Fans of Xiaomi and fans of alternative-energy vehicles have been tantalized over the past year by rumors that China’s hottest smartphone company might be getting into making electric cars. Other Chinese internet companies are doing it, after all, and there were signs Xiaomi was headed in that direction. But at an industry forum in Northeastern China on Monday, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said that at least for the moment, Xiaomi’s not working on an electric car.
According to Sina Tech, Lei Jun made it very clear that Xiaomi will not work on an electric car in the next 3-5 years, regardless of how much the market seems to be heating up. “This is unrelated to the market [conditions],” Lei Jun said. “We’re focused on doing the products [we’ve already announced] well, that’s enough of a challenge […] What Xiaomi’s going to do over the next five years is already on the table.”
“It’s not that we aren’t optimistic [about the electric car market’s potential],” he added. “It’s that our energy is limited.”
This is certainly disappointing news to Xiaomi fans, and to those who had hoped the company’s red-hot reputation in smartphones might get young Chinese consumers excited about alternative energy vehicles if the company turned its eyes to the electric car market. But it will come as good news to those who fear Xiaomi has already spread itself quite thin, with a variety of smart product lines to focus on and expanding businesses into a variety of Asian countries in addition to the West.