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Coordinates: 39°55′32″N 116°26′30″E / 39.9255°N 116.4416°E / 39.9255; 116.4416

Xiaomi Technology Co. Ltd.
Native name
Industry Consumer electronics
Computer hardware
Founded April 6, 2010 (2010-04-06)
Founder Lei Jun
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served
Selected markets
Key people
Lei Jun (CEO)
Lin Bin (President)
Hugo Barra (Vice President)
Products Mobile phones
Tablet computers
Smart home devices
Revenue Increase US$12 billion (2014)
Number of employees
Approximately 8,100[1]
Website Xiaomi Global
Xiaomi Mainland China
Xiaomi Hong Kong
Xiaomi Taiwan
Xiaomi Singapore
Xiaomi Malaysia
Xiaomi Philippines
Xiaomi India
Xiaomi Indonesia
Xiaomi Brazil
Literal meaning "foxtail millet"

Xiaomi Inc.[2] (/ˈʃjmi/, Chinese: 科技; pinyin: Xiǎomǐ Kējì, literally "millet technology")[3] is a privately owned Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China. It is the world's 4th[4] largest smartphone maker. Xiaomi designs, develops, and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and related consumer electronics.[5]

Since the release of its first smartphone in August 2011, Xiaomi has gained market share in mainland China and expanded into developing a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart home device ecosystem.[6][7][8][9] The company's founder and CEO is Lei Jun, China's 23rd richest person according to Forbes. The company sold over 60 million smartphones in 2014.[10]

The company has over 8,000 employees, mainly in mainland China, Malaysia,[11] and Singapore, and is expanding to other countries such as India,[12] Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil.[13][14]

According to IDC,[15] Xiaomi is now the third largest smartphone maker in the world followed by Lenovo and LG at fourth and fifth place respectively. Samsung remains at the first place despite declining shipment volume, followed by Apple Inc. at second place. Xiaomi also became the largest smartphone vendor in China in 2014, having overtaken Samsung, according to an IDC report.[16]

At the end of December 2014, Xiaomi became the world’s most valuable technology start-up after it received US$1.1 billion funding from investors, making Xiaomi's valuation more than US$46 billion.[17] Xiaomi entered the Indian market in July 2014 and since then has expanded rapidly in India. Earlier, Xiaomi used to sell exclusively on Flipkart until announced its partnership with both Amazon.com and Snapdeal on April 7, 2015. This is seen as a bid by the smartphone manufacturer to expand its retail base in India. It has also teamed up with Airtel Store and The Mobile Store to sell some of its selected devices. Later, in Q1 2015, it started its own store and also stopped selling its accessories to Flipkart and other online stores. On its first anniversary in India, it launched its own Mi Store App. On August 11, 2015, it started its first factory in Sricity, Andhra Pradesh in a partnership with Foxconn.[18]


Xiaomi is the Chinese word for "millet".[19] In 2011, its CEO Lei Jun suggested there are more meanings than just the "millet and rice."[20] 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,[20] while "mi" is an acronym for Mobile Internet and also Mission Impossible, referring to the obstacles encountered in starting the company.[20][21] He also stated that he thinks the name is cute.[20] In 2012 President Lei Jun said that the name is about revolution and being able to bring innovation into a new area.[22] Several sources have linked the latter meaning to the Communist Party of China's "millet and rifle" (小米加步枪) revolutionary idiom[23][24] during the Second Sino-Japanese War.[25][26][27][28]


Xiaomi was co-founded by eight partners on April 6, 2010. In the first round of funding, institutional investors included Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean government-owned investment vehicle, the Chinese venture capital funds IDG Capital and Qiming Venture Partners,[29] and mobile processor developer Qualcomm.[30] On August 16, 2010, Xiaomi officially launched its first Android-based firmware MIUI.[31] The Xiaomi Mi1 smartphone 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. The device could also be equipped with stock Android.[32]

