Xiaomi, Youku, and more get virtual telecom operator licenses, but can they right the ship?

According to Techweb, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its fourth round of virtual telecom operator licenses. The licenses grant companies the right to operate a “virtual” telecom company, charging their own fees and offering their own plans but leasing their network from one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom). The latest list of companies issued licenses includes Xiaomi, Youku-Tudou, and Haier.


Commentary: Xiaomi facing challenge to sustain growth

China-based Xiaomi Technology, a smartphone startup of a little over four years, has risen as a technology company with a full range of product lines that has expanded vertically to include tablets, smart TVs, smart routers, smart wearable devices and even parts and components. Its recent tie-up with China-based IC design house Leadcore Technology to develop 4G handset solutions, and investments in video content providers Youku Tudou and IQiyi, however, show that the company now intends to also integrate its business horizontally.


Apple and Xiaomi trade smartphone barbs in China

WUZHEN, CHINA: Top executives from US technology giant Apple and Chinese smartphone upstart Xiaomi traded light-hearted barbs on Thursday at a Chinese Internet conference, acknowledging the fierce competition between the rivals.  Apple’s iPhones and iPads are wildly popular in China, encouraging smuggling and crowds at the company’s stores as consumers try to lay their hands on the latest products.


Xiaomi buys $300 million stake in Chinese video portal iQiyi

Xiaomi has confirmed it will invest US$300 million in Baidu-backed online video portal iQiyi for an undisclosed stake in the company, according to Techweb. The money is part of Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s pledged US$1 billion to accelerate content acquisition. Lei’s personal fund also participated in the investment. Last week, the company also revealed it would invest an undisclosed amount into Youku Tudou, another leading video portal in China.


Xiaomi is teasing big news today. Here’s what we think it is.

It says that a “major event” is coming on November 19 – that’s today – at 2 P.M. Beijing time. Beyond that, the company hasn’t leaked any details, so there’s no way to be sure what could be coming. In the comments, some people are speculating that it’s a larger-screen version of Xiaomi’s smart TV, perhaps 70 or even 100 inches. The Chinese word the announcement uses for “major” also means “big” – as in “big screen” – which some are taking as a subtle hint.


Xiaomi Invests USD10 Million In Youku-Tudou

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced that the company plans to invest USD10 million to purchase shares of Youku-Tudou from the secondary market, which will enable the playing of Youku-Tudou contents on Xiaomi devices. Xiaomi will also buy Youku-Tudou shares from the open market. The two parties will make a joint investment of an unknown sum to develop Internet application technologies for Youku-Tudou’s self-produced contents, joint production, distribution, and film and television program production.


Xiaomi Mi5: Spy Images Show Zero-Bezel Design

Earlier, it was reported that Xiaomi might have started working on the successor (Mi5) of the latest available flagship smartphone, Mi4. And on Saturday, a set of new images has been leaked on the Chinese social networking website, Weibo. The photo purportedly shows the front side of the phone from a very close angle. The images show the device with a bezel less display. The Mi5 left a niche space on the top and bottom, while the rest of the front has been occupied by the display.


Did Xiaomi’s Redmi Note really sell out in 40 seconds in Indonesia?

Tech in Asia was monitoring the sales of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note on Lazada Indonesia today, and clocked the sell-out at just under four minutes. Moments later, however, Xiaomi’s VP of international Hugo Barra tweeted that the Redmi Note in fact sold out its stock of 10,000 units in less 40 seconds.  In September, Lazada Indonesia and Xiaomi claimed their stock of 5,000 Redmi 1S devices sold out online in just seven minutes. This took a bit longer than the sale in India, which sold 40,000 phones in four seconds.


Xiaomi sold nearly 1.2 million phones during China’s 24-hour sales bonanza

November 11 saw a new record for the world’s biggest shopping day as Alibaba’s shoppers spent US$9.3 billion in 24 hours on the company’s two main ecommerce marketplaces, Tmall and Taobao. The top Tmall brand store on that sales bonanza day was Xiaomi, the budget smartphone maker. Today Xiaomi revealed that it saw a record high of 1.16 million phones sold during China’s Singles Day event.


Xiaomi to buy a stake in Youku, beef up content offerings

Smartphone maker Xiaomi plans to buy a stake in Chinese video portal Youku Tudou. The dollar amount and size of the stake were not disclosed, but the companies said the deal will take place on the open market. Last week, Xiaomi pledged to invest US$1 billion to beef up its video content offerings. The deal with Youku means the two Chinese tech firms will jointly fund the production and distribution of online films and TV shows.


Xiaomi invests in 4G chip development, says sources

China-based smartphone vendor Xiaomi Technology and China-based IC design house Leadcore Technology have established a joint venture specifically for developing 4G chip solutions, according to sources at Taiwan’s handset supply chain. Xiaomi will account for 51% share in the joint venture, while Leadcore, a subsidiary of Datang Telecom, will take up the remaining 49%.


