Xiaomi's Internet of Things offerings sold as part of the Home product family surpassed ten million sales on a global level earlier this month, the Chinese original equipment manufacturer announced on Christmas. The milestone was reached approximately three years after Xiaomi fully committed itself to the IoT segment and signals the company's diversification strategy is largely working as intended. While the Beijing, China-based firm originally broke into the consumer electronics market as a smartphone startup, it soon ended up expanding to IoT devices like smart speakers, thermostats, and robot vacuum cleaners, though the majority of such products are still sold exclusively in its home country.
A smaller number of Xiaomi-made IoT devices are also available in India, the company's most important foreign market where it's currently close to surpassing Samsung as the largest local smartphone vendor, according to recent estimates. Besides diversifying its business, Xiaomi sees the IoT space as an opportunity to strengthen its brand and indirectly promote its core offerings – Android handsets. While its IoT and artificial intelligence efforts are largely reliant on its own proprietary technologies, the company recently established a major partnership with Baidu that will see the two collaborate on a broad range of related solutions including machine learning, computer vision, and voice recognition. As Xiaomi's ambitions in the IoT space continue growing, the company is expected to bring its Internet-enabled home products to more markets around the world.
Following several years of disappointing performance, Xiaomi now finally managed to recapture most of its 2014 momentum when it was deemed the most valuable startup on the planet by various investors. Besides being likely to overtake Samsung in India, the company has also been doing a better job of competing with local rivals in its home country over the course of this year. Furthermore, Xiaomi is currently negotiating with a number of major wireless carriers in the United States over retailing its smartphones in the country, according to recent reports. Such aggressive diversification endeavors coupled with strong growth in existing markets are both expected to lead to the largest tech IPO in 2018 as Xiaomi is now expected to go public in the next 12 months with a valuation of at least $50 billion.