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BEIJING: Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi will start deliveries of its first electric vehicle by the end of March, the firm’s boss said Tuesday, bringing its highly anticipated entry into the automotive industry to the brink of completion.

Xiaomi – the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer – also produces tablets, smartwatches, headphones, and scooters.

In 2021, the Beijing-based firm announced its planned foray into the electric vehicle sector, made highly competitive in recent months as top Chinese brands engage in an aggressive price war.

“The Xiaomi SU7 will be officially released on March 28,” Lei Jun, the company’s founder and CEO, wrote on Chinese social media site Weibo.

The announcement was accompanied by a photo of the new vehicle, which was first unveiled to the press in December.

The firm’s shares soared nearly 10 percent by midday in Hong Kong, where the firm is listed.

Equipped with Xiaomi software and electronic features, the SU7 is produced by Chinese auto giant BAIC.

Its batteries – with a driving range of up to 800 kilometres (500 miles) – are supplied by China’s largest electric automaker BYD, as well as domestic battery giant CATL.

“The goal is to become one of the world’s top five automotive manufacturers through 15 to 20 years of hard work,” Lei said in December.

Xiaomi accuses Huawei exec of misrepresenting facts in smartphone patent spat

Many top tech firms in China – the world’s largest auto market – have invested recently in the country’s EV sector, where foreign firms have struggled to get a foothold.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has achieved rapid growth through its strategy of marketing high-end devices at affordable prices, initially directly through online channels.

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