This marks its debut in the automotive sector.

Xiaomi has gained immense popularity for its range of smart devices, which include phones, media players, lights and more. Now, the brand is entering the automotive sector. It recently registered itself as an electric vehicle unit in China.

Xiaomi EV, the new unit, opened with registered capital of 10 billion yuan (about R22 billion) and Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun as its legal representative, Xiaomi said.

So far, the unit has employed an odd 300 people. According to their statement, they are continuing to seek talent to join their team.

In March, the tech manufacturer vowed to break into the car industry. It promised to invest about R144bn in this sector over the course of just 10 years. At the time, Lei said the push into electric vehicles would mark his “last major entrepreneurial project”.

So far, Xiaomi has been quiet about what their approach will be. They have not revealed any information about the kinds of cars they will develop or the sort of technology they will use. They have indicated, though, that they have conducted research and surveys to get a better understanding of the market.

Just last week, Xiaomi acquired a small company called Deepmotion, which specialises in autonomous driving technology. It is understood that they bought the startup to gain a better understanding of how these kinds of technologies work.

Xiaomi’s second-quarter earnings last week beat analyst estimates, with revenues and net profits increasing 64% and 87.4% respectively.