Shaping Huami as king of wearables
The Hefei, Anhuibased wearable gadget maker is looking at 1.5b yuan in revenue this year, up 50 percent
Wearing a Xiaomi wrist band on his left hand and an Amazfit smartwatch on the right, HuangWang proposed a toast to his business partners during an evening banquet on Aug 30 after he announced the launch of the smartwatch in the afternoon.
“The Xiaomi band reminds us of the success and glory we have achieved, while the smartwatch represents our ambitions for the future,” said Huang, chief executive officer of Anhui Huami Information Technology Co Ltd.
As Huang admits, people who know the firm are not as many as those who know the Xiaomi band, or theMi band.
Under the Xiaomi brand, Huami had sold more than 20 million fitness-tracking wristbands by June, rankingNo 2 in the smart wearable sector globally. Huami is second only to the United States rival Fitbit Inc, the world’s largest manufacturer of wearable fitness gadgets, in terms of total shipments.
OnHuami’s product catalog is also the Xiaomi smart weight.
Huami reported a total sales revenue of 1 billion yuan ($151.5 million) in 2015, while the number for this year is expected to hit 1.5 billion yuan.
The company headquartered in Hefei, capital city of east China’s Anhui province, was established in January 2014 and was financed by Xiaomi Corp, a leading electronics
It was the experience in Huawei that gave me some basic ideas of how to run a company of my own.” Huang Wang, CEO of Anhui Huami Information Technology Co Ltd
and smartphone maker in China, and Shunwei Capital Partners. The Xiaomi band was rolled out in August 2014.
In December of that year, Banyan Capital, Sequoia Capital and Morningside Ventures injected another $35 million into Huami. Huang said the company is now planning its third round of financing, with the firm’s valuation hitting $800 million.
After exchanging some congratulations and thanks with the guests at the banquet, who were government officials, investors and media reporters, Huang went back to the table of his colleagues. “I should stay with them on this big day.”
ThoughHuami was named one of the 50 fastest-growing tech companies in China by Forbes at the end of 2015, Huang said he actually has spent more than 18 years to achieve what he has got.
Born in 1975, Huang graduated in 1997 from theUniversity of Science and Technology of China, which is based in Hefei. He majored in microelectronics and was recruited by the Shenzhen-based global technology giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
After joining the company, Huang participated in the founding of a joint R&D center byHuawei andMotorola, a global telecommunications giant then, until 1998, when Huang quit the job and returned to Hefei to start his own business.
“It was the experience in Huawei that gave me some basic ideas of how to run a company of my own,” said Huang, who has founded four companies in the last 18 years.
The first company was focused on embedded development tools based on the Linux system. “Through cooperation with Motorola’s chip development department, our technology was applied in the Motorola mobile phones globally,” saidHuang.
In 2009, Huang founded Hefei Huaheng Electronics Technology Ltd, which was focused on a tablet personal computer brand and a smartwatch brand.
“At that time, Apple Inc hadn’t launched the iPad products yet and our products had been very profitable until around 2012, when the whole tablet personal computer business started to decline sharply, including the iPad, partly because smartphones began getting bigger,” said Huang, whose company had also developed a smartwatch by 2013.
“To start with the tablet computer or smartwatch would be too risky. Back then, we didn’t have enough feedback from the consumers for the much more sophisticated products, while a fitness band is much easier and has a much lower cost,” said Huang.
Huang Wang speaks at the launch of the firm’s Amazfit smartwatch on Aug 30 in Beijing. The company has sold more than 20 million fitness-tracking wrist bands by June-end under the Xiaomi brand name.