Meitu, a photo-centered app developer, plans to release a self-portrait smartphone, named Meitu Kiss, for female users.

The inspiration was from a Casio self-portrait camera which was the No.1 best-selling camera on Taobao, the dominating C2C e-commerce platform in China, even though it costs around 5000 yuan, according to Wu Xinhong, its founder and CEO. You can buy three average smartphones with that much money. The purchasers are female who are obsessed with taking self-portrait photos. Meitu Xiuxiu, a photo filers & effects app Meitu developed, found that a large percentage of photos taken with their apps are self-portraits and 70% out of its 100mn users are female.

The company started building the phone from last July and plans to release it in the middle of this year. The selling point of the Android-based phone is 8M front camera — may be the first in the world. To equip the phone, the company developed an effects & filters app, called Meiyan Camera, which has had 10 mn downloads, according Wu. The phone must outperform the Casio camera that photos by the latter cannot be shared immediately to the Internet.

Meitu, founded in 2008 in Xiamen, has developed a plenty of photo apps, claiming they have a total of 200mn users with 18mn being daily active.  In the past two years, Meitu shifted focus from PC to smart mobile devices and has gained much traction. Meitu Xiuxiu is one of the most popular photo effects apps in China. Currently it’s major revenue source is advertising. It is making a small amount of profits, disclosed by the CEO. The company was backed by Cai Wensheng, a well-known angel investor.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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