Xiaomi Fines Partner $148,926 for Leaking Design Documents
On February 2, Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi decided to require a compensation of 1 million yuan ($148,926) from its partner, a molding technology company in Beijing, which leaked a draft version of the front and rear bumpers for Xiaomi‘s yet-to-be-released vehicle, Sina Tech reported.
In January this year, the design of Xiaomi‘s first vehicle was exposed, which showed some details of the front and rear of the vehicle, including the bumper and their decorative features, in addition to disclosing some of the details of the cooperation agreement between Xiaomi and the molding technology company.
When the design was leaked, Wang Hua, general manager of Xiaomi‘s public relations department, responded that the supplier is only for mold proofing, and the leaked documents are the design drafts of the very early bidding process, not the final documents, adding that Xiaomi will definitely deal with it seriously according to the confidentiality agreement signed with the supplier.
The company mentioned in Xiaomi‘s internal notification is Beijing BAIC Molding Technology Co., Ltd., but it does not directly represent BAIC, an automaker in China. BAIC Molding Technology was established in 2008 by Beijing Hainachuan Auto Parts Co., Ltd. and Jiangnan Molding Technology Co., Ltd., each holding 51% and 49% shares respectively. The former was jointly established by BAIC and Beijing Industrial Development Investment Management Co., Ltd., with each holding 60% and 40% shares respectively.
BAIC Molding Technology’s patents include assembled bumpers, automobile fog lamps, bumper connections and installation structures, plastic tailgate connection structures, automobile bumper punching machines, and others.
In April 2022, Xiaomi‘s car-building base in Beijing started construction with the first phase of the factory to be completed by June 2023. The second phase of the project will start in March 2024 and be completed in March 2025. The annual output of phase I and phase II factories is estimated to be about 150,000 vehicles.
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In August 2022, Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, said that automatic driving is a key point for intelligent electric vehicles, and that Xiaomi will independently develop automatic driving technology. In the current automotive field, autonomous driving technology has become an important direction for the development of major car companies, such as Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) feature, XPeng‘s navigation guided pilot (NGP), and NIO‘s autonomous driving (NAD).
At the financial report meeting in the third quarter of 2022, Lin Shiwei, vice president and CFO of Xiaomi, said that the number of R&D teams at Xiaomi Auto has grown to more than 1,800, and the total investment in the first three quarters reached 1.86 billion yuan. He added that the goal of formal mass production in the first half of 2024 is going well, and that the chip supply has not affected the business.