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Xiaomi Corporation (; ), commonly known as Xiaomi and registered as Xiaomi Inc., is a Chinese designer and manufacturer of
consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for entertainment Entertainment is a form of ac ...
and related
software Software is a set of computer programs and associated software documentation, documentation and data (computing), data. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and which actually performs the work. ...
,
home appliance A home appliance, also referred to as a domestic appliance, an electric appliance or a household appliance, is a machine which assists in household functions such as cooking, cleanliness, cleaning and food preservation. Appliances are divided ...
s, and
household items Household hardware (or simply, hardware) is equipment that can be touched or held by hand such as Key (lock), keys, Lock (security device), locks, nut (hardware), nuts, screws, washer (hardware), washers, hinges, latch (hardware), latches, handle ...
. Behind
Samsung The Samsung Group (or simply Samsung) ( ko, 삼성 ) is a South Korean Multinational corporation, multinational manufacturing Conglomerate (company), conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. It comprises numerous affi ...
, it is the second largest manufacturer of
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
s in the world, most of which run the
MIUI MIUI (pronunciation: ''Me You I'') is an Android (operating system), AndroidFork (software development), -based mobile operating system developed and maintained by Xiaomi independently of Google exclusively for its smartphones. MIUI includes var ...
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...
. The company is ranked 338th and is the youngest company on the ''Fortune'' Global 500. Xiaomi was founded in 2010 in
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
by now multi-
billionaire A billionaire is a person with a net worth of at least one billion (1,000,000,000, i.e., a thousand million) units of a given currency, usually of a major currency such as the United States dollar, euro, or pound sterling Sterling ...
Lei Jun Lei Jun (born 16 December 1969) is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is known for founding the consumer electronics company Xiaomi. As of October 2022, Lei Jun's net worth was estimated at either US$8.1 billion according ...
when he was 40 years old, along with six senior associates. Lei had founded Kingsoft as well as Joyo.com, which he sold to
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
for $75 million in 2004. In August 2011, Xiaomi released its first smartphone and, by 2014, it had the largest market share of smartphones sold in China. Initially the company only sold its products online; however, it later opened
brick and mortar Brick and mortar (also bricks and mortar or B&M) refers to a physical presence of an organization or business in a building or other structure. The term ''brick-and-mortar business'' is often used to refer to a company that possesses or leases ...
stores. By 2015, it was developing a wide range of consumer electronics. In 2020, the company sold 146.3 million smartphones and its MIUI operating system has over 500 million monthly active users. In the second quarter of 2021, Xiaomi surpassed Apple Inc. to become the second-largest seller of smartphones worldwide, with a 17% market share, according to Canalys. It also is a major manufacturer of appliances including
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television transmission. Television ...
s,
flashlight A flashlight (American English, US, Canadian English, Canada) or torch (British English, UK, Australian English, Australia) is a portable hand-held electric lamp. Formerly, the light source typically was a miniature incandescent light bulb, b ...
s,
unmanned aerial vehicle An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without any human pilot, crew, or passengers on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which includes adding a ground-based controlle ...
s, and
air purifier An air purifier or air cleaner is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality. These devices are commonly marketed as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics, and at reducing or eliminating ...
s using its
Internet of Things The Internet of things (IoT) describes physical objects (or groups of such objects) with sensors, processing ability, software and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other comm ...
and Xiaomi Smart Home product ecosystems. Xiaomi keeps its prices close to its manufacturing costs and
bill of materials A bill of materials or product structure (sometimes bill of material, BOM or associated list) is a List (information), list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts, and the quantities of each needed to ...
costs by keeping most of its products in the market for 18 months, longer than most smartphone companies, The company also uses inventory optimization and flash sales to keep its inventory low.


