January 9, 2014, 3:49 PM

Chinese e-retailer Xiaomi increases its sales 150% in 2013

Xioami projects it will ship 40 million of its Mi-phone handsets this year, up from 18.7 million in 2013.

Frank Tong

Senior editor, China

Lead Photo

Xiaomi’s latest Mi-3 Phone

Xiaomi, a Chinese company that produces smartphones and sells them primarily online, sold 18.7 million phones during 2013, up 160% from 2012 shipments of 7.2 million. Revenue increased 150% to 31.6 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) in 2013 from 12.6 billion yuan ($2 billion) in 2012. Lei Jun, the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, released these results in a post on the Chinese social network Weibo.     

Xiaomi says it sells most of its handsets through its official e-commerce site, Xiaomi.com. The rest are sold through Chinese mobile operators, such as China Unicom and China Telecom. Xiaomi declined to say what percentages of sales are from its own web site.

Lei called 2013 “the most important year” for Xiaomi development. Besides the high-end Mi-3 phone and less expensive Red Mi phone, which is priced around US$100, Xiaomi’s hardware product line has expanded in the past year to include TVs, TV set-top boxes and a wireless router that includes media-playing functions. Aiming to go beyond China, Xiaomi hired former Google Inc. executive Hugo Barra and began selling its products in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2013. Lei says these tests are going well.

Even the company’s smartphone accessories sold at a brisk pace in 2013. For example, Lei says Xiaomi’s fans purchased 500,000 Xiaomi mascot dolls in 2013.

Lei concluded by expressing hope Xiaomi could address the problems it’s had obtaining components from suppliers so that it can meet its goal of shipping at least 40 million smartphones in 2014. Xiaomi’s suppliers include semiconductor companies Qualcomm, Nvidia and MediaTek, and contract manufacturer Inventec Appliances.

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