Xiaomi has quickly gone from humble beginnings as a Chinese startup looking to change the face of Android, to the world's third largest manufacturer of smartphones in just a few years. With the release of the Xiaomi Mi4 this year, Xiaomi marks the beginnings of a new era with MIUI 6, its own flavor of Android, and upcoming record sales of its smartphones through the end of the year. With Hugo Barra's guidance Xiaomi has begun their expansion into India where they've released the Mi3, Redmi Note 1S and are working on plenty of other phones for the fledgling market. They've also expanded into Televisions and Android-powered TV boxes to further the Xiaomi ecosystem and are now busy working on some other projects that we hadn't heard about before.
This time around instead of pushing out new hardware Xiaomi is working the software side of things, namely the internet video arena that's been booming all over the world in the last couple of years. Last week Xiaomi purchased a stake in Youku Tudou, a Chinese video streaming website that sees over 500 million visits per month. Now today Xiaomi is announcing that it's investing $300 million USD (1.8 billion Yuan) into iQiyi, which is the video platform run by Chinese search giant Baidu. Reuters is saying that Xiaomi is looking to invest a total of $1 billion (6 billion Yuan) into internet TV content to ramp up its bid for your living room. Xiaomi is looking to be the sole provider of all your media content whether it be your smartphone, tablet, TV or even the video platform that your videos play on. It's a huge gamble for the company but it may pay off given that the internet TV industry is looking to be worth $3 billion USD (18 billion Yuan) this year alone.
Given China's feud with Google and the banning of Google services in the country it makes sense for Xiaomi to push into the niche part of the industry that Google has carved out for itself with YouTube in the rest of the world. What will be particularly interesting is seeing these services moved outside of the country in the future and what sort of impact they could make on YouTube's market share.