Xiaomi inks multi-year patent deal with Nokia

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Xiaomi Corp has ac­quired a slate of patents from Nokia Corp as the Chi­nese smart­phone ven­dor steps up ef­forts to ac­cel­er­ate its global ex­pan­sion.

The two sides said on Wed­nes­day they had signed a multi-year patent agree­ment, in­clud­ing a cross li­cense for each com­pany’s cel­lu­lar stan­dard es­sen­tial patents. Xiaomi also ac­quired patent as­sets from Nokia as part of the trans­ac­tion.

Xiaomi, whose prod­ucts and ser­vices are avail­able in 30 coun­tries and re­gions, is ramp­ing up ef­forts to ex­pand its over­seas pres­ence. The in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty part­ner­ship with Nokia, once the world’s big­gest phone maker, can help it tackle po­ten­tial le­gal dis­putes over­seas.

Xiaomi did not dis­close de­tails of the patents it ac­quired or how much the deal was worth.

The move came af­ter Xiaomi pur­chased around 1,500 patents from Mi­crosoft Corp last year to ex­pand its tech­nol­ogy port­fo­lio.

Lei Jun, chair­man and CEO of Xiaomi, said: “Our co­op­er­a­tion with Nokia will en­able us to tap into its lead­ing po­si­tion in build­ing large, high per­for­mance net­works, as well as its formida- ble strength in soft­ware and ser­vices.”

The two sides also signed a busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment, un­der which Nokia will pro­vide net­work in­fra­struc­ture equip­ment de­signed to de­liver the high ca­pac­ity, low power re­quire­ments ex­pected by large web providers and data cen­ter op­er­a­tors.

Xiaomi and Nokia have also agreed to ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas such as the in­ter­net of things, aug­mented and vir­tual re­al­ity, and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

“Xiaomi is one of the world’s lead­ing smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers and we are de­lighted to have reached an agree­ment with them,” Nokia CEO Ra­jeev Suri said in a state­ment.

The move came as Xiaomi faces mount­ing com­pe­ti­tion from ri­vals such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd and Oppo Elec­tron­ics Corp. Once the big­gest smart­phone ven­dor in China, Xiaomi slipped to the fifth place in the first quar­ter, based on Chi­nese phone data com­piled by mar­ket re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Corp.

The Bei­jing-based com­pany is work­ing hard to re­vive its busi­ness through both heavy in­vest­ment in brickand-mor­tar re­tail chan­nels and in­ten­si­fied spend­ing on ex­plor­ing over­seas op­por­tu­ni­ties. It cur­rently focuses on emerg­ing mar­kets such as In­dia, Rus­sia and In­done­sia.

Xiang Li­gang, a tele­com ex­pert and CEO of tele­com in­dus­try web­site cc­time.com, said: “The vast tele­com patents ac­cu­mu­lated by Nokia will greatly fa­cil­i­tate Xiaomi’s foray into over­seas mar­kets, but the lat­ter still needs to pour more re­sources into in-house re­search and de­vel­op­ment to achieve long-term and ro­bust growth.”

Be­yond smart­phones, Xiaomi is now also scram­bling to tap into op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the in­ter­net of things. The com­pany said its IoT plat­form has 60 mil­lion con­nected de­vices, and more than 8 mil­lion of these are daily ac­tive de­vices.

The vast tele­com patents ac­cu­mu­lated by Nokia will greatly fa­cil­i­tate Xiaomi’s foray into over­seas mar­kets.” Xiang Li­gang, a tele­com ex­pert

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