BEIJING -- Chinese tech giant Xiaomi plans to invest over 10 billion yuan in artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next five years, the company's CEO announced Friday.

The company's growth strategy for the near future will focus on smartphones as well as AI and IoT technologies and applications, said Lei Jun, Xiaomi founder and president.

The decision came after Xiaomi inked a strategic partnership with home appliance maker TCL and bought a tiny portion of the company's shares weeks ago.

The alliance and investment will strengthen Xiaomi's home appliance business in terms of supply chain and manufacturing, especially in air conditioners and washing machines.

Starting as a smartphone maker, Xiaomi has become a consumer IoT titan, connecting over 132 million smart devices excluding mobile phones and laptops as of last November.

Lei said Xiaomi's smartphone business will continue to focus on innovation and quality, as well as to optimize its product portfolio.

The company's global expansion will continue this year, with focus on the European and Latin America markets, Lei said.
Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201901/12/WS5c39f13ca3106c65c34e4103.html