In August 2012, Xiaomi announced the Xiaomi Mi2 smartphone. The phone was powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait chip featuring with 2 GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU.[33] The company said on September 24, 2013 that the company had sold over 10 million Mi2 devices over the preceding 11 months.[34] Mi-2 smartphones were sold by wireless phone vendor Mobicity in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.[35] On September 5, 2013, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun officially announced plans to launch an Android-based 47-inch 3D-capable Smart TV,[36] which will be assembled by Sony TV manufacturer Wistron Corporation of Taiwan.[37] The company explained the choice as to take advantage of Wistron's skill as a supplier of Sony.[38] In September 2013, Xiaomi announced its Mi3 phone, with a version powered by the Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AB) and another by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chipset.[39] On September 25, 2013, Xiaomi announced plans to open its first ever service center in Beijing.[40] By October 2013, Xiaomi was reported as the fifth most-used smartphone brand in China.[41] In 2013, it sold 18.7 million smartphones.[42] and 26.1 million smartphones in first half of 2014.[43]

Xiaomi Mi 4i was the first Xiaomi phone to see its initial release outside of China

In 2014, Xiaomi announced its international expansion outside of China with their first stop in Singapore. The international headquarters will also be set up in the city-state, which will coordinate all activities including future product launches in the region.[44] Xiaomi's Redmi and Mi3 phone made their debuts in Singapore on February 21 and March 7 respectively.[45][46] On March 7, Xiaomi Mi3 batches sold out within 2 minutes of the opening day sale in Singapore.[47] Following Singapore, The company has already landed in Malaysia, Philippines and India,[48] and also has plans to enter Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico in the following months.[49] On March 17, 2014, RedMi Note (also known as HongMi Note is some Asian markets) was announced by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. The RedMi Note features a 5.5-inch HD display with OGS technology and an octa-core processor from MediaTek.[50] There are two variants of the RedMi Note, one with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage; and the other with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The phablet was made available for pre-order on March 19 exclusively through a mobile application from Tencent.[51] In April 2014, Xiaomi purchased a new domain - mi.com for a record US$3.6 million. Mi.com becomes the most expensive domain name ever bought in China as confirmed by a senior executive of Xiaomi. Mi.com replaces xiaomi.com as the official website domain of Xiaomi.[52] In Q2 2014, Xiaomi shipped 15 million devices or 14 percent of China's market share and beats Samsung which shipped slightly more than 13 million.[53] By July 2014, it had sold 57.36 million phones.[54] In November 2014, Xiaomi said it will invest US$1 billion in television content building. The investment is aimed at enriching the company's content and becoming a bellwether for the industry.[55]

In December 2014, Xiaomi completed its latest round of equity financing led by Hong Kong-based technology fund All-Stars Investment Limited, a fund run by former Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Ji[56][57] raising over US$1 billion proceeds with a valuation of more than US$45 billion, making it one of the most valuable private technology companies in the world.[58]

In April 2015, Xiaomi announced it is making its Mi devices available through two of India's major e-commerce sites, and offline retailers for the first time. The company first entered India via an exclusive retail partnership with Flipkart.[59]

On April 23, 2015, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun and VP Hugo Barra came together to announce a new flagship product named Mi 4i in India. Mi 4i became the first phone to be launched in India before anywhere else in the globe and is supposed to be inspired from Indian demand. Mi Band was also launched in the same event.

On June 30, 2015, Xiaomi announced its foray into Brazil with the launch of locally manufactured Redmi 2, the first time the company sells a smartphone outside Asia or assembles one outside of China.[60]

Business model[edit]

A Xiaomi Exclusive Service Center for customer support in Kuala Lumpur. A selected range of products is on display but purchase can only be made online.
Xiaomi's mascot, a bunny called Mi Bunny

In selling the Xiaomi smartphone, Xiaomi employs a strategy that is very unlike other smartphone makers such as Samsung and Apple. Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO, said that the company prices the phone almost at bill-of-material prices,[61][62] without compromising the component quality and performance compared to other premium smartphones.[63] To profit from the narrow margin, Xiaomi sells a model for up to 18 months instead of the short 6 months used by Samsung to profit from the fall in the costs of components that occurs over time. It also profits by selling phone-related peripheral devices, smart home products, in addition to apps, online videos and themes.[64][65] In the long term, the company sees the hardware sales just as a means of delivering software and services, as explained by Hugo Barra, "We are an internet and a software company much more than … a hardware company."[66]

