Smartphones: “Little rice”* gets into chips | Business News | SupChina

Smartphones: “Little rice”* gets into chips

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Xiaomi, the Chinese mobile phone company that changed the way phones are sold in China, “is forming a new subsidiary to shore up its goal of becoming the next chipmaking powerhouse, part of 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) initiative,” reports TechNode.

  • The new semiconductor company, named Dàyú (大鱼), literally, “big fish,” will research and develop “chipset solutions in AIoT applications such as smart speakers,” while another Xiaomi subsidiary launched in 2014 named Pinecone will continue to develop smartphone chipsets.
  • Employees will own most of Dayu, with Xiaomi retaining a 25 percent stake. The new entity will raise funds independently of Xiaomi.  
  • “Smartphone + AIoT” is the way Xiaomi talks about its future. The company reported “an 86.9 percent year-on-year surge in revenue of its IoT and lifestyle products segment in 2018, more than double the 41.3 percent year-on-year growth in its smartphone segment during the same period.”

*Xiǎomǐ 小米 means “little rice.”

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.