Rise of our e-commerce: an efficiency evolution

No one knows what would have happened if Lei Jun, our founder and CEO, hadn’t sold the e-commerce site Joyo.com to Amazon for $75 million in 2004. Joyo.com became Amazon’s seventh global website and was rebranded as Amazon China in 2011.

“Selling Joyo made me feel like I was parting with my child,” Lei said in his office at Kingsoft after a colleague came to congratulate him on the sale. He established Joyo in 2000, and in just four years, it became China’s largest online retailer for books, music and videos. At that time, Alibaba was only a small start-up.

Though saddened by the sale, Lei was greatly motivated by the high efficiency that e-commerce could bring. He had the belief that by improving e-commerce, it would be possible for Chinese manufacturers to make high quality products and sell them at accessible prices.

He put this belief into practice by starting Xiaomi in 2010, embarking on a new journey of making smartphones with features that match the best models in the world, yet sell at half the price through Mi Store, available in mobile app and Mi.com. Mi Store offers the full line-up of our products directly to our users. In Chinese mainland, India and certain selected markets, users can purchase products directly from local Mi Store apps and websites. For other international markets, Mi Store serves as the centralized platform for users to learn about our products and services.

The newly launched Redmi S2 is now available on Mi.com.

Our first smartphone – Mi 1 for RMB 1,999, which is powered by the dual-core processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, received more than 300,000 pre-orders in the first two days on Mi.com in September 2011.

Our company is built on innovation and efficiency, and our mission is to relentlessly build amazing products at honest prices thereby helping everyone in the world enjoy a better life through technology.

“Since our inception, we have focused on direct online sales of our products to maximize efficiency and build a direct digital relationship with our users,” said Lei in an open letter published on 3 May 2018.

Due to the efficiency of e-commerce, we can deliver products into the hands of users in a very short time span. During this year’s Mi Fan Festival in early April, a customer in southern China’s Fujian province posted on his WeChat moments with excitement, “I placed an order for a Mi Band 2 on Mi.com in the morning and received it in the afternoon! What delivery speed, I can’t believe it.”

Mi Band 2 is one of the best selling Xiaomi products.

Now Xiaomi’s Mi Store is the third largest 3C and home appliance direct sales online retail platform on the Chinese mainland. Additionally, it’s the third largest direct sales online retail platform in India by GMV in 2017, according to iResearch. Available on Mi Store are several dozen smart devices and household products from Xiaomi and our Mi Ecosystem portfolio companies. We’ve also launched Mi.com in several global markets, bringing users inspirational products at accessible prices, with strong user experience around the world.

Cementing our commitment of bringing amazing products at accesible prices for lifestyle products, last April, we established a new self-operated e-commerce marketplace Youpin, which we created not only to sell our Mi-branded products but also to sell high-quality products that are not associated with Xiaomi but curated and sourced by us.

Youpin, which includes the Youpin mobile app and the Youpin.mi.com website, stands for good taste and premium quality, which is also the Chinese meaning of the name.

We replicated the successful model of Mi Store to Youpin to maintain relentless efficiency and excellence to our customers. Other than Xiaomi and Mi Ecosystem products, Youpin also brings selected lifestyle products from third party companies, offering a wide variety of goods from household items and furniture to clothes and food and wine – all high-quality products made available to consumers at accessible prices.

Our neck pillow from RMB 49 is one of the best-selling products on Mi.com and Youpin.

For example, one of our bestselling products is a tomato egg instant noodle with a price tag of RMB 59.9 for a box of 12 packets. It has received over 22,000 customer ratings in just four months, with a satisfaction mark of 94 of 100.

“It has always been difficult for me to understand why consumers have to bear the cost of inefficiency. That is why Xiaomi has the will and determination to revolutionize the industry’s cost-efficiency. We do this by putting in every bit of effort to creating quality products and maximizing value to users,” said Lei.