To further reduce overhead costs, Xiaomi does not own a single physical store and instead sells exclusively from its own online store. It also did away with traditional advertising and relies on social networking services as well as its own customers to help advertise its products.[67]

Furthermore, by keeping a tight control over its stock, Xiaomi is able to place cheaper batch orders as demand dictates. Limited availability flash sales ensure that supply never outstrips demand and helps create a free marketing buzz around its products. On the other hand, traditional OEMs have to incur large upfront productions costs in order to ship smartphones out to retailers all around the world, some of which may not sell. This is far more expensive than Xiaomi’s model and it’s the consumers that end up paying the difference.[68]

In terms of building a strong and loyal consumer base, Xiaomi’s approach involves listening closely to customer feedback, having them test out upcoming features themselves, and building an extensive online community.[69] Lei Jun described it this way, "When I was with Kingsoft, I had the opportunity to work with Nokia and Motorola, 2 mobile phone giants of their time. One day, I pointed out to their R&D boss, some inadequacies. After that, they merely acknowledged my input, but never acted upon what I had said. So I thought to myself, if I make a phone, you can tell me anything you wish for it or what's wrong. If it is justifiable, we will work on it immediately. I'll give you an update every week and you may even see your wishes come true within a week."[63][70] In practice, Xiaomi's product managers dedicate a lot of time browsing through the company's user forums. Once a suggestion is picked up, it is quickly transferred to the engineers. Therefore, features can turn from mere concept to shipping products in the span of a week. The company then ships a new batch of phones out every week on Tuesday at noon Beijing time, containing the new software builds and possible minor hardware tweaks. Xiaomi calls this process "design as you build."[71]

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.[72]

The Xiaomi products are manufactured by Foxconn and Inventec.[73][74][75] According to the report released by patent litigation consulting firm LexInnova in May, 2015, Xiaomi has 101 U.S. patents with only 2 granted patents.[76]

Xiaomi's mascot is a bunny wearing an Ushanka (known locally as a "Lei Feng hat" in China) with a red star and a red scarf around its neck.[77][78][79][80]


Mobile phones[edit]

Mi series, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi4i, Mi 5[edit]

Xiaomi Mi 3

Until January 2015 Xiaomi's flagship mobile handset line was the Xiaomi Mi series. The newest model in this line is the Xiaomi Mi4, succeeding the Xiaomi Mi3. It was initially launched in mainland China, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India on March, May and July 2014 respectively. The Xiaomi Mi3 uses a modified Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and has been tested as the world's fastest Android smartphone according to benchmark testing apps Antutu, Quadrant and Geekbench.[81]

Announced at Xiaomi's annual product launch at Beijing on July 22, 2014, Xiaomi Mi 4 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 3GB RAM, 8Megapixel front camera, and a further optimized phone exterior.

It was reported that Xiaomi had ordered 50,000 sapphire covers from South Korean manufacturers, for a new premium smartphone. The limited edition may launch at the end of 2014.[82]

Xiaomi is reported to be unveiling its next flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 5, this coming December 3, if recent reports are true, according to a report in Tech Times. If it does unveil this device, it will be one of the first smartphones to sport Qualcomm's latest processor, the Snapdragon 820.[83]

Redmi Series, Redmi Note Series[edit]

Xiaomi Redmi Note

Another mobile phone of Xiaomi's is the Redmi Note which is a phablet and the second smartphone in the Redmi Series. In India, the Redmi Note comes in three variants, one with 4G, another with 3G, and the other with LTE.[84] In India, Redmi Note was available exclusively on Flipkart until Xiaomi announced its partnership with both Amazon.com and Snapdeal on April 7, 2015.

