China's Xiaomi makes $300 million investment in Baidu's online video site

The company is also expanding internationally, with India its main target

Although better known for its smartphones, China's Xiaomi is spending big to prop up its fledgling smart TV business, with a new investment in an online video company belonging to Chinese search engine Baidu.

The handset maker and a related fund called Shunwei are investing US$300 million in the Chinese video site iQiyi, according to a company post on Wednesday. As part of the investment, Xiaomi and Chinese search giant Baidu will "deepen cooperation" on products and content, especially on the mobile Internet front.

The fast-rising Xiaomi has quickly become one of the top smartphone vendors in the world, thanks largely to its sales in China. But it has also ambitions of offering an entire eco-system of hardware, including tablets, set-top boxes and smart TVs.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi declared it would spend US$1 billion to build up its TV content, leading it to later buy a stake in Youku Tudou, a major video site in China.

On Wednesday, the company's CEO Lei Jun also talked about the its smartphone goals, and said he hopes Xiaomi will eventually surpass Apple and Samsung to become the number-one player in the market.

Lei, however, doesn't expect that to happen soon: it could take five to ten years, he said at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China.

In the short term, the Chinese company wants to double its user base to over 200 million within the next year or two, he said. As of now, Xiaomi has 70 million users of its customized version of Android called MIUI, which is installed on the company's tablet and smart TV products as well as on its smartphones.

In this year's third quarter, Xiaomi was ranked as the third biggest smartphone maker globally, according to research firm IDC. The company began selling phones a little over three years ago, but it has become one of the hottest vendors in the country, partly by selling handsets at prices far below rival products.

Competition in the market, however, is stiff. Apple and Samsung Electronics have been the two leaders, but PC maker Lenovo is also expanding fast. Like Xiaomi, Lenovo has also grown quickly to become a top smartphone vendor in China, and just last month the company completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, giving it a foothold in the U.S. market.

After the acquisition was made final, Motorola's president Rick Osterloh tweeted that Lenovo was now the third biggest smartphone player.

Although Xiaomi phones are mainly sold in China, the company has been expanding internationally by selling phones in Southeast Asia, and in India, which its CEO described on Wednesday as its "main attack" target.

So far, Xiaomi phones have proven to be popular in the country. The products, while offered in limited stock in India, have been appealing enough that they've often sold out within seconds of becoming available.

Xiaomi, however, has yet to crack the top five rankings in India's smartphone market, according to research firm Canalys.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Xiaomiconsumer electronicsAndroidsmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?