History


2010–2013

On 6 April 2010 Xiaomi was co-founded by
Lei Jun Lei Jun (born 16 December 1969) is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is known for founding the consumer electronics company Xiaomi. As of October 2022, Lei Jun's net worth was estimated at either US$8.1 billion according ...
and six others: * Lin Bin (), vice president of the Google China Institute of Engineering * Zhou Guangping (), senior director of the
Motorola Motorola, Inc. () was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, United States. After having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company split into two independent public companies, Motorol ...
Beijing R&D center * Liu De (), department chair of the Department of Industrial Design at the University of Science and Technology Beijing * Li Wanqiang (), general manager of Kingsoft Dictionary * Huang Jiangji (), principal development manager * Hong Feng (), senior product manager for Google China Lei had founded Kingsoft as well as Joyo.com, which he sold to
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
for $75 million in 2004. At the time of the founding of the company, Lei was dissatisfied with the products of other mobile phone manufacturers and thought he could make a better product. On 16 August 2010, Xiaomi launched its first Android-based firmware
MIUI MIUI (pronunciation: ''Me You I'') is an Android (operating system), AndroidFork (software development), -based mobile operating system developed and maintained by Xiaomi independently of Google exclusively for its smartphones. MIUI includes var ...
. In 2010, the company raised $41 million in a
Series A round A series A round (also known as series A financing or series A investment) is the name typically given to a company's first significant Venture round, round of venture capital financing. The name refers to the class of preferred stock sold to inve ...
. In August 2011, the company launched its first phone, the Xiaomi Mi1. The device had Xiaomi's MIUI firmware along with Android installation. In December 2011, the company raised $90 million in a Series B round. In June 2012, the company raised $216 million of funding in a Series C round at a $4 billion valuation. Institutional investors participating in the first round of funding included
Temasek Holdings Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, or simply Temasek, is a Singaporean state holding company owned by the Government of Singapore. Incorporated on 25 June 1974, Temasek owns and manages a total of US$496.59 billion (S$671 billion) in assets und ...
, IDG Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
. In August 2013, the company hired Hugo Barra from
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
, where he served as vice president of product management for the Android platform. He was 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. He left the company in February 2017. In September 2013, Xiaomi announced its Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone and an Android-based 47-inch 3D-capable Smart TV assembled by
Sony , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's la ...
TV manufacturer Wistron Corporation of Taiwan. In October 2013, it became the fifth-most-used smartphone brand in China. In 2013, Xiaomi sold 18.7 million smartphones.


2014–2017

In February 2014, Xiaomi announced its expansion outside China, with an international headquarters in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country, island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Pen ...
. In April 2014, Xiaomi purchased the
domain name A domain name is a String (computer science), string that identifies a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are often used to identify services provided through the Internet, such as websites, e ...
mi.com for a record , the most expensive domain name ever bought in China, replacing xiaomi.com as the company's main domain name. In September 2014, Xiaomi acquired a 24.7% some part taken in Roborock. In December 2014, Xiaomi raised US$1.1 billion at a valuation of over US$45 billion, making it one of the most valuable private technology companies in the world. The financing round was led by Hong Kong-based technology fund All-Stars Investment Limited, a fund run by former
Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment management and financial services company headquartered at 1585 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With offices in more than 41 countries and more than 75,000 employees, the fir ...
analyst Richard Ji. In 2014, the company sold over 60 million smartphones. In 2014, 94% of the company's revenue came from mobile phone sales. In April 2015,
Ratan Tata Ratan Naval Tata, Order of the British Empire, GBE (born 28 December 1937) is an Indian industrialist and former chairman of Tata Sons. He was also the chairman of the Tata Group from 1990 to 2012, serving also as interim chairman from October ...
acquired a stake in Xiaomi. On 30 June 2015, Xiaomi announced its expansion into Brazil with the launch of locally manufactured
Redmi Redmi is a subsidiary company owned by the Chinese electronics company Xiaomi. It was first announced in July 2013 as a budget smartphone line, and became a separate sub-brand of Xiaomi in 2019 with entry-level and mid-range devices, while Xia ...
2; it was the first time the company assembled a smartphone outside of China. However, the company left Brazil in the second half of 2016. On 26 February 2016, Xiaomi launched the Mi5, powered by the
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
Snapdragon 820 processor. On 3 March 2016, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 3 Pro in India, the first smartphone to powered by a
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
Snapdragon 650 processor. On 10 May 2016, Xiaomi launched the Mi Max, powered by the
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
Snapdragon 650/652 processor. In June 2016, the company acquired patents from
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...
. In September 2016, Xiaomi launched sales in the European Union through a partnership with ABC Data. Also in September 2016, the Xiaomi Mi Robot vacuum was released by Roborock. On 26 October 2016, Xiaomi launched the Mi Mix, powered by the
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
Snapdragon 821 processor. On 22 March 2017, Xiaomi announced that it planned to set up a second manufacturing unit in India in partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn. On 19 April 2017, Xiaomi launched the Mi6, powered by the
Qualcomm Qualcomm () is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, and Delaware General Corporation Law, incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. It ow ...
Snapdragon 835 processor. In July 2017, the company entered into a patent licensing agreement with
Nokia Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia) is a Finnish multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications industry, telecommunications, technology company, information technology, and consumer electronics corporatio ...
. On 5 September 2017, Xiaomi released
Xiaomi Mi A1 The Xiaomi Mi A1 (also known as Xiaomi Mi 5X), is a smartphone co-developed by Google—as part of its Android One initiative—and Xiaomi that runs on the Android (operating system), Android operating system. Specifications Hardware Mi A ...
, the first
Android One Android One is a family of third-party Android smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguis ...
smartphone under the slogan: Created by Xiaomi, Powered by Google. Xiaomi stated started working with Google for the Mi A1 Android One smartphone earlier in 2017. An alternate version of the phone was also available with MIUI, the MI 5X. In 2017, Xiaomi opened Mi Stores in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The EU's first Mi Store was opened in
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
, Greece in October 2017. In Q3 2017, Xiaomi overtook Samsung to become the largest smartphone brand in India. Xiaomi sold 9.2 million units during the quarter. On 7 November 2017, Xiaomi commenced sales in Spain and Western Europe.


