Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi secured a $1 billion loan, as it looks to accelerate global expansion and explore new retail opportunities.

The company struck a three year syndicated loan agreement with a group of 18 banks across Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Hong and Taiwan, and follows a similar loan secured in 2014.

Donovan Sung, Xiaomi’s global spokesperson, said on Twitter the loan “was a strong endorsement of Xiaomi by the international capital markets”.

Sung added the loan will be used to address CEO Lei Jun’s (pictured) strategic development aims, outlined earlier this year, including globalisation and identifying new retail opportunities.

The company did not specify which new international markets it is targeting.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi talked up a “return to fast track growth”, following a period of declining sales, as intensifying competition took its toll.

During Q2, the company shifted a record 23.16 million devices. CEO Jun said in a letter that the company was targeting a goal of 100 million shipments in 2018.

In regards to its retail ambitions, the company has opened 149 stores in China, and it has also established its first in India, with the hope of opening 100 over the next two years.