Xiaomi makes cars: the last hope of big factories

Author | Stand Ye

Edit | Kang Xiao

Xiaomi company’s progress on Xiaomi automobile is finally no longer secretive.

On August 29th, the announcement of Xiaomi Company’s performance in the second quarter of 2023 showed that the investment in innovative business such as Xiaomi smart electric vehicle continued to increase, and Q2 investment reached 1.4 billion yuan. Lu Weibing, president of Xiaomi Group, responded in the performance conference call: the investment in cash flow of Xiaomi Automobile is higher than the disclosed figure.

Lu Weibing said that the actual investment of Xiaomi Automobile is even greater. Xiaomi is making the long-term layout of the automobile with the goal of entering the top five in the world in the future, self-researching, and also building its own automobile factory.

In addition, not long ago, Xiaomi Automobile just finished the summer test, and the progress exceeded expectations, maintaining the mass production target in the first half of 2024 unchanged.

On August 14th, Lei Jun, the chairman of Xiaomi Group, made no mention of this major strategy of Xiaomi Automobile in his fourth New Year’s speech. At the same time, the news that Baidu gave up making cars made the future of Xiaomi’s car-making become dark.

In just over two weeks, the official disclosure of Xiaomi Company confirmed the consistency of Xiaomi’s car-making strategy to some extent.

Recently, according to foreign media reports, the National Development and Reform Commission approved Xiaomi Company to produce electric vehicles earlier this month, which marked an important step for Xiaomi Automobile to mass-produce in early 2024. In response to this news, Xiaomi Company did not make any reply to the outside world.

Whether or not we can get the production qualification of new energy vehicles is the first major difficulty encountered by the new forces on the road to building cars. LI, Xpeng Motors, Weimar, Zero Run and other new forces all acquire production qualifications through mergers and acquisitions of enterprises with production qualifications.

Today, Didi, Baidu, Huawei, Tencent, Ali and other big companies in the field of science and technology Internet either don’t build cars, or have given up building cars one after another. Xiaomi Automobile has become "the last hope of the whole village".

Xiaomi finally "sat" on the poker table.

Lei Jun finally sat on the table of new energy vehicles.

Xiaomi has been acting frequently recently. Pictures of Lei Jun, Xiaomi Group President Lu Weibing and Shunwei Capital Investment Partner Hu Zhengnan doing road test for new cars in Xinjiang have been widely spread on social media. In addition, the domain name of "xiaomiev.com" has been exposed.

On March 30, 2021, the board of directors of Xiaomi Group officially approved the establishment of the smart electric vehicle business and announced that it would build a car next time. According to the plan, Xiaomi will invest 10 billion US dollars in the next decade, and set the goal of mass production of the first batch of cars in the first half of 2024.

It has been two and a half years since Lei Jun announced the construction of the car, and Xiaomi’s construction of the car has always remained mysterious to the outside world.

However, at that time, at that time, the situation in the new energy market at that time when Lei Jun announced the construction of the car has changed greatly. Nowadays, the domestic new energy electric vehicle market is already the Red Sea, BYD has risen strongly, and the ideal of new forces to build cars has set off a banner.

Regarding the progress of Xiaomi Automobile, Lei Jun revealed at the beginning of this year, "Xiaomi’s car-making is progressing smoothly at present, and it can even be said that it exceeds expectations. But the car is very complicated, so you must not worry. I also hope that everyone will give some patience and give some encouragement. "

Lei Jun also said: "In the next two years, we are not going to rumor and introduce any new progress about Xiaomi’s car making."

Of course, people in the automobile circle pointed out that Xiaomi’s low-key is a consideration of commercial confidentiality on the one hand, and of course, the most important thing is that he has not yet obtained qualifications.

Previously, the industry generally believed that Xiaomi would undertake Beijing Baowo’s car-making qualification, but in June this year, Beijing Baowo Automobile applied for cancellation of automobile production qualification by itself, which meant that Xiaomi could not directly obtain qualification cooperation from Baowo.

