Xiaomi wants to become one of China’s top three e-commerce companies in the next few years, says its founder and president, Lin Bin.
It’s a plan that is already starting to take shape, thanks to some slick digital marketing and a direct sales model that allows the company to pass on benefits to consumers and build a strong reputation in the social media space.
In the past year Xiaomi has more than doubled its handset sales to become a top three smartphone player in China.
Xiaomi only releases one product per year and places a time limit on the length of its online sales period, but the company has become famous for the amount of buzz it has been able to generate around new product launches.
Almost 10 million customers were in the queue to buy 50,000 of its Mi2 smartphones and Lin said that as part of a promotion to celebrate its four-year anniversary, it sold 1.3 million phones.
Sales in the past year have grown 180% with revenues in excess of 31.6 billion RMB.
But despite this huge growth in mobile, Lin admits the company has wider ambitions.
“We are not a mobile company, we are an internet company,” he told delegates at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.
The company will also launch its first MiTV later this year.
“From day one, the most important thing was to provide a good quality user experience and performance.
“If your product has a bad reputation, users will blame you. We know that bad news travels much faster than good news.”
Since the launch of its first device, Xiaomi has collected more than 150 million web postings from sites such as WeChat and Weibo, which he acknowledged is “a lot of feedback”.
But these active online consumers have become brand ambassadors who Lin says are now designing products and driving huge growth across the world's largest mobile market.
The four-year-old company is currently the world’s sixth largest mobile device vendor and Xiaomi is on track to rise up the ranks in the next few years driven by an innovative online business model and a decision to ignore traditional marketing strategies.
The Mobile Asia Expo 2014 ran from 11 to 13 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.
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The Mobile Asia Expo 2014 ran from from 11 to 13 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.