CEO Lei Jun Shows off Xiaomi Mi Note
Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun shows off the Mi Note smartphone during a press event in Beijing where he stated the company's aim to become the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer.Screengrab/Youku

Xiaomi will launch it smartphones in Brazil and Russia in the next 12 months along with other emerging markets.

The Chinese smartphone startup which became the world's third biggest manufacturer in the third quarter of 2014, just launched its flagship smartphone for 2015 - the large-screened Mi Note - has now confirmed that Brazil and Russia will be among the countries it will launch smartphones this year.

Xiaomi has previously said that both these countries were potential target markets but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal following the launch of the Mi Note at an event in Beijing on Thursday, Xiaomi's president Bin Lin confirmed the expansion, adding that it would also be targeting other markets.

Xiaomi currently sells its smartphones in just seven countries: China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and India. Last April the company said it would be expanding to Thailand and Mexico as well as Brazil and Russia during 2014, but that didn't come to pass.

Xiaomi sold 61 million smartphones during 2014, up from 18.7 million in 2013 and has big ambitions, with CEO Lei Jun announcing on Thursday that it want's to become "the biggest phone company in the world".

Xiaomi has grown rapidly since it sold its first smartphone just over three years ago. Its business model relies on selling its smartphones directly to its hugely loyal consumer base. While the makes most of its revenue from hardware sales, selling content on the phones through its own MIUI software - a forked version of Android - is a faster growing revenue stream.