2018–present

In April 2018, Xiaomi announced a smartphone gaming brand called Black Shark. It had 6GB of RAM coupled with Snapdragon 845 SoC, and was priced at $508, which was cheaper than its competitors. On 2 May 2018, Xiaomi announced the launch of Mi Music and Mi Video to offer "value-added internet services" in India. On 3 May 2018, Xiaomi announced a partnership with 3 to sell smartphones in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden In May 2018, Xiaomi began selling smart home products in the United States through
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
. In June 2018, Xiaomi became a
public company A public company is a company whose ownership is organized via shares of share capital, stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock exchange or in Over-the-counter (finance), over-the-counter markets. A public (publicly traded) comp ...
via an
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also to retail (individual) investors. An IPO is typically Underwriting, underwritten by one or mo ...
on the
Hong Kong Stock Exchange The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK, also known as Hong Kong Stock Exchange) is a stock exchange based in Hong Kong. As of the end of 2020, it has 2,538 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of Hong Kong dollar, HK$47 tri ...
, raising $4.72 billion. On 7 August 2018, Xiaomi announced that Holitech Technology Co. Ltd., Xiaomi's top supplier, would invest up to $200 million over the next three years to set up a major new plant in India. In August 2018, the company announced POCO as a mid-range
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
line, first launching in India. In Q4 of 2018, the Xiaomi Poco F1 became the best selling smartphone sold online in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. The Pocophone was sometimes referred to as the "flagship killer" for offering high-end specifications at an affordable price. In October 2019, the company announced that it would launch more than 10 5G phones in 2020, including the Mi 10/10 Pro with 5G functionality. On 17 January 2020, Poco became a separate sub-brand of Xiaomi with entry-level and mid-range devices. In March 2020, Xiaomi showcased its new 40W wireless charging solution, which was able to fully charge a smartphone with a 4,000mAh battery from flat in 40 minutes. In October 2020, Xiaomi became the third largest smartphone maker in the world by shipment volume, shipping 46.2 million handsets in Q3 2020. On 30 March 2021, Xiaomi announced that it will invest US$10 billion in
electric vehicle An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that uses one or more traction motor, electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a Current collector, collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, or it can be powered autonom ...
s over the following ten years. On 31 March 2021, Xiaomi announced a new logo for the company, designed by Kenya Hara. In July 2021, Xiaomi became the second largest smartphone maker in the world, according to Canalys. It also surpassed
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
for the first time in Europe, making it the second largest in Europe according to Counterpoint. In August 2021, the company acquired autonomous driving company Deepmotion for $77 million.


