Xiaomi avoids talking falling phone sales, aims at $14b revenue in 2017

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    Lei Jun in Beijing. Photo credit: Tech in Asia.


    Xiaomi boss Lei Jun today talked in detail about the Chinese gadget maker’s year – but he studiously avoided revealing precisely how many phones it sold in 2016.

    After missing its 2015 phone sales target and then being whacked by Huawei and a bunch of other rivals in its home nation last year, many analysts reckon Xiaomi’s China stumble will contribute to a big drop for its budget smartphones.

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    Billionaire serial entrepreneur Lei Jun described 2016 as a year of “excellent results” in an open letter posted this afternoon to Facebook.

    “We end the year with greatly improved management and higher organizational efficiency. As an example, since we reorganized our smartphone hardware team in May 2016, the team has doubled, and we have strengthened product R&D, supply chain, and quality management,” he said.

    Xiaomi will hit RMB 100 billion – US$14.4 billion – in revenue across all gadgets and services in 2017, wrote the CEO.

    Other highlights and projections from Lei Jun:

    • Hit record highs in India, topping US$1 billion in annual revenue for the first time.
    • Among top 3 smartphone brands in India.
    • Its repair shops have been turned into “full-fledged retail stores,” now numbering 54 across China.
    • 200 more Mi Home stores opening in 2017 – and then it’ll “open a total of 1,000 stores over the next three years.”
    • Xiaomi “applied for over 16,000 patents around the world, and we have already been granted 3,612 of them, of which 1,767 are granted by overseas patent agencies.”
    • Xiaomi’s smart home gadgets saw US$2.2 billion in sales.
    • Revenue from web-based services doubled.

    Alongside phone sales, another important number was dodged: profitability.

    ‘We pushed too fast’


    “In the first few years, we pushed ahead too fast. We created a miracle, but also drew on some long-term growth. So we have to slow down, further improve in some areas, and ensure sustainable growth for a long-term future,” admitted the CEO.

    The company will focus on growing its artificial intelligence expertise and its online finance products in the new year, alongside its shift in retail strategy so that Xiaomi isn’t reliant on online sales. The “online smartphone market only makes up 20 percent of the overall smartphone market,” cautioned Lei Jun.


    Amidst Xiaomi’s data jigsaw puzzle, it’s hard to see how badly the company has been hurt by the upmarket shift among China’s smartphone shoppers. Xiaomi was the top phone brand in the country in 2014 and 2015, but data from analysts to be published later this month is expected to show Huawei is the new king.

    This post Xiaomi avoids talking falling phone sales, aims at $14b revenue in 2017 appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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