Xiaomi takes over Meitu’s struggling selfie-focused phone business–Engadget

What happened: Meitu has announced that it’s entered a strategic partnership with popular smartphone brand Xiaomi. The company best known for its photo-editing app will hand over much of its phone operations to Xiaomi while taking charge of developing image algorithms and tech. Officially, Meitu’s smartphones will get new opportunities for growth while Xiaomi can upgrade its ‘photo experience’ and reach a broader female user demographic.

Why it’s important: The partnership may allow Meitu to play to its strength: enhancing selfies for a largely young, female audience. Business has flagged recently, in part due to demand for a more ‘natural look.’ On top of smaller losses last year, Meitu expects a net loss between RMB950-1,200 million this year. Partnering up with Xiaomi, which reported a net profit this year, may shore up Meitu’s mission to continue spreading its beautifying effects to an ever-wider audience.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.