The company Xiaomi was founded just four years ago in Beijing and is already thethird largest maker of smartphones in the world, thanks to the efforts of its founder, Lei Jun. But the success of the company, which is beginning to look toward Latin America, has not been without critics who accuse her of being just a "super cloner" products.
An enthusiastic tech entrepreneur dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt sober walks on stage while presenting the new products of their successful company.
The event is about to end and the executive smiles suddenly, as if suddenly remembering that you need to enter an ultimate gadget to let your audience speechless.
After a pause, he says he will reveal "one more thing". This last device surprise and Presenter clothing brand for years were almost recorded conferences performing the late Steve Jobs. But the entrepreneur smiling walking on stage in Beijing this time is not the founder of Apple.
The device is neither an iPhone nor an iPad but the MiBand, "a sophisticated water-resistant wristband" presented in July the booming Chinese company Xiaomi and serves multiple functions: monitor calories burned, recorded sleep stages and activates the functions of Smartphones produced by the company.
All for a sum in China reached only $ 13, about 7,800 Chilean pesos contrasting with the 56,000 it costs in Amazon a similar model of Nike or 207 thousand pesos will cost Apple iWatch to be launched in 2015 .
One more: between cell which operates with My Band is the E4, a sophisticated computer with Android system presented in the same event in Beijing and whose most expensive version costs in China about 200 thousand dollars, a third of the price in that Country of iPhone 6 with similar characteristics.
The mastermind behind the attractive "combo" devices high performance and low cost is Lei Jun, a businessman of 43 years who dresses and speaks as the founder of Apple and is now known as the "Steve Jobs Chinese".
As his model, Lei Jun has turned his company into a technology Xiaomi empire.According to a report released in October by IDC, in the third quarter of 2014 the company shipped 17.3 million smartphones, which put him in third place of the largest manufacturers in the world of such devices, displacing giant as Lenovo and LG.
Now only surpassed by Apple (39.3 million) and Samsung (78.1 million). Quite an achievement considering that the company was founded just four years ago in Beijing and launched its first mobile Mi1 only in 2011.
Xiaomi means "little rice", but the company is anything but humble, and runs 2,400 employees, annual revenue in excess of two billion dollars and hordes of loyal customers that focus on markets such as China and Taiwan, although already begun to look at other areas such as Latin America.
Today, the entrepreneur has a fortune of 3.9 billion dollars and a cut similar to that used acolytes Jobs. For example, his followers on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, over four million. According to the magazine Forbes his fans are mainly young men addicted togadgets , for whom Xiaomi organizes annual conferences where a similar fervor that Apple generates live.
Those consumers were seduced from the start by combining high performance & low price Xiaomi: to launch the Mi1 the company received 300,000 orders in the first 34 hours. In China the equipment cost less than half the iPhone 4S and in less than a year had sold over three million units.
Little is known about the personal life of Lei Jun, but it grew near Wuhan, a gray industrial city in central China, and studied computer. At that time he read a book about Steve Jobs and decided to emulate.
After the race, he worked at several companies where their talents in engineering andmarketing allowed him to move quickly and collect as much money as the team of five engineers to found Xiaomi.
"He has a vision. Go trends before others and is always ready to adapt, "said Liu Ren director of an investment fund to The New York Times .
One tactic is to hire the same suppliers of other giants to ensure quality, in addition to selling through internet only to eliminate middlemen and thus lower costs. In addition,Xiaomi modified their designs and functions from feedback received online from "My Fans" and every Friday upgrade the operating system of your equipment to keep captives.
While the company achieved the milestone of one billion dollars in profits faster than any other company in China -Amazon took five years, progress has not been without criticism, which in recent times have worsened. The main thing is that phones, tablets and other devices have Xiaomi hardware designs and software suspiciously similar to those of the competition.
Hugo Barra, former vice president of Google Xiaomi hired to oversee its global operations. At a conference in California, Hugo said Xiaomi was "inspired" by the best designers in the world, including Apple, but not copied ideas.
"Show me a new product that has a completely unique design language. They will not find any. People who see a photo on a website and were accused of theft should look more closely; I invite you to experience our products first hand, "said the Brazilian executive.
"I do not see it as a compliment. When you do something for the first time do not know if it will work, you spend seven years working on something and then someone copies. It is very clear. Is theft, "said another panel when asked by Xiaomi.
What about the myth that "everything Chinese is bad"? According Metivier that has changed: "The same happened with Korean products 10 years ago. Today all the leading technology brands, whatever their country of origin, manufacture their products in China and in the same productive than Xiaomi platforms. All components of the Xiaomi phone are of the best international brands. Quality control is extremely rigorous and failure rates of products are among the lowest in the market.