In China, the production qualification has been basically stopped since July 1, 2017. Whether or not we can get the production qualification of new energy vehicles is the first major difficulty encountered by the new forces on the road to building cars.

Recently, Reuters reported that the National Development and Reform Commission had approved Xiaomi Company to produce electric vehicles earlier this month, and Xiaomi became the fourth enterprise approved by the National Development and Reform Commission since the end of 2017.

In addition, Xiaomi needs to obtain the approval of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to meet the Regulations on the Administration of New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers and Products Access.

Domestic production and sales of new energy vehicles need "double qualifications", and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has not yet disclosed the relevant information of Xiaomi Automobile, which may be one of the reasons why Xiaomi officials remain silent. In the past two years, it has been extremely low-key about Xiaomi’s car.

However, the recent frequent movements of Xiaomi car may also confirm from the side that Xiaomi car may be a good thing approaching. A source said: Xiaomi plans to produce about 100,000 electric vehicles next year. Some Xiaomi employees also said that since last week, the company has also accelerated the recruitment of electric vehicle factories to prepare for the increase in production in December.

According to the news of "Leopard Change", the Yizhuang factory of Xiaomi Automobile has been basically completed, and the factory has produced and rolled off four or five cars. It is actively testing, and the model is highly confidential. Most employees in Yizhuang factory have never seen the "true face" of the car. Only four or five cars wrapped in black cloth are constantly testing in and out.

Big manufacturers have given up making cars.

Didi, which made cars almost at the same time as Xiaomi’s announcement, has never been officially announced, but the industry has defaulted. On August 28th, Xpeng Motors and Didi announced at the same time that Xpeng Motors would acquire the related assets and R&D capabilities of Didi’s smart electric vehicle project for a maximum of HK$ 5.835 billion. A senior in the automobile industry told Deep Net: "This means the end of building cars by Didi".

Building a car by Didi dates back to 2021 at the earliest. At that time, the net transmission Didi established the car-making business code-named "Da Vinci", and the person in charge was Yang Jun, vice president of Didi Travel and general manager of Xiaoju Car Service. It has been reported that the team has a size of 1,700 people, and it is expected that the car-making plan will be released in mid-2023, and it will be delivered one year later.

"Leonardo da Vinci will not rebuild the whole car, nor will he sell the whole car again. In addition to engineering and products will leave some people, brand, marketing, after-sales and other departments will be cleared. " According to Tiger Sniff, citing people familiar with the matter, Didi gave up building a car not because of its qualification. "Cheng Wei is very uncertain about building a car, and he lacks confidence in passing it on to the people below … and finally he can only sell his business."

It is also true. The announcement shows that in 2021, Didi’s car-making business lost 763 million yuan, accounting for 1.5% of Didi’s annual loss, but by 2022, the loss of Didi’s car-making business has reached 2.638 billion yuan, and the loss has increased by 245% year-on-year. In addition, the qualification of building a car is also one of the factors, and under the superposition of many factors, "Da Vinci" was acquired by Tucki.

Compared with the low-key Didi car business, Baidu is more high-profile. Almost at the same time as Xiaomi built a car, on January 11, 2021, Baidu officially announced that it would build a car, saying that it would formally form a smart car company and enter the automobile industry as a vehicle manufacturer. Geely Holding Group was a strategic partner of the new company at that time, and Baidu also cut into vehicle manufacturing by investing in Weimar.

Since 2016, Baidu has participated in the research and development of smart cars. Li Yanhong’s approach is to do almost all the core areas related to cars, from vehicle manufacturing to bicycle coordination to vehicle-road coordination.

On the evening of August 14th, Jidu Automobile, a car-making project of Baidu, officially "renamed" the Extreme Yue brand. The first model of the original Jidu automobile, "Jidu ROBO-01", was renamed as "Extreme Yue 01" and entered the public announcement of the latest batch of new automobile products of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It can be understood that the Extreme Yue 01 has obtained the qualification for marketing.

