Xiaomi launches 12 billion yuan fund to develop new products – China business and technology news from May 4, 2017

Business & Technology

A summary of today’s top news in Chinese business and technology. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Chinese cosmocrats — from mission control to the governor’s office."

People use an escalator outside the headquarters of ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) in Beijing, China, February 4, 2005. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Caixin reports that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has partnered with the Hubei provincial government and other partners to set up the “Yangtze River Xiaomi Industry Fund.” The initiative is expected to raise 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) for the development of Xiaomi products, which range from smartphones to internet-connected TVs and smart home appliances, as well as software and products that grow the Xiaomi ecosystem of tech and services.

The Beijing-based company, which is worth $46 billion, has attempted to reclaim the Chinese market after falling behind in the country’s smartphone arms race in the past year, Forbes reports. It is China’s fourth-largest smartphone maker, after Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo. Xiaomi made its name as an online-sales-only company, but has recently been hurt by mediocre reviews and a lack of retail distribution. It is now making a push to open brick-and-mortar stores, and announced plans to open more than 200 Mi Home stores in China this year, bringing the total number of stores to 300. Outside of China, India is the biggest market for the company. The smartphone maker is currently the second-largest smartphone vendor in India after Samsung. India’s first Mi Home store is expected to open next week in Bangalore.