Xiaomi to invest $1bn in Internet television content

The Chinese smartphone company hopes to replicate success in the smartphone industry within the realm of Internet television.

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Xiaomi said Tuesday it would invest up to $1 billion in expanding Internet television offerings.

The Chinese smartphone maker revealed the investment in a post on its official Weibo blog. By pouring funds into its fledgling television unit, the Beijing-based firm will be setting itself up against other local firms which have recently invested in the Internet TV market — such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

As reported by Reuters, former Sina executive Chen Tong has also been hired to oversee Xiaomi's television unit and make it more "diverse and exciting." At a press conference, the executive revealed little about Xiaomi's future plans, saying only:

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"We want to repeat the success of Xiaomi's hardware integration model in the television industry."

Xiaomi is most well-known for budget-friendly smartphones, the Chinese firm also offers the Mi TV and Mi Box set-top box. These products follow the company's standard procedure of making a little money on its products — but offering content platforms that can generate additional revenue streams.

Marketing firm iResearch believes the Web TV industry's worth has reached approximately $3 billion this year.

Xiaomi is believed to be the third largest smartphone maker in the world. According to research firm IDC , smartphone shipments increased by 25.2 percent in the third quarter, reaching a total of 327.6 million units. Samsung dominated shipment volumes, followed by Apple and Xiaomi.

Read on: In the enterprise