Ambitious Chinese device maker Xiaomi has simplified its website domain to Mi.com in an effort to become more accessible to an international audience.
Li Wanqiang, co-founder and VP, revealed on Weibo that Xiaomi spent CNY3.6 million ($577,000) to purchase the domain. Mi is an abbreviation for ‘Mobile internet’ and is the vendor’s main product brand.
“With a shorter name, we are one step closer to a bigger world,” noted the company, adding that a shorter name is likely to generate higher user traffic as it is easier to remember (Xiaomi’s e-commerce business – whereby it sells smartphones and other products directly from its website – accounts for about 70 per cent of its total sales volume).
Mi is also easier to pronounce for an international audience than Xiaomi. And Xiaomi is in the midst of a geographic expansion; beyond the greater China market, devices are also being sold in Singapore, with Malaysia next on the list. It is set to ship 60 million units this year and is said to be targeting 100 million units in 2015.
Mobile World Live recently spoke to Hugo Barra, the former Google executive with responsibility for Xiaomi’s overseas growth. Watch the video interview here.