All You Need to Know about Xiaomi - The Popular Chinese Electronics Company

‘Quality products at honest pricing’ is almost everyone’s need. Xiaomi has a separate fan base for its high-grade products built with cutting-edge technology at reasonable prices. Xiaomi is a Chinese company that has its major ground in electronics. The company has its presence over 30 countries and is expanding to become a global brand. Xiaomi is regarded as the fourth most valuable technology startup in the world. Xiaomi Mobiles have also gained much popularity in India, and tops the list of best selling phones in India.

Xiaomi India even made it to the ‘GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS’ by building the largest light mosaic (logo) in the world. It was set by placing 9,690 bulbs and this momentous work is found on the terrace of Xiaomi’s head office at Bengaluru. Here are some more interesting facts and figures about Xiaomi.

Xiaomi – Company Highlights

Startup Name Xiaomi
Headquarters Beijing, China
Sector Consumer Electronics
Founders Lei Jun
Founded April 2010
Parent Organization Xiaomi.Inc
Website www.mi.com

About Xiaomi
Xiaomi - Founders
Xiaomi - History
Xiaomi - Name, Tagline & Logo
Xiaomi - Funding & Investors
Xiaomi - Competitors
Xiaomi - Revenue Model
Xiaomi - Growth & Revenue
Xiaomi - Future Plans

About Xiaomi

Xiaomi is an electronics company based in Beijing, China. It was founded by Lei Jun in April 2010, and in 2014, Xiaomi was the largest smartphone company in China. Today, Xiaomi is one of the top five smartphone vendors in the world. The smartphone commodities of Xiaomi include different series such as Mi Series, Mi Note Series, Mi Max Series, Mi Mix Series, Mi NoteBook Series, Redmi Series, Blackshark, and Pocophone. Xiaomi has around 291.6 million active users for its MIUI updates. Besides, the company also offers laptops, mobile apps, mobile accessories, wearables, home appliances and smart-home devices.

From 2019, Xiaomi even started selling accessories such as caps, bags, glasses, backpacks and also lunchboxes, pillows, cups, filters, umbrellas and screwdrivers.

In 2018, Xiaomi launched Mi Credit in India for easy accessibility of personal loans.  The company also offers various value-added-internet-services like 'Mi Music', 'Mi Video' and 'Mi Game'.

Also Read: How the Rising Agitation Against China will Impact the Chinese Funded Startups in India

Xiaomi - Founders

Lei Jun is the founder, CEO and President of Xiaomi. The other co-founders are, Lin Bin, Dr. Zhou Guangping, Liu De, Li Wanqiang, Wong Kong-Kat, Hong Feng and Chuan Wang.

Lei Jun is a graduate in computer science from Wuhan University. In 1992, Lei Jun joined Kingsoft, a Chinese software company as an engineer. In 1998, Lei Jun became the CEO of Kingsoft. On December 2007, he resigned from Kingsoft for health related issues. While he was still working with Kingsoft, Lei Jun founded and online bookstore named Joyo.com. Joyo.com was acquired by Amazon.com in 2004.

After resigning from Kingsoft, Lei Jun became an angel investor and invested in over 20 companies. He still invests in various companies through Shunwei Capital. In 2008, he joined UC Web as Chairman, and in 2010 Lei Jun founded Xiaomi.

Xiaomi co-founder & President Lin Bin is a graduate in radio electronics, and holds a rich experience of working with companies like ADP, Microsoft and Google. Lin Bin is also a member of the board of advisors of Tufts University School of Engineering located in Boston (USA).

Dr. Zhou Guangping, who is a Phd in Electrical Engineering, worked with Motorola and held various pivotal positions in the company before joining Xiaomi. Currently Dr. Zhou leads the hardware and BSP teams at Xiaomi.

Liu De is an M.S. and an expert in Industrial design. He established the Industrial Design Department at University of Science and Technology Beijing. In 2003, Liu De founded 'New Edge' , an Industrial Design Company. Mr Liu currently looks after the industrial design and Ecosystem Development teams at Xiaomi.

Li Wanqiang is known as one of the earliest UI and HCI experts in China. After completing his graduation in Industrial Engineering in 2000, Mr. Wanqiang joined Kingsoft , where he was leading many important and well known software projects. In 2010 Wanqiang joined Xiaomi as a co-founder.

Wong Kong-Kat graduated in computer science in 1997, and joined Microsoft, where he worked till 2010. Mr Wong is now in charge of the Mi wifi and Mi Cloud teams.

Hong Feng holds a post graduate degree in computer science.  He started his career with Siebel System as a Lead Software Engineer. In 2006, Mr. Hong joined Google as a Senior Software Engineer. Later he also looked after the development of various localized product of Google (in China) like Google Music and Google Pinyin Input as a Senior Product Manager at Google China. Mr Hong now looks after the MIUI division at Xiaomi.

Xiaomi co-founder Chuan Wang is a seasoned entrepreneur. In 1997, Mr Wang founded Thunderstone Technology, which grew to be the largest VOD (Video on Demand) system provider in China. In 2007 Chuan Wang founded digital book company  named Beijing Duokan Technology of which he is currently the CEO. In 2012, Mr Wang joined Xiaomi as the co-founder and Vice President. Presently he manages the Mi TV and Mi Box teams at Xiaomi.

As per Wikipedia, Xiaomi has around 16,700 employees worldwide.

