Xiaomi dives into AIoT development to realise future vision

October 06, 2021 | 09:00
As the global smartphone competition grows fiercer, many smartphone brands are developing new technologies for their upcoming models. However, Xiaomi is implementing a new strategy by investing in AI and the internet of things (AIoT) with a vision of bringing smart tech to everyone. Patrick Chou, country manager for Xiaomi Vietnam shared with VIR’s Thanh Van how Xiaomi is benefiting consumers with this vision.
Xiaomi Interview
Patrick Chou, country manager for Xiaomi Vietnam

How has the Vietnamese smartphone market been growing in the past few years?

Xiaomi has made its first foray into Vietnam in 2017. At the time, the Vietnamese smartphone market was robust with the expansion of both local and foreign brands. The main global smartphone leaders have also been competing ever since for dominance in the premium segment.

However, things have changed dramatically over the past few years. The growing population of tech-savvy Vietnamese consumers have become more informed about smartphone technology.

Xiaomi has benefited from the more rational consumer perspectives. Xiaomi has offered Vietnamese consumers with feature-rich smartphones at affordable prices, representing the best value for money in the smartphone industry. This has made us successful in the budget and mid-range segments in the past years. Riding on the success, Xiaomi has set its goal to succeed in the high-end segment as well. Following the excellent Mi 11 series flagships, Xiaomi recently unveiled the Xiaomi 11T Series 5G, a new lineup. Moving forward, Xiaomi is nurturing ambitions to win the premium segment in Vietnam in the coming time.

Xiaomi Interview
Xiaomi 11T series 5G smartphones have been known to revolutionize the hi-end market in terms of videography on phones and battery performance

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions globally. What is Xiaomi’s plan to maintain competitiveness during this turbulent time?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Xiaomi has faced a lot of pressure in areas such as supply chain and delivery. Thousands of engineers at our research and development (R&D) centre also had to work from home for a long time. We also closed our factories in India for a while to obey the sanitary regulations of the government and fight against the pandemic. Indeed, it was a hard time for both Xiaomi and smartphone manufacturers in general. However, with the great efforts taken by the company in the past year, Xiaomi has now resumed normal operations to supply products to consumers around the world.

On one hand, we have developed contingency plans to strengthen our supply chain, on the other hand, Xiaomi has built new next-generation smart factories which will help us to maintain competitiveness in the new era of smart manufacturing. Furthermore, Xiaomi has heavily invested in R&D to create innovative products for consumers and plans to invest around RMB10 billion ($1.55 billion) this year in R&D, and recruit about 5,000 engineers for the relentless pursuit of innovative technology. As e-commerce is booming while consumers are at home, we have also brought our excellent online shopping experience to more local consumers, as Xiaomi has been famous for its e-commerce retail capability for long time.

What were the latest steps for Xaomi to venture into the future technology space?

In September, Xiaomi has registered its electric vehicle (EV) business with a capital of $1.55 billion officially entering the global EV market. The name of the subsidiary is Xiaomi EV, Inc. and it is led by Lei Jun, founder, chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi. We first announced our EV ambitions in March but had been harbouring them for much longer and committed to investing about $10 billion in the EV business over the next 10 years.

Last month, we also unveiled Xiaomi Smart Glasses – a brand new smart wearable device. Xiaomi Smart Glasses combine imaging system and sensors into a subtle, ordinary glasses design through MicroLED optical waveguide technology to display messages and notifications, make calls, navigate, capture photos, and translate text right before the users’ eyes.

Another future technology Xiaomi has unveiled is a bio-inspired quadruped robot – CyberDog. CyberDog is the culmination of Xiaomi’s engineering prowess, condensed into an open-source robot companion that developers can build upon.

CyberDog is Xiaomi’s first foray into quadruped robotics for the open-source community and developers worldwide. Robotics enthusiasts interested in CyberDog can compete or co-create with other like-minded Xiaomi Fans, together propelling the development and potential of quadruped robots.

As for smartphone and AIoT products, we will also invest in R&D as always to offer the best quality products with amazing features.

How is Xiaomi planning to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) segment for the Vietnamese market?

Xiaomi does not only sell phones, we also sell other smart IoT devices such as Bluetooth speakers, televisions, fitness bands, power banks, and air purifiers, among others, each one of them offering the best possible value for money. Our Xiaomi smart IoT device ecosystem holds tremendous potential in Vietnam as people are increasingly using technology in their daily lives.

Our core strategy is smartphone x AIoT. The relationship between our core smartphone business and AIoT ecosystem will be mutually beneficial, bringing about symbiotic changes beyond incremental benefits. Our AIoT business will help our smartphone business expand into more application scenarios, winning the hearts of more users, and eventually creating economic moats for our business model. This will truly let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through technology and make us truly lead the future way of living.

We realise that there are many opportunities to develop smart IoT products to Vietnamese consumers as smartphones have become indispensable in the digital age. Furthermore, the high internet penetration coupled with the upcoming rollout of 5G networks will facilitate the development of Xiaomi Eco’s smart IoT products in Vietnam.

Xiaomi Interview
A better life through innovative technology for everyone has always been the vision of Xiaomi

The demand for smart home devices is set to increase as a result of the stay-at-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic. Xiaomi is committed to bringing more smart home products such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, table lamps, weighing scales, and oil-free fryers to our users to help them improve their life quality at home and do our part in the fight against pandemic. Through these innovative technologies, Xiaomi provides every individual with a more convenient, efficient, and healthy lifestyle, enabling Vietnamese consumers to live a smart life.

How will Xiaomi’s growing market share benefit consumers?

Xiaomi has surpassed Apple to become the world's second-largest smartphone maker for the first time ever. The company took 17 per cent of worldwide smartphone shipments for the second quarter of 2021, Canalys said in a report.

Especially, in Southeast Asia, Xiaomi stated in number 1 counted for 28.2 per cent of the market shareand Xiaomi is not only the leading smartphone brand in the world, it is also the only brand in Vietnam with a positive annual growth rate of 68 per cent.

This reflects how users across the world love our brand and motivates us to offer our high-quality products at accessible prices.

Competitive pricing and feature-rich smart products even in the budget segment have all worked in Xiaomi’s favour. With competition on all fronts and advantages of the Xiaomi AIoT ecosystem, we are proud to become consumers' first choice for the best smart living experience.

In the coming time, we will officially launch our flagship Xiaomi 11T Series in Vietnam. The series, with cutting-edge cinematic features, flagship performance, and ultra-fast charging enabled by the 120W Xiaomi HyperCharge technology, will satisfy both serious content creators and casual users. We hope Vietnamese consumers will welcome and enjoy our new smartphone series.

Vietnamese consumers can enjoy a smart life better than ever with a variety of Xiaomi consumers electronics products. Xiaomi’s smartphones and AIoT products are truly accessible for the majority of society, so everyone can experience a new tech-enhanced way of living and improve their life quality.

By Thanh Van

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