Xiaomi released the name of their smart home ecosystem, MIJIA, at a conference in Beijing on Tuesday. CEO Lei Jun explained at the conference that Xiaomi plans to further expand on the concept of a smart home with their partners.
“Smartphones were a good start for us,” Lei said. “Now we want to take what we have learned from smartphones and bring that to the Chinese manufacturing industry.”
Xiaomi initiated their smart home ecosystem plan in 2013. They have now made a number of smart devices. With the new brand name, MIJIA, meaning “smart home” in Chinese, the company wants to lead the industry in made-in China products.
Lei said Xiaomi invested in 55 startups to support MIJIA’s manufacturers, four of which have grown into unicorns. According to Lei, Xiaomi’s subsidiary company Smartmi has sold over one million air purifiers in one year. Zmi sold over 46.9 million power banks during the past two years, and Huami has sold over 18.5 million Mi bands.
At the conference, Xiaomi also released a rice cooker developed by Chunmi, a part of MIJIA. This induction-heating (IH) pressure cooker is priced at RMB 999 (USD 153), far lower than the RMB 4000 or so for similar Japanese products.
Users of the rice cooker will scan a QR code located on their package of rice with an app on their phones. Xiaomi’s cloud will come up with the best cooking plan for this particular kind of rice. Users can adjust the hardness of the rice on the app to achieve the texture of the rice they most want.
“We want to make high-quality products at low prices. What’s more important, they must be well designed,” Lei said.
Lei appointed co-founder of Xiaomi, Liu De, to run the MIJIA ecosystem. Liu specializes in industrial design, and has been in charge of industrial design at Xiaomi.
Lei also poked fun at other Chinese manufacturers who he says are copying Xiaomi products, making their own electric sockets and power banks. Xiaomi takes it as a good sign.
“Many Chinese manufacturers are copying Xiaomi’s products, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” said Lei. “Xiaomi wants to lead them in making real China-made goods.”
April 6 will be Xiaomi’s sixth birthday. The rice cooker, along with special editions of the Mi 5, Redmi 3 and Mi TV, will go on sale during the celebration week.
(Top photo from news.haiwainet.cn)