Xiaomi is serious about selfie-centric smartphones, and we saw that with the launch of Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y2. Now, the Chinese smartphone maker has announced that it is taking over the hardware business of Meitu, a Chinese selfie app and smartphone maker.
As part of that deal, all the future phones made by Meitu will carry its brand name, but Xiaomi will be responsible for design, R&D, and sales. Meitu will offer its expertise in one key area: camera software. This means that we could see Meitu-branded smartphones with better selfie cameras pop up at Xiaomi’s Mi Home stores around the world. Meitu has been one of the biggest brands in the selfie smartphone space, and its “mission is to inspire more people to express their beauty.”
According to a statement, the board of the two companies believe that they are entering into this strategic cooperation agreement in order to accelerate their pace in carrying out this mission of of expressing beauty. Meitu isn’t a major smartphone player and it is estimated to have sold around 3.5 million handsets in the past five years.
However, with Xiaomi as a strategic partner, Meitu can accelerate its work and increase both shipments and reach among consumers. According to The Verge, Xiaomi plans to pay a percentage of phone profits to Meitu initially, and will move to flat per-phone licensing fees after five years or certain number of units being sold overall.
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It is not clear if Meitu’s selfie software enhancement will trickle down to Xiaomi devices, but it does seem like Meitu is getting better bargain. The Chinese selfie app maker says the deal will allow it to expand focus on its selfie network user base through pre-installations. Meitu’s smartphones do not have any western exposure, but the company did launch a beautification selfie app that later sparked ad-tracking and privacy fears. It needs to be seen whether Xiaomi expands Meitu to global markets in the future.