Xiaomi Announced the successor of The Redmi Note, The Redmi Note 2 And Redmi Note 2 Prime on August 13, 2015. The Redmi Note 2 Features a better 64-bit Mediatek Helios X10 Chipset,2 GB RAM And also updated the camera by 13 MP from Samsung. The company claims that this camera can focus in just 0.1 second. The Redmi Note 2 is also thinner and lighter than the original Redmi Note. It will be available in 16 And 32GB variants. The Redmi Note 2 Prime has 4G LTE And a slightly higher clocked CPU Than the Redmi Note 2. It will also run the company's latest UI That is MIUI 7.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Pro handset has just been spotted passing through China's TENAA, and Xiaomi new product launches will be held on November 24, the new product may be is Redmi Note 2 Pro. [85]

Earlier Xiaomi used to sell exclusively through highly successful flash sales on Flipkart.[86] The first flash sale of the Redmi Note was held on December 2, 2014, and all 50,000 units in stock were sold in a mere 6 seconds.[87]

The smartphone's software is based on MIUI, a closed source Android firmware based on the Android operating system.

Mi Note, Mi Note Pro[edit]

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

In an exclusive event in Beijing, China in January 2015, Xiaomi unveiled their new flagship phones Mi Note and Mi Note Pro to rival iPhone 6 at almost half the price.[88] Both devices feature 5.7-inch display and uses a dual-glass design with a 2.5D front and 3D rear glass.[89][90][91][92]

While Mi Note is powered by hardware that is more than one year old,[93] Mi Note Pro features bleeding edge hardware such as octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, Adreno 360 GPU, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and LTE Cat 9. Mi Note Pro delivers superior performance yet still maintains similar battery consumption to Mi Note.[94]


The Xiaomi MiPad is the first tablet to be announced by Xiaomi. First announced in the Xiaomi New Product Launch Event 2014,[95] the device is the first device to use the NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad-core 2.3 GHz processor with 2GB RAM[96] and it is on sale in mainland China at the price of CN¥1,499.[97] It is currently available in many online stores for under US$300. In India it is available for ₹12999(9999 during festive sales)

MIUI (operating system)[edit]

See also: MIUI

MIUI is a stock and aftermarket Android firmware for smartphones and tablet computers based on the open-source Android operating system. It is Xiaomi's earliest known product.

MiWiFi (network router)[edit]

The Xiaomi MiWiFi is a series network routers initially launched on April 23, 2014. The latest in the series is a corporate-class router with built-in storage of up to 6TB. It is said to have a PCB dual-antenna array supporting 802.11ac WiFi standard, a Broadcom 4709C dual-core 1.4 GHz processor and 512MB of flash memory. The router can be used as a wireless hard drive for movies and photos, in tandem with Xiaomi’s apps that feature remote downloads, automatic backups, remote access to files and other features.[98]

Mi TV (Smart TV line)[edit]

The Mi TV is a line of Smart TVs designed and marketed by Xiaomi. It runs Android and was initially announced in 2013. The latest in the series is Mi TV 3 which features a 60-inch LG 4K display, a quad-core Cortex A-17 CPU, 8GB of internal storage and MEMC motion compensation at approximately CN¥4,999 ($786). The Mi TV 3 has separated the display and component parts, with all the processors and memory built into an independent sound box, resulting in a much thinner display (11.6mm at thinnest point).[99][100][101]

MiBox (set-top box)[edit]

Xiaomi MiBox

The Xiaomi MiBox is a smart set-top box for televisions.[102] From deals struck with content providers, the set-top box offers films and TV shows with no user account nor subscription required. The box can also access content via its USB port, such as through an external hard disk. Due to content licensing restrictions, it is currently only available in mainland China.

MiCloud (cloud storage service)[edit]

MiCloud is a cloud storage and cloud computing service created by Xiaomi. The service allows users to store data such as contacts, messages, photos and notes on remote computer servers for download to multiple devices running MIUI. The service also includes a feature that allows users to track the location of their MIUI device as well as alarm, lock or reset it.

