|Romanized name||Xiǎomĭ Kējì|
|Founded||Beijing, China (April 6, 2010)|
|Area served||Greater China|
|Literal meaning||millet (literally Xiao - "little", mi - "rice")|
Xiaomi Inc. (Chinese: 小米科技; pinyin: Xiǎomĭ Kējì, literally "Xiaomi Tech")  is a privately owned company that designs, develops, and sells smartphones, apps, and consumer electronics. Since the release of its first smartphone in August 2011, Xiaomi has gained market share in mainland China and has expanded into developing a wider range of consumer electronics.
The name Xiaomi means millet (literally Xiao - "little", mi - "rice"). In 2011, CEO Lei Jun suggested there are more meanings than just the "millet and rice." He linked the "Xiao" part to the Buddhist concept that "A single grain of rice of a Buddhist is as great as a mountain," suggesting Xiaomi wants to work from the little things, instead of starting by striving for perfection, while "Mi" is an acronym for Mobile Internet and also Mission Impossible, referring to the obstacles encountered in starting the company. He also stated that he thinks the name is cute. In 2012 President Lin Bin said that the name is about revolution and being able to bring innovation into a new area. Several sources have linked the latter meaning to the Communist Party of China's "millet and rifle" (小米加步枪) revolutionary idiom during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Seven partners co-founded Xiaomi on June 6, 2010. In the first round of funding, institutional investors included Temasek, a Singaporean government-owned investment vehicle, the Chinese venture capital funds IDG Capital and Qiming Venture Partners, and mobile processor developer Qualcomm.
The Mi-One phone was announced in August 2011. It was shipped with Xiaomi's MIUI user interface which is based on Android but resembles Apple's iOS. The device could also be equipped with stock Android.
In August 2012 Xiaomi announced the MI2 phone. The phone was powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait chip featuring by 2 GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU. The company said on 24 September 2013 that the company had sold over 10 million MI2 devices over the preceding 11 months. The MI-2 phone are sold by wireless phone vendor Mobicity in Europe (including UK), New Zealand and Australia.
On 5 September 2013, CEO Lei Jun officially announced plans to launch an Android-based 47-inch 3D-capable Smart TV, which will be assembled by Sony TV manufacturer Wistron Corporation of Taiwan. The company explained the choice as to take advantage of Wistron's skill as a supplier to Sony.
By October 2013, Xiaomi was reported as the fifth most used smartphone brand in China.
Criticisms and controversies
The company's marketing strategy is often described as riding on the back of the "cult of Apple" using a similar marketing strategy. After reading a book about Steve Jobs in college, Xiaomi's chairman and CEO, Lei Jun, carefully cultivates a Steve Jobs image, including jeans and dark shirts, and Jobs' style of product announcements. He has been categorized as a counterfeit Jobs. The company's strategy has been categorized as counterfeiting philosophy, mindset and an icon. Despite repeated comparisons to Apple Inc., Xiaomi maintains that it espouses a different set of principles. Xiaomi has no retail stores nor does it partner with third-party distributors. Instead, all Xiaomi products are sold directly via the company's website. Skeptics categorize the products as non-innovative low-price iPhone imitations that have no significant hardware or software advantages, and that any perception of innovation is good public relations. Others point out that while there are some similarities to Apple, the ability to customize the software based upon user preferences sets Xiaomi apart.
State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television issue
In November 2012 Xiaomi's set-top box stopped working one week after the launch due to the company having run afoul of China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. The regulatory issues were overcome in January 2013.
In August 2013 the company announced that it was hiring Hugo Barra from Google where he served as vice president of product management for the Android platform, after the revelation that Google co-founder Sergey Brin was in a relationship with Barra's ex-girlfriend. Barra has declined to comment on the unfortunate timing of the thorny situation regarding the Google relationships, and stated that he had been in talks with Xiaomi for over a year prior to announcing the move. He will be employed as vice president of Xiaomi Global, making Xiaomi the first company selling smartphones to poach a senior staffer from Google's Android team. He will focus on helping Xiaomi to grow internationally.
- "crunchbase profile". CrunchBase. 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- "User Agreement". xiaomi.com. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "How Upstart Xiaomi Rattled China's Smartphone Race". wsj.com. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "小米47寸电视真机照曝光". 驱动之家. 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Xiaomi, What Americans Need To Know". Techcrunch. August 28, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- WONG, SUE-LIN. "Challenging Apple by Imitation". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "雷军诠释小米名称寓意：要做移动互联网公司". tech.qq.com. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Xiaomi Phone Specs Leak – Dual-Core Android Coming This Year". techinasia.com. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Interview: China's Xiaomi hopes for revolution in". ResearchInChina. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- "Interview: China's Xiaomi hopes for revolution in | Technology | Reuters". Ca.reuters.com. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- Writing in the Devil's Tongue: A History of English Composition in China - Xiaoye You - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- Chien - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- Griffith, Erin (2013-06-29). "Why the "Steve Jobs of China" is crucial to the country’s innovative future (Book excerpt)". PandoDaily. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- Kelleher, Kevin. "China’s Xiaomi Poses Threat to Smartphone Giants Apple and Samsung | TIME.com". Business.time.com. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- Fan, Jiayang. "Xiaomi and Hugo Barra: A Homegrown Apple in China?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "UPDATE 1-China's Xiaomi to get $4 bln valuation after funding-source - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Challenging Apple by Imitation". New York Times. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Xiaomi the money! Who is this mobile company that's poaching Tech's top shelf talent?". pcworld.com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "小米联合创始人、副总裁洪锋谈MIUI设计成长之路". csdn.net. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Xiaomi Phone with MIUI OS: a $310 Android with 1.5GHz dual-core SoC and other surprises". Engadget. 16 August 2011.
