​Xiaomi India claims it surpassed $1b in revenue in 2016

Xiaomi India boasts crossing $1 billion in revenue in 2016 thanks to a focus on online sales and creating an ecosystem of companion products.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Xiaomi's division in India claims to have topped $1 billion (roughly 6,800 crore rupees) in revenue in 2016, following an announcement in October that it sold more than 1 million smartphones in India in 18 days.

In a Facebook post celebrating the revenue milestone, head of Xiaomi India Manu Kumar Jain wrote that the company thinks it's the first to cross the $1 billion revenue mark in a short period of time. It attributes its success in India to focusing on online sales and an ecosystem of companion products -- a strategy it employed in China, its home market.

Headquartered in Beijing, Xiaomi expanded into India with the Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone in July 2014. While the company gains traction in India, it hasn't done so well in China, failing to meet its sales targets and dropping to number four in the Chinese smartphone market -- a market it once led -- behind Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei.

India, with a population of 1.34 billion, overtook the US in 2016 to become the world's second-largest smartphone market by users and is predicted to generate 1 billion smartphone sales in the next five years, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Chinese-owned technology companies collectively dominate the Indian smartphone market with market share of about 40 percent as of Q3 2016, with Xiaomi as one of the leading Chinese vendors holding a market share of 10.7 percent in the same quarter, according to statistics from IDC.

Sales of Xiaomi's smartphones in India more than doubled to about 6.5 million in 2016, compared to the year prior, with over 2 million smartphones being sold in Q3 alone. Redmi Note 3 was the highest shipped device for the company.

While it holds a strong position in the Indian smartphone market, it faces increasing competition from fellow Chinese competitors Oppo and Lenovo, with Samsung maintaining its top position in the market.

In addition to expanding beyond its home market, Xiaomi has also expanded its product portfolio to include speakers, earphones, power banks, air purifiers, fitness bands, VR headsets, and accessories.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, Xiaomi announced that over 23 million Mi Bands and 3.3 million webcams have been sold to date, and over 1 million Mi Air Purifiers are sold annually.

Xiaomi also showed off its Mi Ecosystem, which comprises "hundreds" of smart products manufactured by ecosystem partners. The company claims the Mi Ecosystem Internet of Things platform has over 50 million connected devices, with the Mi Home app surpassing 5 million daily active users.

"What makes Xiaomi's approach to Internet of Things unique is the way it incubates and invests in specialized companies to effectively expand its product line in a highly scalable manner," the company said in a statement.

Xiaomi has thus far invested in 77 startups that design and manufacture products beyond its three core product categories designed in-house: smartphones, smart TVs, and smart routers.

Xiang Wang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, said the company's focus moving forward will be to scale its Mi Ecosystem geographically and product-wise.

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