MiTalk (messaging service)[edit]

MiTalk is an internet-based cross-platform instant messenger mobile app available for Android and iOS launched in 2011.[103]

MiPower Bank (external battery)[edit]

A 10400mAh MiPower Bank

MiPower Bank is a battery charger with a built-in internal battery. The charger is built with an aluminium case, and includes batteries rated at 5000/5200/10000/10400/16000mAh. Through the use of a USB cable, it can be used to charge any device that supports USB charging, including Apple iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones/tablets and more.[104] While the 5000/5200/10000/10400 mAh come with a single USB port, the 16000mAh comes with dual USB ports. Xiaomi also released silicone sleeves for all the power banks.

Mi Band (fitness monitor & sleep tracker)[edit]

Xiaomi Mi Band

The Mi Band was announced in August 2014. The Mi Band will be sold for US$13, has a reported 30-day battery life, can act as an alarm clock and tracks your fitness and sleep. The band also has the ability to unlock your phone based on proximity.[105] Initially available in China, it can now be purchased in Xiaomi’s seven markets in Asia and — courtesy of a recent extension of its Mi.com store — the U.S., UK, France and Germany.[106][107] With 2.8 million Mi Band shipments in the first quarter of 2015, Xiaomi became the world's second-largest wearables maker, accounting for 24.6% of the global market share.[108]

Smart Home Products (selected)[edit]

Blood pressure monitor[edit]

Xiaomi launched a smart blood pressure monitor on September 24, 2014, in partnership with the Silicon Valley-based iHealth Labs. Xiaomi says the blood pressure monitor is easy to use and meets all the necessary professional medical standards and certifications. The accompanying app, customized for Xiaomi smartphones, tracks blood pressure, heart rate, average pulse and more on a real-time chart, then makes recommendations for improvement.[109][110]

Air purifier[edit]

Xiaomi released an air purifier on December 9, 2014 in Beijing. This CN¥899 device has the capability to clean up to 406 cubic meters of air in an hour. The device uses HEPA technology to reduce polluting particles from as high as 600 ppm to a clean 2.5 ppm. The device has a real-time air quality monitor. Users can synch the air purifier with a smartphone to control it remotely, receive air quality data, and be alerted when the air filter is dirty.[111]

Yi Smart Webcam[edit]

Xiaomi released the Yi (also called Ants or Xiaoyi) Smart Webcam for CN¥149 ($24) on October 29, 2014. It has 720p resolution, a 111 degree wide-angle lens with 4x zoom, and the ability to make two-way voice calls. Activated and viewable via the smartphone, it doubles as both a webcam for chatting and a security camera with recording capabilities. The camera automatically records whenever it detects movement in view.[112] In June 2015, Xiaomi launched a night vision edition of the Yi Camera with a 940 nm infrared sensor.[113]

Yi Action Camera[edit]

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

Xiaomi launched an action camcorder Yi Action Camera for CN¥399 ($64). It comes with a 16 MP sensor which can record 1080p videos at 60 fps and 720p videos at 120 fps. It is waterproof up to 40 meters with the waterproof case.

Mi Smart Scale[edit]

Xiaomi announced the Mi Smart Scale for CN¥99 ($16) on March 31, 2015. According to Xiaomi, the smart weighing scale makes measurements ranging from 5 kg to 150 kg, with a 50g precision, and shows weight in kg and lbs. When paired with the Mi Fit app, which itself pairs with the Mi Band, users can track their weight and BMI. The Mi Smart Scale is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with both Android and iOS. The maker of the scale is Huami, a company Xiaomi invested.[114][115]

Mi Water Purifier[edit]

Xiaomi announced the Mi Water Purifier for CN¥1,299 ($209) on July 16, 2015 as an initiative to reduce plastic footprint.[116] It is designed to sit on the kitchen surface and convert tap water into drinking water with reverse osmosis. Xiaomi says the purifier is able to dispense 400 gallons a day with a 1:1 water production rate. The device also pairs with a smartphone and sends real-time data on filter effectiveness and reminders to change filters. The R&D of the device is done by Yunmi Technology, a part of the Mi Ecological System.[117]

