Popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has ambitious plans to expand beyond Asia, and as part of its efforts to do so, it has simplified its website domain to Mi.com.
“The new domain is simpler and more accessible to an international audience,” the company said. It added that the newly launched domain also gives a more succinct meaning to the “Mi” brand, which stands for Mobile Internet.
Li Wanqiang, co-founder and VP of Xiaomi, revealed on Weibo that Xiaomi spent $3.6 million to purchase the Web domain.
UPDATE: The figure revealed was not in Chinese yuan, but in US dollars. It has been corrected to reflect that.
It makes sense for Xiaomi to make such a move, since its name isn’t particularly easy to pronounce for those who don’t speak Chinese.
So far, Xiaomi has only taken a first step beyond Greater China by launching its devices in Singapore. There are plans to bring Xiaomi devices into other Southeast Asian markets next, while Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra has also hinted that the company is seeking to make a breakthrough in India and Latin America, and revealed today that it will “accelerate its international expansion.” Having a simple but catchy brand name could make a huge difference.
Li also noted that the new Web domain will contribute to the company’s e-commerce business, which accounts for about 70 percent of its total sales volume. Xiaomi is well known for selling its smartphones, as well as peripherals and phone accessories, directly from its website.
“When it comes to e-commerce, a short domain name helps obtain higher user traffic because it is easy to remember,” Li said in a press statement.
In the first three months of this year, Xiaomi has shipped 11 million smartphones, with CEO Lei Jun aiming for 60 million by the end of this year, and 100 million next year. The company sold 18.7 million smartphones in 2013, hauling in total sales of CNY31.6 billion ($5.2 billion), up 150 percent from the year before.
Other than hardware, Xiaomi also reveals that it is upping efforts to adapt its Android-based MIUI operating system to international markets — it has started to invest in an overseas team and other infrastructure to support the needs of global users. According to Xiaomi, MIUI reached 30 million users worldwide in December 2013, with more than 2 million users outside of China spread out across 118 markets.
Headline image via Xiaomi