At the moment, Xiaomi is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in China. Xiaomi does not have a long history, the startup was established in 2010 and quickly became popular all over the world. Of course, it is much more popular in China than in most other countries, but it has managed to establish a solid reputation without even having to advertise its smartphones in its home country. All fans know this story, we are rather interested in facts that are not widely known.
The name is quite enigmatic
Who says Chinese manufacturers must have a Chinese name? The term “Xiaomi” is a transposition of Chinese characters in the Western alphabet and, as can be expected, interpretation is confusing. I asked my Chinese colleague to explain it and, according to her, the two characters 小米 (Xiao and Mi) literally mean “little millet” (millet being a cereal) or even “little rice”.
The Xiaomi logo resembles the western character “mi”. Charlotte explains that Xiaomi tried to link Chinese characters with Latin characters, because in the opposite direction, the Chinese symbol for “Mi” is very similar to the character that means “heart”. The term “Mi” is a name that is found on all smartphones of the brand (Mi, Mi Note and RedMi), conveying a positive idea that is unfortunately lost among Western customers.
Xiaomi Inc. (Chinese Mandarin:[ɕi̯àu̯mì] Chinese: 小米科技; pinyin: Xiǎomǐ Kējì, literally “millet technology”; English pronunciation: /ˌʃiaʊˈmiː/ or /ʃiˌaʊˈmiː/). Xiaomi is the Chinese word for “millet”. In 2011 its CEO Lei Jun suggested there are more meanings than just the “millet and rice. – Wikipedia
Xiaomi is often referred to as the Apple of China, because it evokes a similar type of fervor in China as Apple does in the United States. The comparison Apple does not stop there. Founder of Xiaomi and CEO Lei Jun is also called the “Steve Jobs of China”. The black-t-shirt wearing Lei Jun has a job-like following worship.
The start-up value is phenomenal
Xiaomi was co-founded by eight partners on 6 April 2010. Xiaomi officially launched its first Android-based firmware MIUI was announced in August 2011. It was shipped with Xiaomi’s MIUI firmware which is based on Android and resembles Samsung’s TouchWiz and Apple’s iOS. 2015 was a seminal point for Xiaomi as a company. While in Europe (especially in Berlin) we imagine start-ups as small businesses of some thirty people trying to make a name for themselves, Xiaomi is a step forward because it has succeeded in Surpass Uber to become the most valuable start-up in the world. What was the turnover at that time? Not less than 20 billion! What more could you ask for?
Even though Uber has again become number one, Xiaomi fiercely defends his second place title with a value of $ 46 billion, far ahead of AirBNB. The company continues to grow and Xiaomi employs more than 8,000 employees, which is a considerable number, but nothing compared to the 170,000 employees of its Chinese rival Huawei.
The company is on an upward slope, but it would be better to avoid resting on their laurels, the market is evolving rapidly and its necessary to evolve with it if you want to stay on track.
The business’ activities are very varied
In selling the Xiaomi smartphone, Xiaomi employs a strategy very unlike other smartphone makers such as Samsung and Apple. While it is not surprising to see giants like Sony, Huawei or Samsung moving in various sectors, it is curious to see this young company take a similar path. That said, Xiaomi is a case in point and fully understands that the key to success in the high-tech market is to diversify. Certainly, while it is mainly known for smartphones that it sells at the “lowest possible price” manufacturing costs in order to attract customers, Xiaomi is much more than that.
Xiaomi, of course, specializes in the manufacture of electronic devices: smartphones, smart bracelets, tablets and intelligent televisions. It also works on various accessories, from headphones to smart shoes and more. However, the real surprise lies elsewhere. Xiaomi also develops router technology, gaming pads and even drones. I did not get a chance to test the Mi Drone, but according to what I read about it, it’s not the best thing they’ve produced.
Finally, by making its operating system MIUI open for download on other Android phones, it has made Xiaomi’s apps and content more easily accessible, widening the potential to provide services to more users.
Xiaomi attracts experienced hotshots
It’s not just Xiaomi; Having the right contacts is always helpful in business. Whatever their level, whatever their size. As a newcomer to the market, Xiaomi had to learn to get advice from those who know it. In 2013, he managed to poach Hugo Barra, former Google product manager (and Android development manager) to be the vice president.
In 2014, Xiaomi hosted one of Apple’s three founders, Steve Wozniak. According to him, Xiaomi has “excellent products” that “are good enough to compete in the US market.” This is how the stroke of the ego of a small business. In fact, one of the creators of Xiaomi is called the “Chinese Steve Jobs,” The other is one of the old Google hotshots In China and also worked at Microsoft. In short, the start-up has an excellent staff to support its activities.
Having good contacts is always useful for a company. Whatever the level, whatever the size.
Xiaomi had been / is accused of spying
Perhaps you have already heard that the Chinese tend to spy on their phones. What is stereotypy or reality? In 2014, spyware (spyware) was detected on the Xiaomi RedMi Note and Xiaomi RedMi 1S, and were activated on models sold in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The situation was blown by the media and an investigation was conducted by a Taiwanese commission that also extended to other regional manufacturers. Result: everyone was clear.
Despite this, Xiaomi has managed to gain a reputation. In 2022 a German company, G Data, announced that it was common to see spyware on Chinese smartphones, confirming the results that had already been recorded in the Star N9500. Have things changed since then? As my colleague Eric pointed out, what is worse – that the Chinese know everything about us or that Google knows everything about us?
Are you a fan of Xiaomi and its devices?