Smart Home Kit[edit]

Xiaomi unveiled the Smart Home Kit for CN¥199 ($32) on June 10, 2015. The kit contains a set of smart sensors, including the multi-function gateway, the door/window sensor, the motion detector and the wireless switch, which can be combined to achieve over 30 different kinds of functions. For example, the motion detector can be paired with the gateway to perform functions such as switching on a light at night when it detects motion; the window sensors can control the connected air ventilator to start or stop as one closes or opens the window; in another example, users can set the gateway into alert mode with their smartphones as they leave the house, and the gateway would then send push notifications and turn on the automatic recording of a Yi Smart Webcam when the door/window sensor or the motion detector detects abnormal activities.[118][119]

Ninebot Mini[edit]

Being a major investor in Ninebot, a Chinese company that acquired Segway, Xiaomi released a new self-balancing scooter called Ninebot Mini for CN¥1,999 ($315) on October 19, 2015. The scooter has a maximum speed of 16 kph (10 mph), a 15-degree incline climbing capability, a range of 30 km on a single charge, and a recharging time of three hours. It weighs 8 kilograms (28 lbs) and can fit in a suitcase or car trunk. Users are able to monitor speed, check vehicle condition, update firmware, receive theft alarms, and remotely control the vehicle via a smartphone app. The scooter also has a built-in ability to learn and adapt to users' driving habits.[120][121]


Xiaomi ranks No. 2 in the list of 50 Smartest Companies 2015 by MIT Technology Review, noting that "the fast-growing smartphone vendor is maturing beyond its original 'cut-price Apple' model with ideas like flash sales over its mobile messaging platform";[122] No. 3 in the list of Most Innovative Companies 2014 by Fast Company, "for reinventing the smartphone business model in the world's largest mobile market";[123] and No. 35 in the list of the Most Innovative Companies 2014 compiled by The Boston Consulting Group.[124]

Xiaomi's innovative business model has been characterized as a disruptive force to the existing smartphone industry by a number of commentators.[63][68][72][125][126][127]

Stratechery writer Ben Thompson notes in his article "Xiaomi's Ambition"[128] that Xiaomi's target consumer base is the young population of China, especially college students and young adults who just entered the workforce. As they get places of their own, they will need TVs, air purifiers, etc., things that Xiaomi sells along with the smartphones. He then notes:

This, then, is the key to understanding Xiaomi: they’re not so much selling smartphones as they are selling a lifestyle, and the key to that lifestyle is MIUI, Xiaomi’s software layer that ties all of these things together.

In fact, you could argue that Xiaomi is actually the first “Internet of Things” company: unlike Google (Nest), Apple (HomeKit), or even Samsung (SmartThings), all of whom are offering some sort of open SDK to tie everything together (a necessity given that most of their customers already have appliances that won’t be replaced anytime soon), Xiaomi is integrating everything itself and selling everything one needs on Mi.com to a fan base primed to outfit their homes for the very first time. It’s absolutely a vertical strategy – the company is like Apple after all – it’s just that the product offering is far broader than anything even Gene Munster could imagine. The services Lei Jun talks about – MIUI and Mi.com especially – sell the products and tie them all together, but they are all Xiaomi products in the end.[128]

Guinness record achievement[edit]

Xiaomi celebrated its 5th birthday on April 6, 2015 with the Mi Fan Festival, which includes an online shopping day with offers and discounts. Xiaomi managed to break the world record for "most mobile phones sold on a single online platform in 24 hours", by selling 2,112,010 handsets through its direct-to-customer website Mi.com.[129]

Criticism and controversies[edit]

Comparisons with marketing of Apple Inc.[edit]

Due to the design of some of Xiaomi products being highly similar to the design of Apple products, the brand has been unfavorably compared to American corporation Apple Inc..[130][131] In addition, the marketing strategy of Xiaomi is at times described as riding on the back of the "cult of Apple".[29] Moreover, after having read a book about Steve Jobs in college,[132][133] Xiaomi's chairman and CEO, Lei Jun,[134] has carefully cultivated a Steve Jobs image,[135] including jeans, dark shirts,[136] and Jobs's style of product announcements.[137] Given the above, he has even been categorized as a "counterfeit Jobs."[138][139]

