China’s Beautifying Expert, Meitu Rumored to Be Making Phones with Tonino Lamborghini

Meitu launched a co-branded phone in partnership with Italian high-end product brand, Tonino Lamborghini, as a poster that read “Authentic Italian Taste – Stay Tuned” appeared on Meitu’s official Weibo account.

The China-born top beauty-enhancing selfie app provider and smartphone maker has been reported to be actively teaming up and collaborating with top-tier brands in the past few months.

In March, Meitu’s BeautyCam announced that it had been working with French-headquartered luxury brand, Dior, to customize the beautifying app’s interface for wider appeal. Last month, they joint hands with the British Museum to launch an artistic-looking limited edition smartphone that was specially created for women.

The design is inspired by Antoine Watteau, one of the most famed Rococo artists

Back in 2014, Meitu dabbled in short-form video platforms and live streaming communities with the launch of Meipai. According to App Annie, Meitu was ranked as one of the top eight iOS non-game apps worldwide from June 2014 through to June 2016, together with apps made by global Internet giants such as Alibaba, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Tencent.

The trend of photo beautifying has also been prevalent beyond China. The number of overseas monthly active users (MAU) of Meitu product families has increased by 29.5 percent, mainly driven by the continued growth of Meitu’s BeautyPlus and BeautyPlusMe (designed specifically for India) phones. India now has the second largest number of users of the app outside of China.

MAU breakdown by geography

Since the release of Meitu Kiss, the first selfie-centric smartphone of Meitu in 2013, the company has taken a gradual and unique foothold in China’s competitive smartphone industry. At present, 90 percent of Meitu’s total sales are in hardware, and this is worth about 3.7 billion yuan ($580 million).

According to its latest annual report, total revenue of the Xiamen-headquartered company hit 4.5 billion yuan, a 187 percent year on year increase. As of Feb 2018, the company has recorded over 455 million monthly active users.

Over the years, Meitu has been intensively investing in R&D and has integrated AI technology into its product making. New AI-powered app features such as Andy the ArtBot in Meitu and Creative Backdrop in Meipai have increased the app’s usage by over a billion.

Meitu latest annual report

In the long run, the company looks to transform into a social platform where users can share daily life updates and be informed of up-to-date fashionable trends. Not long ago, Meitu announced that T9, the latest model from the company’s T-line will arrive on June 27 – in about two weeks with a grand debut to be expected at the Summer Palace in Beijing. As for now, the 4GB + 64GB model is available for pre-order at 3399 yuan ($531), while the 6G + 128GB variant costs 4199 yuan ($657).

Meitu T9