On February 28, 2022, NIO announced that it has passed the hearing of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, obtained the approval in principle for the secondary listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and has issued relevant listing documents. This listing adopts the method of introduction and listing, and does not involve the issuance of new shares and fund raising. The company plans to start trading on March 10, 2022, with the stock code "9866".
Li Bin is going to be in Lei Jun’s site On "Take a Foot"
On NIO Day 3 years ago, Lei Jun recalled: "5 years ago, I thought Li Bin was a liar."
Because at that time the Internet created The car is very hot, and there are hundreds of teams working on it. When Li Bin came to look for it, Lei Jun had already met more than 20 entrepreneurs who wanted to build a car. "At that time, talking about building a car felt like cheating money." Lei Jun joked.
But Li Bin's subsequent sentence "I am willing to personally invest 150 million US dollars to do this" played a role, and Lei Jun became the first person to invest in Weilai.
Now, the two men are about to reunite in the smartphone arena. Just when Lei Jun was building a car, Li Bin had to go back and build a mobile phone and "plug a foot in Lei Jun's site." The mobile phone business department is ready to "build machines" across the border. This is also after Geely got involved in the mobile phone business, another car company ended up making mobile phones.
Liu Bo, vice president of OPPO, once said in the program "Finance About You" that the domestic high-end mobile phone market only has Apple and Huawei. However, Huawei's shipments plummeted after the chips were restricted, and the extra high-end market share was won by Apple's unprecedented price reduction strategy.
Xiaomi OV has taken a fancy to this market, but it has been unable to break through, so that Geely's mobile phone is positioned as a high-end smartphone as soon as it comes out. Judging from Weilai's high-end route on the new energy vehicle track, Weilai's mobile phone is likely to be aimed at high-end brands.
But, can Li Bin realize the high-end mobile phone dream that even Lei Jun has not yet achieved?
How high is the threshold for making mobile phones?
Some rumors and details indicate that NIO is ready to enter the mobile phone industry.
First of all, a number of people familiar with the matter recently revealed that Weilai Automobile has entered the mobile phone industry.
In response, Weilai's response was slightly ambiguous, and it did not explicitly deny it, but said that "there is currently no information to disclose, and further information will be communicated to you."
However, the source further pointed out that Weilai's mobile phone business is currently determined to be done, and the project is in the initial research stage. Basically excluding the possibility of OEM, and with a high probability of going out in person, its mobile phone products will have more interactive functions with NIO.
Secondly, there is information that Weilai is recruiting for positions related to the mobile phone business.
According to 36krypton report, Weilai’s mobile phone project has been established for a while, and even the mobile phone project was planned long before Xiaomi’s announcement of building a car. Currently, the team is located in Shenzhen and is recruiting personnel.
On the recruitment website, we can find that NIO has indeed released a large number of positions related to the mobile phone business, including BSP engineers, communication test engineers, imaging chip design engineers, etc.
A Weibo user named "Roger Scout" also revealed that the NIO mobile phone department has been doing a lot recently, and the funds are still increasing. After the year, there are more than 100 new offers. In the near future, more than 200 R&D positions are expected to be added in Shenzhen, including high, medium and low levels. The work place is Qianhai Excellence Building.
Another Weibo post of the user stated that the current Weilai Shenzhen mobile phone R&D team, in addition to mobile phonesBSP, as well as VR-related positions, are all recruiting externally.
According to the data, the mobile phone BSP is a layer between the motherboard hardware and the operating system. It is a part of the operating system. The main purpose is to support the operating system and enable it to run better on the hardware motherboard. superior.
All indications show that Weilai wants to enter the highly competitive mobile phone industry, and basically excludes the possibility of OEM, but develops and designs by itself.
In the era of smart phones, with the high integration of mobile phone modules, the hardware supply chain system in the industrial chain has become quite mature and complete, and almost all parts and components required for a mobile phone can be found in China. Manufacturers, which makes the threshold for making mobile phones not high, so the industry generally thinks that it is not difficult for car manufacturers to make mobile phones.
Wang Tao, founder of DJI, who has been rumored to build a car, once said that the current mobile phone industry is just a skin over the Internet. The threshold is not as high as a company that makes air conditioners.