The concentration has become extremely high, and Baidu has changed from a major shareholder who takes the lead in building a car to a technology provider who participates in building a car. This means that the founder of Baidu, Li Yanhong, has given up building a car. According to the Financial Times’ report in early August, Baidu’s final abandonment of building its own car through concentration is also related to the fact that it has never been qualified. In addition, Baidu seems to have focused its business on the big AI model.

Ali, on the other hand, held a heavy position in Tucki, and later took a stake in Zhiji Automobile jointly built by SAIC and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech, accounting for 18% of the shares. The automatic driving of Dharma Institute was transferred to the novice.

At that time, cross-border car-building became a common practice. Didi, Baidu, Meituan, Qihoo 360, OPPO, Gree, Skyworth, LeTV, Evergrande and Baoneng all made cars, and some companies chose to provide services as suppliers, such as Tencent and Huawei.

Nowadays, times have changed, and only Xiaomi is still on the road, which has become the last hope of big manufacturers.

"Cost-effective" has become a Red Sea competition.

"At present, Xiaomi is facing a lot of pressure. The high-end mobile phone business has not broken through, and the pressure on inventory and cash flow is quite high. For Xiaomi, there is an urgent need for explosive products to drain, so everything is put on the car-making business," an insider of Xiaomi told Deep Net.

Xiaomi’s second-quarter financial report shows that in terms of R&D expenditure, Xiaomi’s R&D expenditure reached RMB 4.6 billion in the second quarter, a year-on-year increase.

21.0%, maintained a year-on-year growth for nine consecutive quarters, and R&D personnel accounted for nearly 52%. The compound annual growth rate of R&D investment in the past six years (2017-2022) is as high as 38.4%. It is estimated that the total R&D investment of Xiaomi will exceed RMB 20 billion in 2023.

Regardless of the R&D strength and investment level, Xiaomi Company has been working hard in the hardware industry for so many years. Xiaomi Automobile has little problem in design, R&D and production, but the competition pattern of new energy vehicles is becoming increasingly fierce, which is very different from the environment when Xiaomi Automobile first proposed to build a car.

First, the mobile phone industry has encountered a down cycle. The financial report shows that Xiaomi’s smartphone business revenue in the quarter was 36.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 13.4%. Xiaomi Group’s smartphone business revenue in the second quarter of 2023 was 36.6 billion yuan, down 13.4% from 42.3 billion yuan in the same period of last year, mainly due to the decrease in smartphone shipments; Global smartphone shipments were 32.9 million units, down 15.8% from 39.1 million units in the same period last year.

In addition, the external environment of Xiaomi automobile has changed. In 2021, the pattern of new energy vehicles in China is still unclear. In 2022, after BYD announced in March that it would stop producing fuel vehicles, the sales of new energy vehicles rose suddenly, exceeding 100,000 vehicles/month, leaving behind all new car-making forces including Tesla China. In the first half of 2023, BYD ranked first in global and domestic new energy sales, accounting for 37.4% of China market share.

"The automobile industry is entering the Warring States period, and resources are accelerating to focus on the head enterprises."Liu Feilei, secretary of the board of directors of Guangzhou Automobile Ai ‘an, said that in 2023, the price war in the automobile market will become fierce, and the market competition will enter the "knockout stage". In the future, 3-5 first-class head enterprises will be formed.

In 2022, the top five brands in the new energy vehicle market accounted for 50.1% of the market sales, and it is estimated that the top five brands will account for 80% of the sales in 2030.

On the day when Lei Jun released his 2023 annual speech, Tesla announced another price reduction promotion. Later, new forces including Ideal and Weilai had to continue to follow up. Even though the G6, a new explosion model, was launched in the first half of the year, Tucki’s financial report for the new quarter was still negative for two consecutive quarters, with increasing losses.

In the market range of about 200,000, the fight for new energy vehicles has become a river of blood. For Xiaomi Automobile, it just looks beautiful to continue its high cost performance in the field of mobile phones, because the core competitiveness of most new domestic car-making forces on the market is "super high cost performance".

The underlying supporting capacity of price competitiveness is large-scale production, and Xiaomi Automobile, which has just started, is in a great disadvantage compared with BYD and other enterprises.

