Xiaomi Prepares Autonomous Driving Expansion as Q2 Revenue Surges 64 Percent

Smartphone maker Xiaomi’s second-quarter revenue rose a record 64 percent from a year earlier, it said on Wednesday, announcing the purchase of an autonomous driving startup as it prepares to expand into the competitive market.

Sales reached CNY 87.8 billion (roughly Rs. 1,00,720 crores), up from 53.54 billion a year earlier and beating analyst expectations of CNY 84.53 billion (roughly Rs. 96,900 crores).

Net income reached CNY 6.32 billion (roughly Rs. 7,240 crores), up 87.4 percent year on year and above analyst expectations.

US government sanctions against Xiaomi’s rival Huawei effectively crippled the tech giant’s smartphone division and has allowed Xiaomi, along with Chinese Android makers Oppo and Vivo, to grow their market shares.

Xiaomi’s share of the global smartphone market grew 83 percent year-on-year in the quarter, ended in June, according to research firm Canalys. It shipped 52.8 million phones, making it the world’s second top-selling brand for the first time in its history, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple.

Domestically, however, the company still ranks behind Oppo and Vivo in terms of raw unit shipments.

On Wednesday, Xiaomi also announced that it is acquiring autonomous driving startup Deepmotion for approximately $77.37 million (roughly Rs. 575 crores), in a bid to boost its own R&D efforts in the area, the company’s President Wang Xiang said.

In March, Xiaomi announced it would spend $10 billion (roughly Rs. 74,260 crores) to enter the electric vehicle sector. The company has yet to formally announce any partnerships or plans for its first model, though public posts on job-searching sites show the company is recruiting talent aggressively.

Last week Reuters reported that China Evergrande Group was in talks to sell its EV unit to Xiaomi. Xiaomi said it has been in touch with various automakers, but it has yet to decide which one to work with.

The company derives the vast majority of its revenue by selling mobile handsets, but it also makes money by selling online ads and other types of consumer hardware.

Growth in Xiaomi’s Internet services unit, which makes money primarily by placing advertisements across various apps, grew 19.1 percent year-on-year.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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