Indeed, from the perspective of production difficulty, the manufacture of mobile phones by automobile factories can be regarded as a dimensionality reduction in difficulty. The number of auto parts, the complex supply chain, the difficulty of large-scale manufacturing, and the intensive degree of capital mobilization are dozens of times that of mobile phones. Even if the difficulty is reduced after the electrification of the car, it is still much more complicated than the mobile phone.
Comparing with automobiles, the production difficulty of mobile phones is much simpler. BYD, which is a mobile phone OEM in this regard, is a precedent. In 2020, BYD Electronics will become the foundry of Apple's new iPad in 2020. The financial report data shows that in 2020, the revenue of BYD's mobile phone components, assembly and other products business is about 60 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 12.48%, accounting for 38.3% of the total revenue.
At the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum held in June 2021, BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said, "We OEM many mobile phones, and most of Huawei's mobile phones are made by us" "Huawei's metal frame is 90%. They are all made by us, and the OEM means that the entire processing and assembly are also made by us.”
Although the threshold for building a mobile phone is not high, it is not easy to build a good mobile phone and requires a lot of human input.
According to Xiaomi's financial report, as of September 30, 2021, the number of R&D personnel in the company reached 13,900, accounting for more than 44% of the total number of employees. Among them, there are more than 500 members of the Xiaomi Auto team.
In addition, at present, the chips, cameras, memory, screens and other components of domestic Android manufacturers are almost all from Qualcomm, Sony, Hynix and Samsung, and the homogeneity is serious.
However, after the shortage of core components, Xiaomi OV has started to make cores one after another, which is another moat that car companies breaking into the mobile phone industry need to wade through.
The logic of car companies making mobile phones
Before Weilai, it was not uncommon for car companies to make mobile phones across borders.
On September 28 last year, Interstellar Times, founded by Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding Group, officially announced its entry into the field of mobile phones and invested 10 billion yuan. The first mobile phone is positioned as a high-end smartphone, which will integrate global technology and resources to serve the global market.
Li Shufu himself said that the project is progressing very rapidly, and he has begun to recruit talents for the project. The company will set up offices in Wuhan, Shanghai and other places in Hubei, and even overseas.
In January this year, it was rumored that Geely's mobile phone company was negotiating acquisitions with Meizu and was conducting due diligence.
Earlier, Tesla founder Elon Musk hinted in an interview that Tesla was ready to enter the mobile phone industry, claiming that it would take Apple as its opponent and enable users to surf the Internet for free forever.
Although the current Tesla mobile phone has not yet arrived, on February 7, according to overseas media reports, Tesla may be developing an application store similar to the Apple App Store, enabling car owners to download and Use various third-party applications.
Teslascope, a vertical website focused on Tesla, forwarded the above news and said, "Tesla has started its own app store related work from May 2021, and the app store will be before the launch of the electric pickup truck. Release.”
If successfully developed, it will allow owners of electric vehicles to download and install apps on their own, just like mobile phones, regardless of the model, which Tesla hopes to build Tesla Pulled software and hardware ecological chain.
In 2019, Musk said on a podcast, "As our number of cars grows, it starts to make more sense to develop games and other apps for Tesla."
In Tesla’s second quarter 2020 earnings conference call, he further stated that whenWhen cars are truly fully self-driving, people will want entertainment and productivity options in the car, hopefully through Tesla's "App Store or something" to let people play and work in the car.
In the just past fourth-quarter earnings call, Tesla said that 2022 will be "the year of software." Many people in the domestic industry also believe that the automobile is moving towards intelligent terminals, the status of software business in automobiles is becoming more and more important, and the era of software-defined automobiles has come.
The meaning of software-defined car generally refers to the traditional car's hardware (mechanical equipment), the car is regarded as a large-scale mobile intelligent terminal, and the user experience is determined by software. Voice interaction, assisted driving, and OTA are all part of it.
When asked why Geely made mobile phones in reverse cross-border, the relevant person in charge of Geely Auto also said that the mobile phone business will give full play to the experience and advantages of Geely's industrial chain. Capacity building, technological transformation and other aspects empower each other and achieve synergy.