- "Xiaomi Phone 2 Review". engadget. 2012 -11-14. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Says It Sold 10 Million Mi-2 smartphones". CEOWORLD Magazine. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Xiaomi Mi-2 Now Available in the UK and Australia via Mobicity". softpedia.com. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "China's Xiaomi Technology to become Foxconn's major client: reports | Economics | FOCUS TAIWAN - CNA ENGLISH NEWS". Focustaiwan.tw. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Murph, Darren (2013-04-15). "Xiaomi president Lin Bin aims to ship 15 million superphones in 2013, expand sales beyond Asia". Engadget.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Chinese Tech Sensation Xiaomi Launches An Android-Based 47-inch 3D-Capable Smart TV". CEOWORLD Magazine. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Lawler, Richard (2013-08-28). "Xiaomi unveils new Android-powered 5-inch MI3, 47-inch smart TV in China". Engadget.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Bloomberg News. "Xiaomi Says Sony Supplier Wistron Will Make Its Smart TVs". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Xiaomi Announces the MI3 - Tegra 4 and MSM8974AB inside". AnandTech. 5 September 2013.
- Bischoff, Paul. "Xiaomi opens biggest ever service center in Beijing, looks like a store". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- "Xiaomi outperforms HTC to become fifth most used smartphone brand in China, says TrendForce". Digitimes.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Ong, Josh (2012-08-19). "The Loyalty of Xiaomi Fans Rivals Apple 'Fanboys', Google 'Fandroids'". Thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "China Un-Bans Facebook, Twitter in Shanghai | Tech Blog". TechNewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- Meg Butler. "6 Reasons Why Xiaomi is the Next Apple | GSM Nation Blog". Gsmnation.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Brand Positioning Strategies of the Rising Chinese Smartphone Brands | Labbrand Brand Innovations". Labbrand.com. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Lei Jun, Founder Of Xiaomi, Might Just Be 'China's Steve Jobs'". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- "Meet The 'Steve Jobs' Of China". Efytimes.com. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- Xiaomi plans global domination with fast smartphones and software, The Register, September 6, 2013.
- "Lei Jun". Forbes. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Tan, Vanessa (2011-09-21). "Xiaomi Phones Face Serious Quality Questions". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "In China an Empire Built by Aping Apple", New York Times, June 5, 2013.
- Steve Kovach Aug. 22, 2013, 6:48 PM 42,517 14. "Xiaomi". Business Insider. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Fan, Jiayang. "Xiaomi and Hugo Barra: A Homegrown Apple in China?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- 6/05/13 11:49am 6/05/13 11:49am (2013-04-23). "What Apple Should Steal from China's Steve Jobs". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Clark, Adam. "China's Even Counterfeiting Steve Jobs Now | Motherboard". Motherboard.vice.com. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- "Eyeing $4.5B In Sales This Year, Phone Maker Xiaomi Looks To Emulate A 340-Year-Old Chinese Medicine Company". Techcrunch. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Lin Bin of Xiaomi Talks Smartphone Disruptions". AllThingsD. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- Lee, Dave. "BBC News - Google executive Hugo Barra poached by China's Xiaomi". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "Can China's Xiaomi make it globally?". PCWorld. 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Riley, Charles. "Xiaomi: The 'Apple of China' looks abroad - Sep. 3, 2013". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Now Flying High in China, How Soon Can Xiaomi Conquer the World and Depose Apple? - International Business Times". Au.ibtimes.com. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Can China's Xiaomi make it globally?". Network World. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- "The New York Times Gets Xiaomi Way, Way Wrong", Tech In Asia, June 10, 2013.
- Bischoff, Paul (2012-11-26). "How and Why Xiaomi Ran Afoul of China's Media Regulator". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Bischoff, Paul (2012-11-23). "Xiaomi TV Set-Top Box Service Suspended, Regulatory Kerfuffle Perhaps to Blame [UPDATED]". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Celine Sun in Beijing email@example.com (2012-11-24). "Xiaomi suspends set-top box amid illegal content talk | South China Morning Post". Scmp.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Bischoff, Paul (2013-01-25). "Xiaomi Box Finally Gets Regulatory Approval, Can Soon Go on Sale". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Google's Barra Gets the Heck Out of Dodge | Hot Topics". E-Commerce Times. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "Amanda Rosenberg To Marry? Alleged Girlfriend Of Google Founder Sergey Brin Looks To Be Planning A Wedding". Ibtimes.com. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "What Ex-Google Exec Hugo Barra Can Do for China's Xiaomi". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "China's Xiaomi Hires Ex-Google VP To Run Overseas Business". Forbes. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Chapman, Matthew. "Android exec Hugo Barra departs Google for Xiaomi". Marketingmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "Google soap opera gets a pass from investors - for now - The Tell - MarketWatch". Blogs.marketwatch.com. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Kevin Parrish. "Google Executive Departs During "Love Quadrangle" Rumors". Tomshardware.com. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Left Google - Kara Swisher - Mobile". AllThingsD. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "Android vice president quits for Chinese phone maker | News". PC Pro. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- 12:10 amAug 29, 2013 (2013-08-29). "Google Vice President for Android Hugo Barra Joins Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi - Digits - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "What Ex-Google Exec Hugo Barra Can Do for China's Xiaomi". Businessweek. 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-10-20.