Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Chinese Automakers Shocked at Apple’s Decision to Cancel Car Project


Apple’s decision to cancel its electric vehicle project has surprised ambitious new Chinese automakers like Xiaomi, the South China Morning Post reports.

Yesterday, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that after a decade of work and millions of dollars in development costs Apple has canceled its plans to bring an EV to market, moving many of the 2,000 staff working on the project to generative AI instead. The decision has come as a surprise to new tech-focused Chinese EV brands like Xiaomi, Li Auto, and Xpeng, who saw a future Apple car as one of their main rivals.

Xiaomi is one of China’s biggest electronics companies and is best known for its line of smartphones. The company unveiled its first EV, the SU7, late last year and it is set to go on sale after further testing. The project required over $1.4 billion in development and over 3,400 engineers.

Founder and chairman Lei Jun today posted on Weibo that he was “very shocked” by the news of Apple’s decision to cancel its EV. He added that he “knows deeply how difficult it is to make cars,” but Xiaomi has made an “unshakeable strategic choice” to move into EVs. He Xiaopeng, chairman of Chinese EV maker Xpeng, expressed similar disbelief that Apple is abandoning its car plans.

Li Xiang, CEO of Beijing-based EV maker Li Auto, remarked on Weibo that Apple’s decision to shift emphasis from EVs to AI was “absolutely right.” “AI will become the top-level entrance for all devices, services, applications and transactions, in which Apple should stay on top,” he added.

Chinese brands possess a rapidly growing proportion of global EV sales. Last year, China’s BYD overtook Tesla as the world’s top EV manufacturer.Related Roundup: Apple CarTags: China, South China Morning Post, XiaomiRelated Forum: Apple, Inc and Tech Industry
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