Home StocksAsia The China EV Companies to Know

Thought Big Tech was taking over your life through smartphones? It may be coming for your car next as Chinese firms lead a stampede into auto manufacturing in their battle for more consumers.

Cars are the next major prize in the battle for digital territory, industry insiders say, and the deep pockets and data muscle of big Chinese tech firms will fuel even faster growth in “smart-electric” vehicles — and possibly hasten the arrival of autonomous cars.

In recent weeks, Chinese smartphone giants Huawei and Xiaomi, e-commerce leader Alibaba, and even DJI, the world’s top drone manufacturer, have thrown their hats into the ring.

“This sort of competition is a good thing and will greatly accelerate innovation,” William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) producer NIO, told AFP in an interview just ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show.

The first major auto industry gathering of the year opens to the public Wednesday with the global sector looking to China the world’s biggest and most rapidly electrifying auto market to lead the way into a post-pandemic future.

Sales in China contracted two percent to 25.1 million vehicles last year ‒- nearly one-third of the global total ‒- but are rapidly recovering thanks to the expanding popularity of electric cars.

Just a tiny fraction of Chinese sales until recently, EVs accounted for around nine percent in March, according to official figures.

China’s government expects new-energy vehicles which integrate the most advanced driving technology to comprise 25 percent of car sales by 2025, and recent announcements appear to bode well.

– ‘Lightning-fast’ –

Xiaomi, which has rapidly become one of the world’s biggest smartphone suppliers, plans to invest $10 billion over the next decade in a smart EV subsidiary, and Huawei will invest $1 billion this year.

Alibaba’s autonomous driving unit AutoX has partnered with Japan’s Honda to ramp up testing on Chinese roads.

And tech giant Baidu said Monday its Apollo autonomous navigation system would be installed on one million vehicles over the next three to five years.

The moves will focus fresh attention on Apple’s secretive project to develop a self-driving vehicle.

Cars represent a fresh opportunity for companies like Huawei, now rushing to develop its own tech ecosystem after US sanctions banned it from using Google’s Android.

Huawei has realised its current “market limitations”, said Chen Yusheng, chief technology officer for procurement analysis firm Shanghai Autodatas Co.

“(Huawei) will enter a new track in the future, and with its own advantages, including combining software and hardware, will help promote lightning-fast development of smart cars and autonomous driving,” Chen said.

Even potential competitors seem intrigued.

“This is very reassuring. (Tech companies) see there is an opportunity in this industry, which means that this industry still has a very bright future,” said Antoine Barthes, managing director of the automaking joint venture Dongfeng Nissan.

“And they are probably going to shape the industry.”

– Tesla sets pace –

Autonomous driving remains largely in the testing phase but China is widely expected to take the lead thanks to government encouragement, modern infrastructure, and a head start in deploying necessary 5G networks.

The Shanghai auto exhibition shows how fast things can change in China, said NIO’s Li.

Just four years ago, it was still dominated by traditional internal combustion engines.

“But today, every booth in the hall has electric vehicles, new-energy vehicles. This is a huge change and the very big driving force has been technological change,” he said.

The latest spark was Tesla.

In Shanghai in 2019, Elon Musk’s company built its third factory and is already selling one-fourth of its output in China.

The highest-selling EV brand globally and in China, Tesla is energising the Chinese market and setting the pace for a host of competitors.

New entrants face many challenges, including a lack of automaking know-how that may force them to partner with established manufacturers, providing the “brains” of cars while the latter build the bodies, rather than following Tesla’s self-contained blueprint.

Another hurdle is a global semiconductor shortage, which has hit the auto sector in particular.

Li said the shortages halted NIO’s production lines for five days in early April. He expects further pressure in the coming months, but views that as a blip.

China’s official targets for EVs are actually too conservative for Li.

“I’m much more optimistic,” he said.

“I think that by 2030, more than 90 percent of new cars sold in China will be smart EVs.”

You may also like

logo-white

Your Trusted Source for Capital Markets & Related News

© 2024 LiveTradingNews.com – For The Traders, By The Traders – All Right Reserved.

The information contained on this website shall not be construed as (i) an offer to purchase or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or sell, any securities or services, (ii) investment, legal, business or tax advice or an offer to provide such advice, or (iii) a basis for making any investment decision. An offering may only be made upon a qualified investor’s receipt not via this website of formal materials from the Knightsbridge an offering memorandum and subscription documentation (“offering materials”). In the case of any inconsistency between the information on this website and any such offering materials, the offering materials shall control. Securities shall not be offered or sold in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful unless the requirements of the applicable laws of such jurisdiction have been satisfied. Any decision to invest in securities must be based solely upon the information set forth in the applicable offering materials, which should be read carefully by qualified investors prior to investing. An investment with Knightsbridge is not suitable or desirable for all investors; investors may lose all or a portion of the capital invested. Investors may be required to bear the financial risks of an investment for an indefinite period of time. Qualified investors are urged to consult with their own legal, financial and tax advisors before making any investment. Knightsbridge is a private investment firm that offers investment services to Qualified Investors, Members and Institutions ONLY. Qualified Investors are defined as individuals who have met those Qualifications in the relevant jurisdictions. Members are defined as individuals who have been accepted into the Knightsbridge membership program. Institutions are defined as entities such as banks, pension funds, and hedge funds. If you are not a Qualified Investor, Member or Institution, you are not eligible to invest with Knightsbridge. All investments involve risk, and there is no guarantee of profit. You may lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Knightsbridge is not a registered investment advisor, and this disclaimer should not be construed as investment advice. Please consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions. By accessing this website, you agree to the terms of this disclaimer. Thank you for your interest in Knightsbridge.