Xiaomi fans in Singapore can now go 4G with the new Redmi Note

Singaporeans love their Xiaomi smartphones. Here’s proof: the launch of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note here about four months ago saw 5,000 units of the 5.5-inch phablet selling out in an astonishing 42 seconds. The Chinese smartphone company will hope to go one better on November 18 when its brand spanking new Redmi Note 4G debuts in the island-state for S$229 (US$183). According to an official statement, a specially-tailored version of the phablet was created for the Southeast Asian market due to the differences in China and Singapore’s 4G networks.


Xiaomi Aims For Better Mobile Content In Latest Chinese Video Investment Push

Lei Jun, chairman and chief executive officer of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, says the company will invest USD1 billion in the video content industry as it aims to improve content of its TV and TV box products. For content, Lei said they prefer to cooperate with partners in the video content sector and realize joint growth in the area. Lei said the most important thing for Xiaomi in the current stage is the integration and operation of video content. The company aims to establish a complete network which closely combines software, hardware and contents to enhance the competitiveness of the company.


Xiaomi to raise $1.5 bn in latest funding boost: Report

BEIJING: Xioami, currently the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, is now planning to raise about $1.5 billion in its fifth round of financing, media reports said.  The company which has dominated China’s smartphone market is talking to investors and banks to roughly raise about $1.5 billion, which would be the largest investment (excluding IPO) raised by any Chinese company backed by venture capital, financial news website Jiemian of the Shanghai United Media Group reported.


Xiaomi cuts deal with local Chinese chip-maker to beef up intellectual property: report

Xiaomi’s overseas expansion is in full swing, but for every country it expands to, it spends more money on licensing fees for the mobile chipsets used in its devices. This burden becomes a more costly and risky factor as the company launches in new markets. Today, Datang Telecom’s wholly-owned subsidiary Leadcore Technologies signed a “technology transfer contract” with Beijing Songguo Electronics, a company that multiple Chinese media report is controlled by Xiaomi, according to Techweb and Sina Tech.


Xiaomi Redmi Note coming to Indonesia next week, skips Mi 3

Xiaomi’s VP Hugo Barra flew in to Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta yesterday. The occassion? Launching the Redmi Note in the country. The smartphone touts a 5.5-inch 1280x720p HD IPS display, octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek processors, 2GB RAM, Mali-450 GPU, 3,100mAh battery, 13MP back camera, and 5MP front camera. It is sold at Rp 2 million (US$164), a bit more expensive than the S$200 (US$154) and RM510(US$152) price tags in neighboring countries Singapore and Malaysia.


Xiaomi seeks funds, looks at $50-billion valuation (India)

With computers giving way to mobiles, offline to online, local to cloud, the $80 billion business of technology security is tracing a similar arc. Developers, including 50 startups in India, are eyeing niches and the mobile, reports Shelley Singh. Data is a weapon, a competitive advantage, and ShieldSquare, a Bangalore-based start-up, ensures it stays that way for its e-commerce clients, a list that includes marriage portal shaadi.com, and real estate portals magicbricks.com and indiaproperties.com. While thousands of users trawl through the data on these sites, a ShieldSquare software whirrs away in the background, its client’s data interests in mind.


Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review: Worthy Entry-Level Android Phone

After entering India, Xiaomi has always been in the headlines for anything and everything. The bulk selling process through e-retailer website Flipkart has fetched huge business for them. After their official appearance, every flash sale has gone viral. The biggest reason behind this was the flaunted specifications. People, particularly youngsters, who always crave for phone with lower price and flagship smartphone-like configurations, rolled their eyes with an “Oh My God” gesture.


Xiaomi to invest $1B in content to make its smart TV more appealing

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun took to his Weibo page today to reveal that the disruptive gadget maker is to invest US$1 billion in building up content for its smart TV users. Xiaomi unleashed its smart TV OS in early 2013, available initially only via a cheap set-top box. Xiaomi later released a smart TV, dubbed MiTV (pictured above). The trouble with Xiaomi’s smart TV OS is that it lacks the content that many of its rivals have, since Xiaomi has no online video site to pair with it.


BCG: Xiaomi is one of the worlds most innovative companies, and the top up-and-comer

The Boston Consulting Group has published its annual report (PDF) of the world’s most innovative companies. This year, only three new companies made the top 50 – Salesforce, Hitachi, and Xiaomi. Xiaomi took the number 35 spot, ahead of its countrymen Huawei (50) and Tencent (47), but behind Lenovo. Compared to other phone manufacturers, it’s also behind Apple (1), Samsung (3), Sony (10), and LG (17).