“Separating Xiaomi and Redmi will allow Xiaomi to become better,” said Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi.
Some netizens jeered at the announcement with mockery on Weibo, claiming that the parent company Xiaomi is still shaky and not ready to start a sub-brand yet.
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“Redmi will have a high cost-effectiveness and be more geared towards e-commerce, while Xiaomi will be targeting the mid- to high-range markets and be more focused on New Retail,” Lei replied.
Industry experts saw Redmi and Xiaomi as a strategic duo comparable to Honor and Huawei. Both are sister brands under the same company, but are also competitors at the same time in the same market.
The decision to make Redmi a sub-brand is a rather interesting move, seeing as the brand is responsible for most of Xiaomi’s shipments in the first place. This could mean greater autonomy for the division’s device and business strategy, while still taking advantage of Xiaomi’s supply chain and research efforts.
A closer look at the image also reveals the number 4,800 in the shadows. This could potentially be teasing that the first device under the Redmi sub-brand will pack a 48MP camera, or perhaps a 4800mAh battery.
The company confirmed that more information will be disclosed on Jan. 10 through a press conference at 2 p.m. local time.
Featured photo credit to Xiaomi