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Five Xiaomi stories you may not know

Five Xiaomi stories you may not know

Xiaomi does not have a very long history: the company was founded in 2010 and quickly became known internationally. It is much more popular in China than anywhere else, but it has managed to gain a solid reputation, even selling its smartphones in a few countries. But this story all fans know, so let’s tell you some less well-known details.

The name is a mystery

If the manufacturer is Chinese, the name is Chinese. The term Xiaomi is the implementation of Chinese characters in the Western alphabet, which, as usual, can leave the interpretation confusing. When I asked a Chinese friend, she said that 小米 (Xiao Mi) literally means “little corn” or “little rice”.

The Xiaomi logo looks like the syllable “mi” in Latin characters. Charlotte explained that in the logo Xiaomi tried to integrate Chinese and Latin characters since, upside down, the «mi» resembles the Chinese symbol for «heart». The term «Mi» is also found in all models of smartphones of the brand (Mi, Mi Note, Redmi) and serves to convey a positive idea that unfortunately does not work in the West.

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The logo was very well thought out / © NextPit

The company’s value is phenomenal

2015 was a year of consecration for Xiaomi. If we normally imagine start-ups as small companies of 30 people trying to make a name for themselves, Xiaomi goes a step further: it even managed to get past Uber and was the biggest start-up in the world, with businesses above 20 billion dollars! What else do you want?

Today, Xiaomi is still growing and, even though Uber has resumed position No. 1, it proudly holds its 2nd place worth 46 billion dollars, way ahead of Airbnb. It continues to grow, and employs more than 8,000 employees, which is a respectable number, but still very low when compared to the 170,000 of its Chinese rival Huawei. The company is on the rise, but it is better not to rest on the spot, because the market changes quickly and you need to change with it if it wants to stay in the race.

Xiaomi does not want to risk being swallowed by competitors.

The company’s activities are varied

If we are not surprised that the technology giants (Sony, Huawei, Samsung) extend their tentacles over many industries, it is somewhat curious that such a young company should do the same. That said, Xiaomi’s case is special and she understands that the key to success in the high-tech world is to diversify. In the West, it is known for its smartphones, sold at a “price as close as possible to the cost of production” to attract more customers. However, Xiaomi is much more than that.

Xiaomi specializes in the production of connected electronic devices, such as smartphones, bracelets, tablets, smartTVs and even shoes. It also manufactures many accessories, such as headphones and others. However, Xiaomi goes further, and also creates routers, gamepads and even drones. I haven’t had the opportunity to test the Mi Drone yet, but from what I’ve read about it, it’s not the best product it makes.

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Cameras, smartphones and bracelets /© NextPit

The young Xiaomi attracts experienced experts

This is not exclusive to Xiaomi: having the right contacts is always useful for a business, regardless of their level or position. As Xiaomi is new to the market, it needs to learn a lot, and it does so by asking those who know: In 2013, it managed to take Hugo Barra (former Google product manager and former Android development manager) to the post of vice president .

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Hugo Barra / © NextPit

In 2014, Xiaomi made an invitation to Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple; he said the company «has great products» that «are good enough to enter the American market»; beautiful way to flatter the ego of a young company. Nevertheless, one of the creators of Xiaomi is called “Chinese Steve Jobs” and another is a former Google expert who has worked at Microsoft. In short, good people to have in a start-up.

Having the right connections is always useful for a business

Xiaomi has already been accused of spying

You may have heard that the Chinese tend to spy on phones. Prejudice or reality? In 2014, spyware (spyware) was found on the Xiaomi Redmi Note and Xiaomi Redmi 1S on models sold in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The story was widely disseminated by the media and a study was done on plates that are also used by other manufacturers. The result: everything was clean.

That said, the damage to reputation was done. In 2015, German company G Data announced that it was common to find spyware on Chinese smartphones, which confirmed previous results with the Star N9500. Well, as my colleague Eric says, «What’s worse: Chinese manufacturers know all of us, or Google knows all of us?»

Do you know other Xiaomi stories?

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