5 January 2015 | Team Tamar

10 things you should know about Xiaomi, the world’s most valuable tech start-up

Following its end of year results which showed a 135% growth in revenue, Chinese company Xiaomi was named the world’s most valuable tech start-up. With 61 million phones sold last year, it is also the third biggest Smartphone maker, behind Samsung and Apple respectively.

While those stats suggest Xiaomi is a force to be reckoned with, there is still little known about the Beijing based corporation. Here are 10 interesting facts to familiarise yourself with Xiaomi…

1) Xiaomi means ‘millet and rice’

The core of the name is a reference to a Buddhist concept, and suggests that Xiaomi want to start from little things before aiming for the top (which is going pretty well so far). The ‘mi’ part is an acronym for Mobile.

2) They don’t own a single store

London apple store regent street

Apple’s Regent Street store

Whereas other Smartphone giants like Apple pride themselves in owning impressive flagship stores such as the one in London’s Regent Street, Xiaomi do all their sales online.

3) No traditional advertising campaigns

While other corporations rely on major advertising campaigns, often supported by high-profile celebrities like Samsung’s football ads, Xiaomi relies on social media campaigns and referrals to gain new customers.

It also requires customer registrations to purchase, most likely in an attempt to strengthen customer loyalty.

4) At the time of its release, The Xiaomi 3i3 Smartphone was considered the world’s fastest smartphone ever

Ahead of your Samsung or iPhone, yes.

5) ..but its battery is non removable

Whereas with other phones, a dead battery can simply be removed and replaced, you’ll need specialist help to fix a broken Mi3 battery, which can be a little frustrating.

6) Xiaomi poached a Google employee

Hugo Barra is a Brazilian born computer scientist and tech entrepreneur. He left Google in 2013 and is now Vice President at Xiaomi. At the time, the move was regarded as a big statement of intent by Xaomi.

7) Xiaomi sold 15,000 Mi3s in 2 seconds in India

Xiaomi Mi41

Xiaomi Mi41 Smartphone

The Mi3 went on sale for $230 last August on Flipkart, generating 150,000 subscriptions before the sale even kicked off.

8) Xiaomi paid $3.6m for domain Mi.com

Impressive.

9) During the unveiling of the Mi4, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun used Apple’s iconic ‘one more thing’ slide

Despite the rest of the presentation being in Chinese. Oh no, he didn’t!

10) Xiaomi is valued at $50 billion

Although Xiaomi has only been around for 4 years, it’s already more valuable than companies like Uber ($41b), and more than quadruple the value of Lenovo, the world’s biggest PC maker ($10b). Promising.

Xiaomi is already a big player on the Asian market, in countries such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. In addition, plans to expand to new markets like Brazil and Russia, as well as a strong position to monopolise on poorer emerging markets like Africa due to cheaper prices could help establish the brand further.

Do you think Xiaomi can close the gap with Smartphone giants Samsung and Apple?

Team Tamar