Innovation and development

In the 2021 review of
WIPO The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: link=no, Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, 15 specialized agencies of the United Nation ...
's annual World Intellectual Property Indicators Xiaomi was ranked as 2nd in the world, with 216 designs in industrial design registrations being published under the Hague System during 2020. This position is up on their previous 3rd place ranking in 2019 for 111 industrial design registrations being published. On 8 February 2022, Lei released a statement on Weibo to announce plans for Xiaomi to enter the high-end smartphone market and surpass Apple as the top seller of premium smartphones in China in three years. To achieve that goal, Xiaomi will invest US$15.7 billion in R&D over the next five years, and the company will benchmark its products and user experience against Apple’s product lines. Lei described the new strategy as a "life-or-death battle for our development" in his Weibo post, after Xiaomi's market share in China contracted over consecutive quarters, from 17% to 14% between Q2 and Q3 2021, dipping further to 13.2% as of Q4 2021. According to a recen
report by Canalys
Xiaomi leads Indian smartphone sales in Q1. Xiaomi is one of the leaders of the smartphone makers in India which maintains device affordability. In 2022, Xiaomi announced and debuted the company's humanoid robot prototype to the public, while the current state of the robot is very limited in its abilities, the announcement was made to mark the companies ambitions to integrate AI into its product designs as well as develop their humanoid robot project into the future.


Partnerships


Xiaomi and Harman Kardon

In 2021, Harman Kardon has collaborated with Xiaomi for its newest
smartphones A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
, the Xiaomi Mi 11 series are the first smartphones to feature with Harman Kardon-tuned dual speaker setup.


Xiaomi and Leica

In 2022,
Leica Camera Leica Camera AG () is a German company that manufactures cameras, optical lenses, photographic lenses, binoculars, Telescopic sight, rifle scopes and microscopes. The company was founded by Ernst Leitz in 1869 (Ernst Leitz Wetzlar), in Wetz ...
entered a strategic partnership with Xiaomi to jointly develop Leica cameras to be used in Xiaomi flagship Android
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
s, succeeding the partnership between
Huawei Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. ( ; ) is a Chinese multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It designs, develops, produces and sells telecommunications equip ...
and Leica. The first smartphones under this new partnership were the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and Xiaomi MIX Fold 2, launched in July and August 2022, respectively.


Corporate identity


Name etymology

''Xiaomi'' () is the Chinese word for "
millet Millets () are a highly varied group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Most species generally referred to as millets belong to the tribe Paniceae, but some millets also ...
". In 2011 its CEO
Lei Jun Lei Jun (born 16 December 1969) is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is known for founding the consumer electronics company Xiaomi. As of October 2022, Lei Jun's net worth was estimated at either US$8.1 billion according ...
suggested there are more meanings than just the "millet and rice". He linked the "Xiao" () part to the
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
concept that "a single grain of rice of a Buddhist is as great as a mountain", suggesting that 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 Lei Jun said that the name is about revolution and being able to bring innovation into a new area. Xiaomi's new "Rifle" processor has given weight to several sources linking the latter meaning to the
Communist Party of China The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and sole ruling party of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Under the leadership of Mao Zedong, the CCP emerged victorious in the Chinese Civi ...
's "millet and rifle" (小米加步枪) revolutionary idiom during the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) or War of Resistance (Chinese term) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese ...
.


Logo and mascot

Xiaomi's first logo consisted of a single orange square with the letters "MI" in white located in the center of the square. This logo was in use until 31 March 2021, when a new logo, designed by well-known Japanese designer Kenya Hara, replaced the old one, consisting of the same basic structure as the previous logo, but the square was replaced with a "
squircle A squircle is a shape intermediate between a Square (geometry), square and a circle. There are at least two definitions of "squircle" in use, the most common of which is based on the superellipse. The word "squircle" is a portmanteau of the word ...
" with rounded corners instead, with the letters "MI" remaining identical to the previous logo, along with a slightly darker hue. Xiaomi's mascot, Mitu, is a white
rabbit Rabbits, also known as bunnies or bunny rabbits, are small mammals in the family (biology), family Leporidae (which also contains the hares) of the order (biology), order Lagomorpha (which also contains the pikas). ''Oryctolagus cuniculus'' i ...
wearing an
Ushanka An ushanka ( rus, уша́нка, p=ʊˈʂankə, from , "ears"), also called an ''ushanka-hat'' ( rus, ша́пка-уша́нка, p=ˈʂapkə ʊˈʂankə), is a Russian clothing, Russian fur clothing, fur cap with ear-covering flaps that can be ...
(known locally as a " Lei Feng hat" in China) with a red star and a red scarf around its neck. Later red star on hat was replaced by company's logo.


Reception


Imitation of Apple Inc.

