The example of Huawei Technologies is before everyone’s eyes. As soon as the Chinese company took a leading position in the segment of smartphones and network base stations, US sanctions made it impossible to produce processors developed in-house. Xiaomi against this background so far demonstrates modest ambitions, but claims that it will not give up developing its own processors.
This week, we saw Xiaomi’s own processor that will be in use in smartphones for image processing. The Surge C1 processor was developed by Xiaomi back in 2017, so this is the second experience of this kind for the company. As Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, said during the presentation, the company has been investing in the development of its own processors for seven years. “This path is long and full of difficulties; but we have the patience and perseverance to overcome it, ” said the head of Xiaomi.
According to the Nikkei Asian, from 2019 to March this year, Xiaomi has invested in 34 companies; They are one way or another related to electronics and the production of components for smartphones. Another 25 companies not related to the semiconductor sector have received investments from Xiaomi during this time. This kind of activity is made-by a special division of the Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industry Fund Partnership; among the shareholders of which are the municipal authorities of Wuhan. This fund was founded in 2017 with a registered capital of $1.82 billion; but by 2019 had invested in just six companies related to the semiconductor sector. But already in 2020, the number of Xiaomi investment objects exceeded 30 companies; of which more than 20 were related to the semiconductor sector.
Isaiah Research experts even stated that Xiaomi will be able to ship as many smartphones as Apple this year. Under the pressure of US sanctions, Huawei flew out of the top three in the segment in the fourth quarter of last year, and Xiaomi managed to increase the volume of smartphone shipments by 17.5% in 2020, which is quite good despite the overall negative market dynamics. The company has so far managed to avoid US sanctions; Attempts by the US authorities to prohibit local investors from buying Xiaomi shares were thwarted by a court decision.