese electric car maker Nio Inc, for example, has partnered with state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) ( 600418.SS ) to produce cars.

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Under the deal, the Nio cars developed and manufactured by the startup were to initially carry the JAC nameplate, and later both agreed to remove the nameplate for additional fees.

Xiaomi and BAIC are exploring various options, including Xiaomi’s purchase of a stake in the Hyundai No. 2 in Beijing, which is licensed to make cars in China, the Bloomberg report said, citing people familiar with the matter. (https://bloom.bg/3QUjxQF)

The collaboration could include vehicles produced by Beijing Automotive’s EV brand BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co ( 600733.SS ) and co-branded with Xiaomi, the report said.

Xiaomi and BAIC declined to comment. An executive at Beijing Electric Vehicle Co, BAIC’s electric vehicle division, told Reuters he was unaware of any such talks between Xiaomi and BAIC, declining to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A Hyundai spokesman said the allegations reported in the story about the South Korean firm were “baseless”.

Beijing Hyundai, the joint venture between Hyundai Motor Co ( 005380.KS ) and BAIC, has three production plants in Beijing. Read more

Xiaomi began building its first car factory in Beijing earlier this year, after announcing last year its ambition to enter the competitive EV sector and challenge established brands and newer tech companies.

The plant will have an annual capacity of 300,000 units.

Xiaomi has committed to putting its cars into mass production in the first half of 2024. Earlier this year, the company began construction of its first car factory in Beijing. Read more

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Reporting by Baranjot Kaur in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Zoey Zhang in Shanghai; Editing by Krishna Chandra Elluri

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