Xiaomi smartphone sales triple in 2014
Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
BEIJING -- Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. sold 61.12 million smartphones in 2014, up 227 percent year on year, company founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Lei Jun said Sunday.
Total sales revenue with tax reached 74.3 billion yuan ($12 billion), up 135 percent year on year, Lei said in an open email to the company's employees.
Sales of the brand expanded to six countries and regions over the past year, including Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
The company was valued at $45 billion in the new round of financing late December.
The announcement comes as the company released its new model, Redmi 2, on Sunday for 699 yuan, considerably cheaper than its other models.
Xiaomi, which means "millet" in Chinese, was founded in April 2010 by Lei and his friends in Zhongguancun, Beijing's technology hub, which has been called "China's Silicon Valley." Xiaomi's first smartphone debuted on Aug 16, 2011.
Taiwan clears Xiaomi of breaching data privacy
Taiwan regulators cleared on Dec 30 Xiaomi Inc and other smartphone brands of breaching local data protection laws after security concerns triggered a probe in September.
The communications commission, in a report concluding the investigation, said all the 12 brands it had tested, which include handsets sold by Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc and Sony Corp, did not violate the laws.
James Lou, an official of the commission, who was involved in the testing, said the commission, however, would request mobile phone makers make information transmission more secure.
The probe, also involved handset makers Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp.
Privately owned Xiaomi, whose budget smartphones are popular throughout Asia, was previously accused of breaching data privacy. In August, the company apologized and said it would change a default feature after a Finnish security company said Xiaomi collected address book data without users' permission.
In September, Taiwan began performing independent tests on Xiaomi phones after media reports said that some models automatically send user data back to the firm's servers in the Chinese mainland.
The probe was then widened to include local and foreign handsets. The report said handsets made by local firms HTC Corp, Asustek Computer Inc, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd, Taiwan Mobile Co Ltd and US-based InFocus Corp, whose handsets are made by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, were also cleared of breaching the data protection laws.
Xiaomi Corp raised $1.1 billion in a new round of funding that now values China's largest smartphone vendor at $45 billion.
Investors in the financing include All-Stars Investment, Yuri Milner's DST, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, Hopu Investment and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Jack Ma Yun, according to a statement posted on Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun's verified weibo microblog.
Xiaomi is expanding its smart-home drive, as the company unveiled its partnership with domestic appliance maker Midea earlier this month.
With its new air purifier hitting the market, the smartphone vendor uses a combination of high-end features and low prices to lure customers, and is now expanding into content and services.
Xiaomi became the world's third largest vendor behind Samsung and Apple in the third quarter, with 5.6 percent market share, reported Bloomberg citing data compiled by Strategy Analytics. In China, Xiaomi had 15 percent market share in the third quarter.
Xiaomi targets to sell 100 million phones next year, said Lei Jun in a conference earlier.
The company used a combination of high-end features and low prices to lure customers from Samsung and Apple Inc, and now is expanding into content and services.