Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun has openly declared that his company will return to being number one in the Chinese smartphone market within 10 financial quarters, following on from the companies “turning point year” in 2017. To achieve this, the company is going to need plenty of new staff, be nimble and fight to the bloody end, according to Jun in his 2,400 character proclamation (in Chinese).

2017 was indeed a remarkable year for Xiaomi which had been previously been sliding down the rankings. In the final quarter of last year as the world mobile phone shipments slid 6.3%, Xiaomi’s rocketed by 96.9% year on year. Overall its phone sales were up around 75% in 2017 thanks to new models such as the Mi Mix 2 and expansion internationally with a push to Spain and with great value handsets for India, Indonesia, and Russia. Coming out of 2017, Xiaomi was the world’s number 5 manufacturer in terms of shipments–and number 4 in Q4–as revenues crossed the RMB 100 billion threshold.

Ahead of what could be the world’s biggest tech IPO some point this year, Lei Jun opens the letter with “Happy new year to all Xiaomi classmates!” in typical Xiaomi style. He goes on to list the company’s achievements, that they broke the RMB 100 billion threshold in just 7 years compared to Apple’s 20, Google’s 9, Tencent’s 17 and Huawei’s 21 years. “And not just that, this year there’s a very great chance that we’ll join the world’s top 500 companies.”

“How has Xiaomi brought about this turnaround? Because we always adopt the approach of ‘using a telescope to view creativity and a microscope to view quality’,” wrote Lei before going on to extol the virtues of developing chips and new models, IoT and AI.

He writes of the importance of being in 70 countries and ranking in the top five in 16 of those. In particular, he mentions India where they have been top dog for the last two quarters.

“Xiaomi is currently realizing the leap from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China’! Xiaomi’s turnaround stems from the victory of the Xiaomi mode and Xiaomi values.”

“The new mission for 2018 has already begun: pioneering in world markets, striking back at home,” he announces, going on to explain how 2018 will lay the foundations for future victory and that is why Xiaomi has the new goal of being number one in China in 10 quarters, a position it’s not held since 2014.

Lei does not mention the widely anticipated IPO in the list of challenges and rewards.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...

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