The company was accused of copying Apple's philosophy and mindset.[140] Despite all these repeated comparisons to Apple Inc., Xiaomi maintains that it espouses a different set of principles.[29][141] In 2013, skeptics debated how much of Xiaomi's products were innovative,[137][142][143] and how much of their innovation was just really good public relations.[144] Others point out that while there are some similarities to Apple, the ability to customize the software based upon user preferences through the use of Google's Android operating system sets Xiaomi apart.[145]

During the Mi4 unveiling conference, the presentation slides used Apple's iconic "One more thing..." slide before introducing the Mi Band; it is the only English language slide in the whole 95 minute presentation.[146]

State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television issue[edit]

In November 2012, Xiaomi's smart 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.[147][148][149] The regulatory issues were overcome in January 2013.[150]

Hugo Barra[edit]

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.[142][151][152][153][154][155][156][157] Barra has declined to comment on the timing of the Google relationships, and stated that he had been in talks with Xiaomi for over a year prior to announcing the move.[158] He will be employed as vice president of Xiaomi to expand the company outside of mainland China, making Xiaomi the first company selling smartphones to poach a senior staffer from Google's Android team.[159] Barra will focus on helping Xiaomi grow internationally.[160][161]


Xiaomi's cloud storage service Mi Cloud stores all the user data in its servers located in China. There were also reports that Xiaomi's Cloud messaging service sends some private data like call logs and contact information to Xiaomi servers. To fix this issue, Xiaomi released a MIUI update that made cloud messaging optional. Now, no private data is sent to Xiaomi servers if the cloud messaging service is turned off.

In October 2014, Xiaomi announced that it was setting up servers outside of China for international users citing improved services and compliance to regulations in several nations.[162] Around the same time, the Indian Air Force issued a warning against Xiaomi phones, stating that they were a national threat as they sent user data to an agency of the Chinese government.[163]

Sales numbers[edit]

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission had investigated the flash sales and found that Xiaomi had sold fewer smartphones than advertised.[164] In December, 3 separate flash sales were investigated. In those flash sales Xiaomi claimed that the number of smartphone sold was 10,000 units each for the first two sales, and 8,000 units for the third one. However, FTC had investigated the claims and found out that Xiaomi only sold 9,339 devices in the first flash sale, 9,492 units in the second one, and 7,389 for the third. [165] It was found that during the first flash sale Xiaomi had given 1,750 priority ‘F-codes’ to people who could place their orders without having to go through the flash sale, thus diminishing the stock that was publicly available. The FTC fined Xiaomi NT$600,000. [166]

Ban in India[edit]

On December 9, 2014, the High Court of Delhi granted an ex parte injunction that banned the import and sale of Xiaomi products in India. This injunction was issued in response to a complaint filed by Ericsson in connection with the infringement of its patent licensed under FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory Licensing).[167] This injunction issued by the High Court was applicable till February 5, 2015, the date on which the High Court was scheduled to summon both parties for a formal hearing of the case. On December 16, The Delhi High Court granted permission to Xiaomi to sell its devices that are running on a Qualcomm-based processor until January 8, 2015.[168] Following this, Xiaomi held various sales on Flipkart including on December 30, 2014. With this sale, the company received press coverage when their flagship Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G phone sold out in 6 seconds.[169] On Feb. 5, 2015, Ericsson claimed that Xiaomi was violating the ban on selling handsets based on non-Qualcomm chipsets, through a website called www.xiaomishop.com. Xiaomi denied any involvement with the website. The judge also extended the division bench's interim order allowing Xiaomi to continue the sale of Qualcomm chipset-based handsets till March 18.[170]

On 27 April 2015, it was reported that Ratan Tata has acquired a stake in Xiaomi.[171][172]


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