This year’s Fortune Global 500 list was recently released, ranking the world’s 500 largest companies. One hundred and nineteen Chinese companies made the list this year, eight more firms than in 2018. China ranked second among all countries, with the US taking the lead with 121 companies ranked in the top 500.
While Chinese state-owned enterprises such as Sinopec (No.2), China National Petroleum (No. 4) and State Grid (No. 5) were placed in the top 5, the buzz has been circulating around Xiaomi, a Beijing-based electronics company founded in 2010. Despite having only been operating for under a decade, the smartphone manufacturer cracked Fortune’s big business list, ranking No. 468 with over RMB181 million (USD26.4 million) in revenue in the last fiscal year.
The impressive climb in revenue helped the 9-year-old company become the youngest in this year’s list of firms, an achievement that Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, takes great pride in. After the list was revealed, Jun was quoted as saying:
“It took Xiaomi only nine years to make the Fortune Global 500 list, a milestone that we owe a big thank you to all our Mi Fans and users for their unwavering support. We are also the youngest company on this year’s list, a proud record that we will keep in mind and bring to another level in the global expansion journey.”
Xiaomi has an ever-expanding catalogue of products. When first founded, the company was primarily focused on developing software that was touted for being easy to use, while possessing sophisticated services (likened to Apple’s iOS). In 2013, the company entered the hardware game with their first phone model, Mi One phone.
Introducing Xiaomi’s latest smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi CC9. Image via @爱范儿/Weibo
Currently, Xiaomi is the world’s 4th largest smartphone vendor, but has already begun expanding beyond handheld devices. With newer products like Smart TVs and Wi-Fi routers, the company is gung-ho on combining artificial intelligence (AI) with the internet of things (IoT), and looking to invest RMB10 billion in AI and IoT development opportunities over the next decade.
Xiaomi did, however, pick up some flack earlier this month after Chinese netizens and tech sites called it out for copying Apple. After revealing their augmented-reality avatar set, Mimoji, people immediately began drawing comparisons to Apple’s Memoji, noting the familiarity between the two avatar sets.
Xiaomi has been dubbed the ‘Apple of the East.’
[Cover image via Pixabay]