Hong Kong (CNN) — Xiaomi is scheduled to formally launch its much-anticipated electric car — the new Speed Ultra 7 (SU7) sedan — on Thursday night in Beijing.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the popular Chinese smartphone brand, teased the launch this week by saying he wanted the company’s first electric vehicle to be the “best-looking, easiest to drive, and smartest car” priced below 500,000 yuan ($69,180).

“Xiaomi wants to build a ‘dream car’ comparable to Porsche and Tesla,” he said on Weibo on Wednesday.

“If we want to build good cars, we must seriously learn from these two best car manufacturers in the world,” he added.

Xiaomi will announce detailed pricing at the launch event.

However, the company’s big auto ambitions come at a time when competition in the industry has become intense in China. The world’s largest EV market, supercharged by the heavy state subsidies in the past decade, has become overcrowded.

There are currently more than 200 major manufacturers producing pure EVs and plug-in hybrids. A price war erupted last year as companies tried to boost sales in the face of weaker consumer demand.

Average profit margins fell to just 5% in 2023, according to official statistics. The biggest player in the industry, BYD, said earlier this week that its quarterly profit growth was the slowest in two years, as sales lost momentum.

Xiaomi’s SU7 has been on display in showrooms in 29 cities across mainland China since Monday, according to Lei.

Xiaomi, which made its name as manufacturers of smartphones and other consumer electronics, accounted for 13% of both global and Chinese smartphone sales in the last quarter of 2023, according to data from Counterpoint Research. It ranked No. 5 in China for the full year of 2023.

In 2021, Xiaomi announced that it would invest $10 billion over the next decade into a subsidiary focused on smart EVs.

Xiaomi SU7’s standard version has a starting range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), which is better than Tesla’s Model 3’s long-range version, Lei said in his Weibo posts.

By setting the price tag below 500,000 yuan, Xiaomi appears to be targeting premium consumers in an intensively competitive market. It is significantly cheaper than an imported Porsche Taycan, which starts at 898,000 yuan ($124,248). It’s also positioned competitively against Tesla’s Model S sedan, which starts at 698,900 yuan ($96,700).

EVs in China are priced much lower than the rest of the world. For example, BYD’s most affordable model, the Seagull hatchback, has been priced as low as 69,800 yuan ($9,658).

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