Xiaomi places US$1.5bil bet on AI and smart de­vices

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

BEI­JING: Xiaomi Corp will in­vest at least 10 bil­lion yuan (US$1.5bil) on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and smart de­vices over the next five years, as the smart­phone maker nav­i­gates an in­dus­try down­turn and eco­nomic uncer­tainty stem­ming from US-Chi­nese ten­sions.

The in­vest­ment is part of the Bei­jing-based com­pany’s strat­egy of wring­ing more rev­enue from high-value ser­vices and the In­ter­net of Things, bil­lion­aire co-founder Lei Jun said in a state­ment. The com­pany is also fo­cus­ing on push­ing up­mar­ket while ex­pand­ing into Europe, Lei told Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion on Thurs­day. Xiaomi’s tak­ing ac­tion against the back­drop of a brew­ing trade war that’s stok­ing global eco­nomic uncer­tainty, he added.

“Now is the time for the ac­tion. We are all in on AIoT,” Lei said, re­fer­ring to the com­bi­na­tion of AI and the so-called ecosys­tem of con­nected de­vices known as the In­ter­net of Things. He didn’t elab­o­rate on de­tails of his in­vest­ment plan.

Xiaomi is look­ing to di­ver­sify its rev­enue as de­mand for smart­phones glob­ally plateaus, though it ex­pects de­mand to bounce back with the ad­vent of su­per-fast fifth-gen­er­a­tion wire­less.

Once touted as an In­ter­net com­pany that can com­mand a value of as much as US$100bil, Xiaomi is now worth roughly a third of that.

Its stock is down roughly 40% from its July ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing.—

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