Have you ever walked into a store, saw the products on display and thought you entered the wrong place? That’s what happened when I visited Xiaomi’s store at The Place in Beijing…. until it dawned on me: I was exactly where I meant to go.

Sports shoes, toothbrushes, and mattresses are not the kind of products you would expect to find in a store selling high tech consumer electronics. But during the past year, Xiaomi has been churning out all kinds of goods, from smart appliances to pillowcases.

The smartphone maker seems intent on breaking the rules on what a tech company should look like. Although the company was once dubbed the Apple of China, visiting one of 300+ Mi Home stores across the country is now more akin to a walk through Japanese retail store MUJI than an Apple Store.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.