Recently, overseas media reported that Xiaomi Automobile will only keep a profit margin of 1%, which is obtained from software rather than hardware. Whether the internet thinking can help Lei Jun break the game can only be tested by time.

"People’s Daily" column issued a document: adding more sea-friendly space for citizens and tourists.

Today’s People’s Daily published an article "Adding More Seaside Space for Citizens and Tourists" in the column "Practice of Ludao Butterfly in Xiamen", paying attention to the continuous beach protection and restoration in Xiamen, Fujian.

The article said that in the 1980s, due to natural and human factors, the beaches in Xiamen were damaged to varying degrees. The common method of early coastal protection is to build hard revetment with riprap and reinforced concrete. Xiamen, on the other hand, follows the principle of "beach is suitable" to restore beaches, enhance coastal protection capacity and carry out systematic protection and restoration of beaches.

Since 2007, Xiamen has successively completed the protection and restoration of many beaches such as Guanyin Mountain, Convention and Exhibition Center and Gulangyu Island, with a cumulative restoration area of 1.65 million square meters. In the process of protection and restoration, Xiamen insists on leaving the most beautiful coastline to the people. The total beach area of the city is 2.4 million square meters, which adds more sea-friendly space for citizens and tourists. Xiamen organically combines sports, culture, tourism and leisure facilities, and organizes beach football matches, beach culture festivals and other activities. The once dirty beach has become a scenic beach and an activity area for cultural and sports events.

In recent years, Xiamen has continuously strengthened cooperation with scientific research institutes in beach protection and restoration, increased investment in scientific research and development, and carried out basic and applied scientific research on beach conservation. Together with the Third Institute of Oceanography of the Ministry of Natural Resources and other units, a number of industry standards have been compiled and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources, which has become an important support for scientific and standardized beach maintenance and restoration projects. Related technologies have been gradually extended to Guangdong, Hainan and other provinces, and have also been applied to coastal protection projects in countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka where the Belt and Road Initiative is jointly built.

The Japanese team defeated the American team and won the world baseball classic championship.

(Observer News) According to Kyodo News, the world baseball classic (WBC) final was held in Miami, Florida, USA on the 21st local time. Japan defeated the last champion, the United States, 3-2 to win the championship for the third time. The last time Japan won the championship was the second WBC in 2009.

Japan won the championship. Figure from Kyodo News

Do you still need a structural biologist with AI? Wait for the top experts in Shi Yigong to see it this way.

Recently, Yan Ning, a famous structural biologist, announced that he would resign from Princeton University and set up the Academy of Medical Sciences in Shenzhen. In response to the latest research that she will focus on when she returns to China, she said that the discovery of structural biology is of great significance to the pharmaceutical industry, including the research on the interaction between drugs and hormones, which has more implications for drug development and disease treatment.

Yan Ning said, for example, that through the method of structural biology, scientists saw for the first time that two commonly used drugs used protein as a "scaffold", which directly "side by side" affected the normal function of protein.

Technological change promotes the development of structural biology.

Protein, as the scaffold and main substance of human tissues and organs, plays an important role in human life activities. In the cell, a large number of protein elements form the molecular machines, which performs important molecular processes in the cell through the interaction of protein, including the cell’s response to the external environment and the internal environment, and also forms a signal transduction network system with the interaction of protein as a link.

Structure By studying the three-dimensional structure, dynamic process and biological function of biological macromolecules, biology can provide more details of protein interaction and real-time dynamic process, thus helping scientists to understand molecular mechanism and explore the pathogenesis of diseases related to macromolecular dysfunction.

The development of biology not only contributes to the discovery of drugs, but also affects the research fields of life sciences including biochemistry, cell biology, genetic development, neurobiology, microbiology and pathopharmacology.

The development of science and technology has been promoting the progress of structural biology. In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to cryoelectron microscopy, which can greatly improve the efficiency of analyzing the atomic resolution three-dimensional structure of large protein complexes; Moreover, researchers can freeze biomolecules in motion and visualize their motion process.

