Xiaomi to invest $1.48 billion in smart homes in the next five years

Xiaomi is already a big player in the smartphone market, which is where it gets most of its popularity from, especially in its home country. However, the Chinese company intends to greatly expand its efforts beyond smartphones in the next five years, according to its latest announcement.

Discussing its strategy for the future, Xiaomi's president and CEO Lei Jun said that the manufacturer will invest 10 billion yuan - just shy of $1.48 billion - in "AIoT", a blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company also pointed to a recent partnership with TCL as a way to extend Xiaomi's presence in home appliances.

In a letter to its employees spotted by TechCrunch, Jun mentioned the proliferation of smart devices and the replacement of current home appliances with connected ones. "There will be an AIoT network that infiltrates every second and scenario of people’s lives, collecting mountains of users, traffic and data", Jun said, though this may sound more threatening than enticing, especially for those who fear being spied by the Chinese government.

In addition to AIoT, Xiaomi plans to continue investing in its smartphone business, including its Redmi brand which recently split from Xiaomi itself. The company will also continue to cater to more specific segments of the market through sub-brands such as POCO and Black Shark. Xiaomi's shares tumbled recently as its smartphone sales slowed, so it makes sense that the company is focusing more in other areas of business going forward.

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