Confirmed: China’s Xiaopeng considering making its own semiconductor chips

As the global semiconductor arms race intensifies, Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors has confirmed it is considering manufacturing its own custom semiconductor chips.

The move was first reported by 36KR, which said an industry insider had revealed Xiopeng is actively recruiting chip technicians.

Today Xiaopeng Motors’ Vice President of Autonomous Driving, Xinzhou Wu, confirmed the option is being explored in a sit-down interview with CNBC.

“That’s the direction, yes (in-house chip production)… Competition in the China market (for semiconductor chips) is fierce at this point so we are looking at all options. What are the best ways to keep an advantage in the competition?” said Wu.

“So, so far we are doing very well in software, but moving forward we are looking at all possible option in how to keep us winning.”

Semiconductors are a critical element in autonomous vehicle software. The global semiconductor shortage has impacted production at other high-profile automakers such as Tesla, Ford and GM.

On Wednesday in Shanghai, Xiaopeng launched a new electric vehicle model – the P5.

Xiaopeng Motors’ stock price (NYSE:XPEV) is up around 44% since listing on on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2020.