This breakthrough has brought a perfect storm to the field of structural biology. In recent years, important breakthroughs have been made in the field of life sciences. The work of China scientists such as Cheng Yifan, Shi Yigong, Yang Maojun and Liu Zhengfeng has also benefited from this technology. They have analyzed the important complex structure of atomic resolution. In addition, the enzyme that produces the protein that leads to Alzheimer’s syndrome was analyzed by cryomicroscope.

In August, 2015, Shi Yigong’s research team published an article in Nature, reporting the three-dimensional electron microscope structure of human γ -secretase with a resolution of 3.4 angstrom, and studying the function of the pathogenic mutant of γ -secretase based on the structure analysis, which provided an important foundation for understanding the working mechanism of γ -secretase and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

In February, 2020, after the outbreak of COVID-19, the research team of West Lake University successfully analyzed the full-length structure of novel coronavirus receptor ACE2 for the first time by using cryo-electron microscopy, which helped the research and development of drugs in COVID-19.

What does AI predict protein folding change?

With the help of artificial intelligence technology, DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google, recently announced 220 million kinds of protein structures predicted by AlphaFold software, which shocked the field of structural biology, because it indicates that artificial intelligence enterprises have begun to "truly hand over the power of Al to scientists all over the world".

Scientists compare the significance of this disruptive breakthrough with the human genome project. In the 1990s, when the Human Genome Project began to take shape, scientists realized that it was not enough to master the base arrangement of genes, but also to know the protein, the product of genes.

Shi Yigong, academician of China Academy of Sciences, structural biologist and president of West Lake University, commented on AlphaFold’s work: "Its accurate prediction of protein structure is the greatest contribution of artificial intelligence to the scientific field, and it is also one of the most important scientific breakthroughs made by mankind in the 21st century."

Shi Yigong once told China Business News: "AlphaFold represents the world’s leading artificial intelligence protein organization prediction system." At the same time, he said, China’s high-tech enterprises are catching up, expecting to bring surprises to the world in the near future.

He also said that the improvement of the accuracy of protein structure prediction will greatly benefit the pharmaceutical industry. "Artificial intelligence prediction of protein structure provides an important foundation for drug design and optimization. The structure of drug target proteins combined with all small molecule drugs can almost be wiped out by AlphaFold. " Shi Yigong said.

In the opinion of some scientists, although AlphaFold’s work is shocking, the accuracy of drug research and development prediction is not enough. Professor Liu Zhijie, executive director of iHuman Institute, Shanghai University of Science and Technology, told the First Financial Reporter: "It has been a long time to predict the protein structure. Now the accuracy of the prediction is definitely getting higher and higher, but it still hasn’t reached the precision of crystal structure."

Liu Zhijie First Financial News told the reporter that the crystal structure is the most accurate, and now artificial intelligence can predict the protein folding with the accuracy of electron microscope and nuclear magnetic resonance. In addition, because there are thousands of structures in protein, the difficulty of analysis is different. "If some protein sequences are similar to the known structure of artificial intelligence, it is easier to predict." Liu Zhijie said.

However, he still believes that with the continuous improvement of the prediction accuracy of protein folding, it will play a more important role in the field of life sciences in the future. "If the current prediction can reach the accuracy of electron microscope, some drugs can already be designed. Drug design is the biggest application field of artificial intelligence protein folding prediction." Said to Liu Zhijie First Financial Reporter.

Others think that with the development of artificial intelligence, there may not be so many structural biologists in the future. "Many researchers who do structural biology are actually more like technical service personnel. The more people there are, the more structures that can be analyzed. Therefore, in essence, a large part of their work depends on manpower. Now with AI, it is true that a large number of people who do structural biology have changed careers." A virus researcher told the First Financial News reporter.

However, for top structural biologists such as Shi Yigong, technology is only a powerful support for the "top brain", which can help them realize more ideas. "Every conscientious biologist should know how to make good use of the structural prediction of artificial intelligence." Shi Yigong said.