Xiaomi - History

Lei Jun founded Xiaomi  in 2010, as a software company and created MIUI ROM based on Google's Android. The idea behind developing MIUI was to offer more functionalities and a better UI than Android. MIUI indeed got the popularity it deserved. As per reports in March 2020, the MAU ( Monthly Active Users) of MIUI increased to 330.7 million worldwide.

In 2011 Xiaomi entered the hardware segment by launching the Mi One phone. The Xiaomi team's focus has been on creating quality hardware devices and sell them than comparatively lower costs than those available in the market while they intended to make revenue through their services and content. The company today not only sells mobile phones, but much more like mobile apps, wearables, home appliances and smart home devices.

The meaning of the word ‘Xiaomi’ is ‘Millet’ and few reports show that it also means ‘Rice’. Lei Jun relates the word ‘Xiao’ to the Buddhist concept that, ‘a single grain of rice is as great as a mountain’, indicating the company’s endurance. “Only for fans” was its tagline before.

The logo of the company shows the word ‘MI’- written in white placed inside an orange rectangle. ‘MI’ is the abbreviation for “Mobile Internet”, but Xiaomi has mentioned that it can also be read as “Mission Impossible”, representing all the challenges the company has faced so far.

Xiaomi Logo
Xiaomi Logo

Also Read: Secrets To Chinese Investment in Indian Startups – Even In This Down Economy

Xiaomi - Funding & Investors

Xiaomi has raised funding worth approx. $3.5 Billion over twelve different funding rounds. Xiaomi went public in 2018.

Date Stage Amount Investors
December 2010 Series A $41 Million -
December 2011 Series B $90M IDG Capital, Shunwei Capital, Morningside Venture Capital
June 2012 Series C $216M Morningside Group
June 2012 Series C - Morningside Venture Capital
August 2013 Series D - -
October 2014 Debt Financing $1B Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase
December 2014 Series E $1.1B -
April 2015 Funding Round - Ratan Tata
March 2016 Secondary Market - -
July 2017 Debt Financing $1B -
April 2018 Secondary Market $800K -

Xiaomi - Competitors

Top competitors of Xiaomi include Samsung Electronics, Apple, Huawei, OnePlus, and Oppo. Xiaomi sustains its paramount position with constant updates and optimization along with marketing at reasonable prices.

Xiaomi - Revenue Model

Xiaomi’s primary source of revenue is from smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) and lifestyle products, internet services and other miscellaneous products and services that the company offers.

A major portion of Xiaomi's revenue comes from the sale of smartphones. In 2018, the company is reported to have sold 119 million smartphones. Around 25% of Xiaomi's revenue comes from IoT and Lifestyle products. The company deals in a wide variety of IoT enabled products like smart TVs, electric scooters, vacuum cleaners, cameras, rear view mirrors etc. As regards the internet based services provided by the company, pre-loaded apps and services forms a good part of Xiaomi's revenue. Besides the company offers monthly subscriptions to its TV shows, games, and movies, and also earns by providing advertisement services.

Xiaomi - Growth & Revenue

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, though the smartphone sales saw a decline in the Q1 of 2020, Xiaomi is the only brand among the top five smartphone sellers, to achieve comparatively sound sales in the first quarter of 2020. It saw a 1.4% YoY from 2019, during the first quarter of 2020.

In 2019, Xiaomi’s total revenue was approximately RMB 205.84 Billion, and gross profit was nearly RMB 28.55 Billion. In the Q4 of 2019, the company’s total revenue grew by 27.1% to RMB 56.5 Billion with an attuned net profit of RMB 2.3 Billion and a 26.5% YoY increase.

“Despite headwinds from the Sino-US trade war and global economic downturn, Xiaomi stood out in 2019 with a commendable set of results as our revenue exceeded RMB 200 billion for the first time. We also celebrated several key milestones, ranging from the successful launch of our dual-brand strategy as Xiaomi and Redmi are spun-off and independently operated, the affirmation of ‘5G+AIoT’ as our strategic roadmap, to our inaugural entries into the prestigious ranks of the Fortune Global 500 and BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” says, Mr. Lei Jun, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi.

Also Read: All You Need to Know About ByteDance - The World's Most Valued Startup

Xiaomi - Future Plans

Xiaomi’s vision is to make quality technology accessible to everyone, i.e., “Innovation for everyone”. The company makes this possible with its high-quality products and remarkable services.

In 2020, Xiaomi intends to keep its focus on the development of 5G smartphones, and thus improve its position in the premium smartphone segment. The company also has plans to invest big on AIoT.

In the current scenario, where Indian Government and public at large are opposing China made goods, Xiaomi India Head Manu Jain is quite optimistic about the company's position in India.

"We act like an Indian company since we have local productions. Data is stored in India as well. We have been trying to build a truly local company"  - quotes Manu Jain

According to reports, Xiaomi has 7 factories in India, four of which are in Andhra Pradesh, two in Tamil Nadu and one in Noida. As claimed by the company about 99% of Xiaomi phones are produced in India. As said by Manu Jain, the company has also started a pilot project whereby the company is exporting Xiaomi phones made in India to Bangladesh and Nepal. Besides smartphones, the company claims that almost 100% of smartphone chargers, USB cables and batteries are made in India. Xiaomi also has a smart TV manufacturing plant in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

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About Himaya Presthitha

  • Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
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