Zhiji L6 fails against Xiaomi’s SU7 Max; Xiaomi demands apology.

Author: Gong Jinhui

Around the launch of Xiaomi SU7 at the end of March, Xiaomi’s automotive sector experienced a tremendous surge in attention, becoming a frequent trending topic on Weibo. Everyone wanted to ride on its popularity wave. However, if not handled properly, this surge of attention might backfire, leading to severe criticism instead.

Last night at the Zhiji L6 press conference, Zhiji tried to position itself against Xiaomi SU7 Max but ended up mistakenly presenting key motor parameters. This move not only sparked outrage among netizens but also prompted a stern reprimand from Xiaomi official accounts. Xiaomi released three Weibo posts condemning Zhiji, demanding a public apology.

In the first Weibo post, Xiaomi stated that Zhiji’s actions were incompatible with SAIC Group’s reputation and incomprehensible as industry peers. Xiaomi urged Zhiji to publicly clarify the situation and formally apologize to the misled public. Later, Zhiji’s co-CEO, Liu Tao, clarified that both Xiaomi SU7 and Zhiji L6 use SiC silicon carbide modules for their front and rear motors and apologized to Xiaomi and the public.

However, Xiaomi did not accept this so-called apology. They posted a second Weibo saying, “We do not accept a casual and informal apology. We once again urge Zhiji to publicly clarify the situation and formally apologize to the misled public!” Unfortunately, Zhiji did not issue a formal apology promptly, leading Xiaomi to issue an ultimatum:

“If Zhiji does not issue a formal public apology, we will resort to legal measures to protect our rights. We urge Zhiji for the last time to apologize immediately.” Perhaps sensing Xiaomi’s seriousness or acknowledging their mistake, Zhiji had no choice but to issue a public apology, stating, “Due to an oversight in internal review leading to negative impacts on Xiaomi Motors, we sincerely apologize to all fans and users.”

Xiaomi finally received Zhiji’s formal apology. Whether they will proceed with legal action against Zhiji to protect their rights remains to be seen. In my opinion, while Zhiji eventually apologized under pressure, their lack of sincerity is evident. By shifting the blame to lax content review, Zhiji failed to earn credibility. Whether it was unintentional or deliberate, Zhiji alone knows best.

If deliberate, then I can only say that Zhiji has compromised its integrity, raising suspicions of deliberate sabotage and defamation against competitors. It’s common practice in both the smartphone and automotive industries to benchmark rivals at product launches. However, Zhiji not only failed to benchmark Xiaomi SU7 Max properly but also provided incorrect information. This disappointment is embarrassing and regrettable.

As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. Zhiji made a mistake and must face the consequences without excuses. Former OPPO Vice President Shen Yiren commented, “I don’t particularly like SU7, but I don’t dislike the car either. Lei Jun’s continuous entrepreneurial ability and resilience are admirable. However, Zhiji’s uninteresting actions lack technical substance, do not enhance themselves but tarnish their brand.”

Clearly, Zhiji’s attempt to benchmark Xiaomi SU7 Max with the Zhiji L6 generated attention but also led to a backlash from the public, making it a costly misstep. In fact, this is not the first time Zhiji has faced public backlash. Looking back at its short history, it has been frequently criticized online, especially its CEO Liu Tao, who often incurs negative attention for his behavior.

Two years ago, Liu Tao was caught on camera violating traffic rules while driving the Zhiji L7, including high-speed parking violations, changing lanes without signaling, crossing solid lines, and overspeeding, eventually facing the consequences of his reckless behavior. Apart from the traffic incident, Liu Tao’s controversial statements have also sparked outrage. For instance, he once said, “Users who spend four to five hundred thousand on BBA cars must be very helpless; it’s rather pitiful.” He also vaguely criticized Tesla as being arrogant and callous, endangering lives, only to delete the post later.

Perhaps, the leadership sets the tone for the team. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Zhiji’s attempt to discredit Xiaomi Automotive has received a negative response. Let’s hope they learn from their mistakes, genuinely respect their competitors, and avoid double standards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.