On an event to celebrate Xiaomi’s third anniversary, Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO, revealed that the company made 12.65 billion yuan in pre-tax sales in 2012 with a total of 7.19 million Xiaomi phones sold (1.37 million were sold through China Unicom while the rest sold online). Mr. Lei said earlier that the net profit could be about USD 200 million and their sales goal for 2013 was 15 million Xiaomi phones. ( the presentation in Chinese)

MIUI, a custom Android ROM built in Xiaomi phones and available for download, announced earlier that its users surpassed 15 million. According to today’s release, the app store within MIUI has 20 thousand apps, with daily downloads reaching 3.5 million and the total exceeding 500 million; the game center, launched in last September, has 10 thousand games, with a total of 60 million downloads and one million each day; the MIUI theme designs have been downloaded for a total of 600 times and 3.5 million daily. All the mentioned categories have become MIUI’s revenue sources and we heard that the monthly income had become considerable earlier this year.

The cloud storage service, released about half a year ago, now is holding 300 million photos, two billion text messages. 6 million photos and 13 million are uploaded onto it daily. As for the number of users, Mr. Lei said “one to two million”.

He also officially launched four products, MIUI V5 that started beta testing earlier this year, Xiaomi 2S — an updated version of Xiaomi 2, Xiaomi 2A — with 4.5 inch screen and NFC-enabled, and Xiaomi Box, and announced that Xiaomi phone would arrive in Hong Kong and Taiwan in two weeks.

After all the drama, Xiaomi Box now is allowed to be sold in Shanghai, Changsha and Hangzhou. Lei said “they hoped to be allowed to sell it in Beijing without restraint”, and added that thrilling features would be released in the coming May.

Founded on April 6, 2010, Xiaomi has become, undisputedly, one of the most hyped companies in China. With Lei Jun, a legendary figure in China’s tech industry, as CEO and a bunch of top executives from tech companies like Google China, the company was born to be a star. One year ago, people sneered at Lei Jun’s faking Steve Jobs launching a product not as superior as iPhone. Till now, anyhow, they have been shipping products, hardware and software, and making profits.

It’s no secret that Lei Jun and his team want to make an iPhone-style business to have as many users as possible buy Xiaomi phones and accessories, and consume software and digital content there. The difference must be they don’t plan to make high profits from selling hardware — it helps gain users — but count on the MIUI platform as source of long-tail income. As for the future, you can’t see a lack of investments or talent happen to the company. How far can it go? Behold.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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