Li Shufu's answer is that in order to build an ecosystem, in order to integrate vehicles and machines, in order to build software capabilities, in order to make smart cars more competitive.
He believes that mobile phone is an application carrier for electronic product market verification and software innovation, which can not only allow users to share innovation results as soon as possible, but also transfer some safe and reliable results to automobiles for application, so as to realize the integration of car-machine and software. The close interaction of mobile phone software technology.
Obviously, some car companies have realized that smart cars are the future mobile terminals, and mobile phones are the core of this smart ecosystem. The use of mobile phones to help improve the intelligent services of automobiles and achieve the goal of software-defined automobiles constitutes the core logic of automobile manufacturers in manufacturing mobile phones.
In addition, there are more specific benefits of self-made mobile phones, such as allowing car companies to better understand user preferences and improving the level of intelligence. Compared with the frequency of use of mobile phones, users currently operate a lot less on the large screen of electric vehicles, and it is difficult for car companies to collect user preferences simply through a screen mounted on the car.
For example, through the mobile phone, when the user is connected to WiFi, the collected road and driving data is uploaded to the cloud to optimize its own high-level assisted driving algorithm, instead of uploading through the vehicle background and paying it to the operation. expensive traffic fees.
What are the odds of NIO winning?
Nevertheless, for consumers, the mobile phone made by car companies is also a smart terminal based on practicality.
And with the tonality of NIO cars currently benchmarking against BBA, NIO mobile phones may also take the same high-end route. The question is, can NIO make a high-end mobile phone?
Let's take a look at Xiaomi's performance in the high-end market. At the beginning of 2020, Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi Mi 10 series to officially hit the high-end market. According to the financial report data in the third quarter of that year, the global sales of Xiaomi’s high-end mobile phones exceeded 8 million units, and the Xiaomi Mi 10 contributed to this.
After Xiaomi Mi 10, Xiaomi accelerated the update speed of high-end products. In 2021, a number of high-end models will be released intensively, including the Xiaomi Mi 11 series, the folding screen mobile phone MIX Fold, and the Xiaomi Mi 12 series launched at the end of the year.
However, according to media reports, Xiaomi Mi 11 started well, but it turned over the car because of the quality, and there were a lot of quality problems in the follow-up, including burning the motherboard, shutting down the black screen and burning WiFi, etc., which caused a lot of complaints . As of February 2022, Sina Black Cat has complained about 11,500 Xiaomi Mi 11 content.
Since then, Xiaomi Mi 12, a Xiaomi distributor in North China revealed that the overall performance of the Mi 12 series is not as good as the Mi 11 series. Representing Xiaomi's highest level of Xiaomi's folding screen mobile phone, the latest news is that the price of Xiaomi MIX FOLD has dropped by more than 3,000 yuan from the price of 9,999 yuan.
Statistics also show that Xiaomi is suppressed by Apple in the high-end market. According to a data from HCR Huichen, in 2021, the domestic high-end smartphone share (above 5,000 yuan), Apple will reach 74.26%, and Huawei will still maintain a 17.82% market share after two years of shortages. In comparison, Xiaomi's share in this statistical list is only 2.97%.
Although Xiaomi is still chanting slogans and insisting on "high-end", it is facing potential obstacles.
One of them is that on the way to the high-end, the chip is a topic that Xiaomi OVs cannot avoid. After the absence of Huawei's Kirin chip, domestic mobile phones have fewer choices in mobile phone chips, leaving only options such as Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek and Zhanrui. Among the high-end mobile phones launched this year, iQOO 9pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, etc. are all equipped with Snapdragon 8 series processors.
In terms of brand, Xiaomi, which started with cost-effectiveness, does not have "high-end genes". On the other hand, when Weilai makes mobile phones, it is difficult to learn Huawei from self-developed chips. In the short term, it can only learn from Xiaomi and buy parts from third parties for "assembly".
Fortunately, NIO can export the high-end image created during car building to mobile phones through its own brand positioning. But just relying on its own brand premium, it is not easy to take a high-end road in the highly competitive mobile phone market.
At present, there have been many voices in the market that look down on Li Bin making mobile phones.