The rise of the Chinese smartphone titan Xiaomi - A complete story
Xiaomi is far and wide, the most popular Chinese phone manufacturer today. Not only has it made an astonishing mark in China, but also the world over by becoming the world's third biggest smartphone maker without even leaving Asia. Something which brands with reach across the globe have failed miserably to achieve. It is the only company to successfully leverage the 'Splash Sale' concept to outsell its handsets especially in India.
Since Xiaomi isn't a publicly traded company, not much can be told about its revenue except from the rumors we get to hear. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal has gotten hold of some confidential information which has thrown some light on this front. According to a report, this Chinese manufacturer recorded a 27 billion Yuan ($4.4 billion) in revenue last year and ended up with a profit of 3.46 billion Yuan ($566 million). That is some serious turnover. The company has claimed that it sold a total of 18 million handsets last year and it aims to sell a whopping 60 million smartphones in this year. Ambitious as it might sound, the have already managed to sell 44 million. Another steady revenue source for Xiaomi is that, it has been generating its revenue is by pushing its own themes and apps via its Mi store.
Xiaomi has its sights focussed on aspects other than smartphones though. With an announcement that it plans to invest a billion dollars in video content, it has surprised its admirers and critics alike. Though again, since its a private company, no one outside the company knows for sure what it is going to roll out.
Regarding plans of going public, an executive for the company has said that it has no plans towards going public for at least another 5 years. Though it has been trying to raise funds for investments, like the video content one. The fact that it is trying to get investments even while earning profits above half a million dollars shows its ambitions are huge.
Considering the pace at which Xiaomi is growing, it looks to be the first company that will give Samsung and Apple a run for their money. Since the launch of iPhone turned the world on its head, Apple may finally have competition.
Xiaomi's rise hasn't been blemish free though. The company has already hit the world headlines for spying on its customers on behalf of the government of China. Many believe that this spying might be the reason Xiaomi is getting enough leverage to under-price its products compared to its competition. Considering how fast Samsung managed to mimic features of the iPhone early on, its a surprise no one else has managed to match Xiaomi's art of making powerful phones at dirt cheap rates.
Though Xiaomi has time and again refuted spying claims, they refuse to die down. They claim to have sent an over the air update to stop sending data to its servers which users claimed was the location where their private data was being sent. But it can be proven that the spyware is embedded in the hardware and not software.
Through the glories and controversies, the story of Xiaomi will be an interesting one to follow,