Professor Michael Levitt, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013, told China Business News: "I think many structural biologists are not only doing structural research, but also doing a lot of work on protein function and drug research and development, just like Professor Yan Ning. Artificial intelligence only liberates a part of traditional manpower, but the progress of science still needs to rely on the smartest human brain. I’m afraid that artificial intelligence alone will not work. "

In recent years, a number of AI pharmaceutical companies have also been born in China. In this regard, Ewing Nan, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Beijing Institute of Scientific Intelligence, pointed out to the First Financial Reporter: "The emergence of AI for Science research paradigm is an important historical opportunity for scientific and technological innovation, which not only expands the capability boundary of data-driven and physical model-driven models, but also is expected to promote the organic combination of the two, provide theoretical basis for further solving practical problems, and greatly narrow the distance between scientific research and practical application."

The old lady of Shanghai takes pensions to constitute a crime of fraud, proving that the pension white eater is a criminal act

#270,000 elderly golden cases open##

The truth of this fact is that from 2009 to 2015, the old lady of Shanghai, Qian Mou, would abandon the husband who lost his ability to take care of his self -care in the hospital after paying some medical expenses during the hospitalization treatment, until the husband died alone. After the death of her husband, Qian still refused to go through the relevant procedures, and at the same time, he took the husband’s pension and accounted for himself.

On June 9, 2021, a case of fraud and abandonment of Qian, a public prosecution of the People’s Procuratorate of Minhang District, Shanghai, was held in the Minhang District People’s Court.

The truth of the case is very clear.

Some people think that pensions are in the country, and the national Tang monk meat, all Chinese citizens can eat, all of which are desirable. Therefore, it is not believed that the old lady of Shanghai Qian Mou is a criminal act. This view is particularly popular in the small and fresh meat little beauties. Because the little fresh meat and the little beauty thinks that farmers are reasonable to eat white food, everyone can not pay a penny social security, and they can be sits to share the social security provers for decades.

However, the understanding of farmers is extreme errors.

In the basic composition of pensions, all pensions of social insurance forms should belong to the private property of citizens who pay social security, and they are not owned by the whole society. In the basic pension of the national welfare form, [also known as the pension subsidy], that is, the country’s money from the city taxpayer to the farmer, the other social benefits that belong to the country to the farmers to the elderly.

Compared with the former, although it is also called pension, it is actually very different in nature. That is to say, the essence of social maintenance money is the private property of citizens who pay social security. They use their labor income to take out a part of their salary every month to invest in their future pensions, like bank savings. But more advanced than banks, these social property from citizens is managed by the state and has absolute security and insurance stability. The basic pension [also known as the pension subsidy for white hair to the farmers], the source of funds is not the citizen of the social security, but from the city’s hundreds of millions of taxpayers. Do not bear the tax responsibilities and obligations that every citizen should have, and the one billion farmers have no longer contributed a penny to the national fiscal tax for seventeen years. Therefore, these money -sweats from urban taxpayers have been distributed to farmers through the hands of the country. The money does not have the nature of private property, but has a social welfare nature.

Understanding the above principles, I understand that the old lady of Shanghai, Qian Mou, led her died of more than 270,000 yuan. The violent object was the private property of all social security citizens.

Similarly, those who do not pay a penny for social security, and those who have to pay the social security persons for decades of social security people are divided by farmers, which are those who eat white food selfish little fresh meat and little beauty. In fact Criminal behavior, they are public robbery, because their violations are the private property of the whole society who has paid social security for decades. But it is terrible that some people have committed guilty and do not know sin. Zhen Zhen has words that he is the savior of the peasant. He has called for robbery and plundering under the banner of speaking for farmers. As criminals, they have gone far enough on the road of illegal.

These pension articles videos are full of headlines. This fully shows that a large number of cyber criminals are active on the media network. They attempted to learn ancient bandits and live on the wealth of others by robbing others.

The opening of the old lady in Shanghai should let the small and fresh meat and little beauties who advocated robbery to calm the rational and rational girls. Please do not go further and further on the road of crime.