β Pictoris (HR 2020) is the most prominent prototype of stars with circumstellar disks and has generated particular interest in the framework of young planetary systems. Given its spectral type A5, stellar activity is not expected. Nevertheless, resonance lines of C iii and O vi typical for a chromosphere and transition region have been unambiguously detected with FUSE. We present results from an XMM-Newton observation of β Pic and find evidence for X-ray emission. In particular, we detected an emission of O vii at 21.6 Å with the MOS detectors. These findings present a challenge for the development of both stellar activity and disk models. We discuss and investigate various models to explain the observed emission including the presence of a cool corona and a boundary layer.