Xiaomi reportedly is in talks to buy Dashi, an Android ROM porting tool, for more than $50 million. (in Chinese) Dashi is able to identify an Android phone model quickly and install a customized ROM for the phone.

(Update: Su Guangsheng, founder of Dashi, confirmed of the acquisition with local media. The price wasn’t disclosed. (via Sohu IT))

Having been installed in 14 million Xiaomi phones shipped and with several million separate downloads, MIUI, the custom Android ROM by Xiaomi, now has over 20 million active users worldwide.

As Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, put it, Xiaomi didn’t expect to make too much money from hardware but from MIUI where all kinds of apps or services would possibly bring in revenues. At our ChinaBang early this year, Hong Feng, co-founder of Xiaomi, disclosed that MIUI’s monthly revenues, generated from online games, advertising & paid search, paid apps and other value-added services, had surpassed 10 million yuan.

To have more non-Xiaomi phone users to adopt MIUI, Xiaomi also developed a porting tool, named Xiaomi Assistant. At smartphone markets in China, it’s easy to find a merchant that offers MIUI porting service.

Fans have translated MIUI into over 20 languages. The latest V5 version of MIUI has only been ported to 12 devices officially but, through crowdsourcing, unofficially ported to 70 different Android devices. MIUI has recently setup an International Port-a-thon to encourage fans to port it to more Android devices.

Tracey Xiang

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

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