Chinese phone maker Xiaomi was granted a loan of $1 billion (£760 million) to expand its presence outside its home country and also to grow its retail business, according to a report from TechCrunch.
18 banks across Europe, the Middle East, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other parts of China have contributed to raise the money. “Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley served as joint global coordinator, with Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, Deutsche Bank AG, and Wing Lung Bank,” the report said.
Xiaomi has 149 “Mi Home” retail stores in China, but plans to use the money to build a presence internationally — like in India, where it has opened its first non-China store, and where it hopes to get to 100 openings in the next two years, TechCrunch says.
The move comes after a record-breaking second quarter, where the company reported a strong 70% increase from Q1 in smartphone sales, which reached 23 million units shipped, and a massive 121% year-over-year growth on the estimated numbers for 2016.
The company is also strengthening its hardware efforts to better compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung on an international scale.
It plans to use in-house made system-on-a-chip components in its newer smartphones, it’s entering the smart speaker market with the imminent launch of the Mi AI speaker, and also signed a deal with Nokia to work on artificial intelligence and virtual reality.