Chinese Smartphone Maker Unveils EV

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is entering the highly competitive electric vehicle (EV) market, revealing its first electric car this weekend. πŸ‘€

The consumer electronics company unveiled its SU7 sedan, which it says it spent more than $1.4 billion to develop. The vehicle is set to roll out in China next year and is attempting to do something Faraday Future and other competitors have failed to do: create a software-focused vehicle that matches the technology people find in their phones to what’s happening in their cars.Β 

Executives say the SU7 is in trial production and is set to hit the domestic market in a few months, although the price has not been finalized yet. With the company’s design team previously working at BMW and Mercedes-Benz, CEO Lei Jun has bold ambitions to become an industry leader in electric vehicles and autonomous driving. πŸš—

However, after three years of development, the vehicle will face stiff competition in the world’s largest car market (by both demand and supply). Domestic automakers have tried to differentiate their products through ambitious car-compatible tech offerings, seeing mixed success.

Not only is domestic competition high, but so is international competition. Automakers from around the globe want a piece of the Chinese market but are facing several challenges. Geopolitical tensions continue to heat up, and there is continued pressure to bring down the cost of vehicles enough to generate mass adoption. ⚑

So far, Chinese manufacturers have the upper hand with the help of government support, cheaper labor costs, and technological advances. πŸ§‘β€πŸ­

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see whether the maker of smartphones and home appliances can successfully create the “Human x Car x Home” smart ecosystem it’s setting out to build. That’ll mean integrating with its own software and being compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and AirPlay, as well as other tech giants’ software. πŸ€–

For now, it’ll have to focus on creating a high-end car to drive it toward profitable growth and allow it to develop a cheaper, mass-market vehicle over time. Its CEO even hinted that the price tag would not be cheap, dismissing rumors of a 99,000 or 140,000 yuan vehicle.Β 

Xiaomi shares are up over 40% this year after reaching fresh all-time lows in late 2022. The rebound came on the back of strength in its core business, with it planning to spend 25% more in research and development this year to help propel its growth. However, they’re essentially flat relative to their 2018 IPO price. πŸ“Š

Thailand Scores Major EV Win

Thailand has been helping lead the electric vehicle (EV) push, with the second-biggest economy in Southeast Asia looking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. ♻️

The country is known as the “Detroit of Asia,” serving as a major manufacturing hub. As part of that, it’s looking to make 30% of its car output electric by 2030 so that it doesn’t lose its leadership position in the EV transition. Its government is putting up major funds to help fund that, approving $970 million in tax cuts and subsidies to help encourage demand and boost local production. ⚑

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Epic Wins A “Victory Royale” Against Google

It’s been three years since Fornite-maker Epic Games sued Apple and Google for allegedly running illegal app store monopolies. And despite losing a similar battle against Apple, the game-maker has secured a win against Google. πŸ†

The jury in Epic v. Google delivered its unanimous decision after just a few hours of deliberation. They found a few key things:

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Investors Are Losing Trust

It’s been a rough eighteen months or so for real estate investment trusts (REITs), with higher interest rates giving investors alternative sources of yield and pressuring commercial real estate’s asset values. Unfortunately for Medical Properties Trust (MPT), that pain continuesΒ today, with its shares falling back to their Great-Financial-Crisis lows. 😬

The medical-related real estate property operator revealed to investors that one of its tenants, Steward Health Care System, is roughly $50 million behind in rent payments. As a result, MPT will take a $225 million noncash charge to write off rent receivables and other items.Β 

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Musk Threatens Tesla’s AI Ambitions

The primary bull case for Tesla is that it’s not an automobile company but a technology one. Part of the reason it’s able to command such a high valuation relative to its peers is because of that technology’s potential business impact way down the line, especially as it introduces newer developments like artificial intelligence (AI).

However, that bull case is facing an unlikely opposition…from Elon Musk himself. 🀦

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