Xiaomi has been accused of imitating Apple Inc. The hunger marketing strategy of Xiaomi was described as riding on the back of the "cult of Apple". After reading a book about
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
in college, Xiaomi's chairman and CEO,
Lei Jun Lei Jun (born 16 December 1969) is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is known for founding the consumer electronics company Xiaomi. As of October 2022, Lei Jun's net worth was estimated at either US$8.1 billion according ...
, carefully cultivated a
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
image, including jeans, dark shirts, and Jobs' announcement style at Xiaomi's earlier product announcements. He was characterized as a "counterfeit Jobs." In 2013, critics debated how much of Xiaomi's products were innovative, and how much of their innovation was just really good public relations. Others point out that while there are 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. Xiaomi has also developed a much wider range of consumer products than Apple.


Violation of GNU General Public License

In January 2018, Xiaomi was criticized for its non-compliance with the terms of the
GNU General Public License The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end users the Four Freedoms (Free software), four freedoms to run, study, share, and modify the software. The license was th ...
. The Android project's
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of free and open-source software, open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an kernel (operating system), operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linu ...
kernel is licensed under the
copyleft Copyleft is the legal technique of granting certain freedoms over copies of copyrighted works with the requirement that the same rights be preserved in derivative works. In this sense, ''freedoms'' refers to the use of the work for any purpose ...
terms of the GPL, which requires Xiaomi to distribute the complete source code of the Android kernel and device trees for every Android device it distributes. By refusing to do so, or by unreasonably delaying these releases, Xiaomi is operating in violation of intellectual property law in China, as a
WIPO The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: link=no, Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, 15 specialized agencies of the United Nation ...
state. Prominent Android developer Francisco Franco publicly criticized Xiaomi's behaviour after repeated delays in the release of kernel source code. Xiaomi in 2013 said that it would release the kernel code. The kernel source code was available on the
GitHub GitHub, Inc. () is an Internet hosting service for software development and version control using Git. It provides the distributed version control of Git plus access control, bug tracking system, bug tracking, software feature requests, task man ...
website in 2020.


Privacy concerns and data collection

As a company based in China, Xiaomi is obligated to share data with the Chinese government under the China Internet Security Law and National Intelligence Law. There were reports that Xiaomi's Cloud messaging service sends some private data, including call logs and contact information, to Xiaomi servers. Xiaomi later released an MIUI update that made cloud messaging optional and that no private data was sent to Xiaomi servers if the cloud messaging service was turned off. On 23 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 countries. On 19 October 2014, the
Indian Air Force The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks third amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial wa ...
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. In April 2019, researchers at Check Point found a security breach in Xiaomi phone apps. The security flaw was reported to be preinstalled. On 30 April 2020,
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family (publishers), Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing ...
reported that Xiaomi extensively tracks use of its browsers, including private browser activity, phone metadata and device navigation, and more alarmingly, without secure encryption or anonymization, more invasively and to a greater extent than mainstream browsers. Xiaomi disputed the claims, while confirming that it did extensively collect browsing data, and saying that the data was not linked to any individuals and that users had consented to being tracked. Xiaomi posted a response stating that the collection of aggregated usage statistics data is used for internal analysis, and would not link any personally identifiable information to any of this data. However, after
followup
by Gabriel Cirlig, the writer of the report, Xiaomi added an option to completely stop the information leak when using its browser in incognito mode.


Censorship

In September 2021, amidst a political spat between
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
, the
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
n Ministry of National Defence urged people to dispose the Chinese-made mobile phones and avoid buying new ones, after the National Cyber Security Centre of Lithuania claimed that Xiaomi devices have built-in censorship capabilities that can be turned on remotely. Xiaomi denied the accusations, saying that it "does not censor communications to or from its users", and that they would be engaging a third-party to assess the allegations. They also stated that regarding data privacy, it was compliant with two frameworks for following Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), namely its ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management Standards and the ISO/IEC 27701 Privacy Information Management System.


Legal actions


State administration of radio, film and television issue

In November 2012, Xiaomi's smart set-top box stopped working one week after the launch due to the company having run foul of China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. The regulatory issues were overcome in January 2013.


Misleading sales figures

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission investigated the flash sales and found that Xiaomi had sold fewer smartphones than advertised. Xiaomi claimed that the number of smartphones sold was 10,000 units each for the first two flash sales, and 8,000 units for the third one. However, FTC investigated the claims and found that Xiaomi sold 9,339 devices in the first flash sale, 9,492 units in the second one, and 7,389 for the third. 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 .


