It looks like Xiaomi’s ambitions aren’t limited to the consumer electronics market, as the company is joining forces with Chinese media group Huayi Brothers Star to form a joint film production venture. Known as New Saint, the production firm will focus on development of talent and screenwriting, and marks Xiaomi’s first film industry project, though it’s far from the first Chinese technology company to delve into the entertainment industry.
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has made an undisclosed investment in a start-up film venture backed by Chinese movie studio Huayi Brothers Media. Xiaomi’s investment in the new banner, dubbed New Saint, was unveiled in Beijing. Huayi Brothers is said to have been one of the earliest investors in the year-old start-up film company. Financial details of both companies’ stakes in New Saint have not been disclosed. “Xiaomi will make more investment[s] to build one of the biggest video content pools in the industry,” Xiamoi CEO Lei Jun told state-backed newspaper China Daily. “It is important for us to beat competitors,” he added, explaining that the deal is part of a broader strategy of winning over customers with content, not just smartphone and smart TV hardware. Xiaomi is the latest major Chinese tech company to try to tap into China’s booming film industry, which saw theatrical box office expand 48 percent last year. Search giant Baidu, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba and tech titan Tencent have all launched or acquired multi-faceted entertainment subsidiaries in recent years.