China’s Xiaomi to invest $1bn in content

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China’s Xiaomi has become the latest tech giant to expand into the entertainment business, announcing plans to invest $1bn in online video content.

The company has hired Sina’s former editor-in-chief Chen Tong to oversee its expansion into content. Chen will work alongside Wang Chuan, director for Xiaomi’s smart TV products, which include MiTV and Mi Box.

“Chen is familiar with social media and content. He will help diversify Xiaomi’s engineering and designer talent structure and culture,” said Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun on the company’s Weibo microblog.

Xiaomi is the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer after Samsung and Apple and also makes smart TVs, set-top boxes, tablets and routers.

However, many emerging smart TV platforms in China come packaged with content or ecommerce systems from companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and LeTV. Xiaomi appears to be taking the plunge into creating its own content, rather than creating partnerships in this area.