Shut down of Australia store

In March 2014, Xiaomi Store Australia (an unrelated business) began selling Xiaomi mobile phones online in Australia through its website, XiaomiStore.com.au. However, Xiaomi soon "requested" that the store be shut down by 25 July 2014. On 7 August 2014, shortly after sales were halted, the website was taken down. An industry commentator described the action by Xiaomi to get the Australian website closed down as unprecedented, saying, "I’ve never come across this efore/nowiki>. It would have to be a strategic move." At the time this left only one online vendor selling Xiaomi mobile phones into Australia, namely Yatango (formerly MobiCity), which was based in Hong Kong. This business closed in late 2015.


Temporary ban in India due to patent infringement

On 9 December 2014, the High Court of Delhi granted an ex parte injunction that banned the import and sale of Xiaomi products in India. The injunction was issued in response to a complaint filed by Ericsson in connection with the infringement of its patent licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing. The injunction was applicable until 5 February 2015, the date on which the High Court was scheduled to summon both parties for a formal hearing of the case. On 16 December, the High Court granted permission to Xiaomi to sell its devices running on a Qualcomm-based processor until 8 January 2015. Xiaomi then held various sales on
Flipkart Flipkart Private Limited is an Indian e-commerce company, headquartered in Bengaluru Bangalore (), List of renamed places in India, officially Bengaluru (), is the Capital city, capital and largest city of the Indian state of Karnata ...
, including one on 30 December 2014. Its flagship Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G phone sold out in six seconds. A judge extended the division bench's interim order, allowing Xiaomi to continue the sale of Qualcomm chipset-based handsets until March 2018.


U.S. sanctions due to ties with People's Liberation Army

In January 2021, the United States government named Xiaomi as a company "owned or controlled" by the
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the principal military force of the China, People's Republic of China and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The PLA consists of five Military branch, service branches: the People's ...
and thereby prohibited any American company or individual from investing in it. However, the investment ban was blocked by a US court ruling after Xiaomi filed a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia The United States District Court for the District of Columbia (in case citations, D.D.C.) is a United States district court, federal district court in the District of Columbia. It also occasionally handles (jointly with the United States Dist ...
, with the court expressing skepticism regarding the government's national security concerns. Xiaomi denied the allegations of military ties and stated that its products and services were of civilian and commercial use. In May 2021, Xiaomi reached an agreement with the Defense Department to remove the designation of the company as military-linked.


Lawsuit by KPN alleging patent infringement

On 19 January 2021, KPN, a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, sued Xiaomi and others for
patent infringement Patent infringement is the commission of a prohibited act with respect to a patented invention without permission from the patent holder. Permission may typically be granted in the form of a license. The definition of patent infringement may va ...
. KPN filed similar lawsuits against Samsung in 2014 and 2015 in a court in the US.


Lawsuit by Wyze alleging invalid patent

In July 2021, Xiaomi submitted a report to Amazon alleging that Wyze Labs had infringed upon its 2019 "Autonomous Cleaning Device and Wind Path Structure of Same" robot vacuum patent. On 15 July 2021, Wyze filed a lawsuit against Xiaomi in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, arguing that prior art exists and asking the court for a declaratory judgment that Xiaomi's 2019 robot vacuum patent is invalid.


Asset seizure in India

In April 2022, India's Enforcement Directorate seized assets from Xiaomi as part of an investigation into violations of foreign exchange laws. The asset seizure was subsequently put on hold by a court order, but later upheld.


Overseas Manufacturing


Inauguration Plant in Pakistan

Xiaomi’s mobile device manufacturing plant was inaugurated on March 4 2022 to begin production in
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
. The plant was set up in conjunction with Select Technologies (Pvt) Limited, an Air Link fully owned subsidiary. The production plant is located in
Lahore Lahore ( ; pnb, ; ur, ) is the second List of cities in Pakistan by population, most populous city in Pakistan after Karachi and 26th List of largest cities, most populous city in the world, with a population of over 13 million. It is th ...
. As of July 2022, the future of the plant is uncertain due to the
2021–2022 global supply chain crisis In 2021, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chains and shipments slowed, causing worldwide shortages and affecting consumer patterns. Causes of the economic slowdown included workers becoming sick with COVID-19 as well a ...
.


References


External links

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