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Xiaomi's international business may account for over half of its revenue, and it's all thanks to MIUI

MIUI is now in its 10th year as a ROM. (Source: Xiaomi)
MIUI is now in its 10th year as a ROM. (Source: Xiaomi)
Xiaomi's CEO, Lei Jun, reportedly estimated that his OEM's global operations represented 50% or more of its total revenue at this stage. Speaking at an innovation conference in China, the executive attributed this international success to MIUI. This Android skin started out as a custom ROM, but now exists as multilingual official software found on millions of devices worldwide.

Xiaomi's Lei Jun spoke about MIUI and its role in the company's meteoric rise as a smartphone OEM at the Zhongguancun forum for innovation in Bejing (September 17-20, 2020). The executive reportedly reminded the event's audience that this widespread form of Android started out as a custom ROM, quite a while before its makers took the leap into making hardware for it to run on as well.

The early versions of the OS attracted interest and praise from prominent development communities. Buoyed up by this kind of success, Xiaomi started working on language- and region-specific forks of the Android skin, which came in handy as its phones started to leave shelves as well, both in its native China and abroad.

This led to the expansion of Xiaomi (and Redmi) into a number of important markets, including India and Europe, not to mention legions of fans constantly looking for that new MIUI update for their particular devices. The ROM is now into its 12th generation, offering Android 11 features to a growing list of the OEM's newer phones at present.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-09-21 (Update: 2020-09-21)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.