Xiaomi scores $1 billion loan from banks around the world to strengthen offline retail presence

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Xiaomi had us worried there for a few months after missing 2016 smartphone sales targets, acknowledging the company grew too fast and couldn’t sustain that pace anymore, even going so far as to claim its mobile hardware would be unable to yield a profit no matter the volume.

Still, the “Apple of China”, dumped by ex-Google VP and Android guru Hugo Barra earlier this year, bounced back to progress in smartphone shipments all of a sudden between April and June 2017, making quite a splash both domestically and in the all-important market of India.

We have no idea if the record-breaking 23 million Mi devices sold worldwide this past quarter actually made the 2010-founded tech outfit the tiniest of profits, but no less than 18 banks seem to believe in Xiaomi’s business model.

Coordinated by Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, financial institutions from Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan came together to hand out a three-year $1 billion syndicated loan.

Fret not, that doesn’t (necessarily) mean Xiaomi is in any fiscal trouble, merely needing external funds to help with some long overdue global expansion efforts. Alas, this money is unlikely to be used for the Mi 5X’s or Mi 6’s US rollout, instead addressing the lack of Mi Home physical stores in countries like India.

Already an online force to be reckoned with across several key Asian markets, Xiaomi badly needs a strong traditional retail presence to take sales and profits to the next level. The company apparently received an identical loan back in 2014, also raising a whopping $1.1 billion from various investors at a $45 billion valuation the same year.

Times have changed, and this is no longer an ambitious startup brimming with potential, though it still has plenty of original ideas and tricks up its sleeve.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu

Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).