Xiaomi Singles Day Deals for Mi Smartphones Set Record
Xiaomi's Hugo Barra has revealed in the first 12 hours of Singles Day the company sold 720,000 Mi smartphones.Reuters

Xiaomi is the rising star of the smartphone world recently claiming third spot among the world's biggest manufacturers, and on Tuesday it showed its selling power by announcing it sold a huge 720,000 smartphones in just 12 hours thanks to its Singles' Days promotions in China.

Singles' Day is the equivalent to Black Friday or Cyber Monday in China and has become the biggest online shopping spree in the world, with e-commerce giant Alibaba jumping on the back of a decades-old anti-Valentines Day holiday to generate huge profits.

Xiaomi and many other Chinese companies are eager to cash in on this spending and so offer big discounts on popular products.

According to Xiaomi's head of international expansion, Hugo Barra, the company sold 720,000 Mi smartphones in the first 12 hours of Singles' Day, equating to ¥1 billion (£100 million, $163m):

While these figures are impressive, they pale in comparison to the Alibaba's own figures which saw it generate $2 billion in just two hours of Singles' Day sales on Tuesday.

£10 million in five minutes

Barra also revealed that in the first five minutes of the sale it clocked up £10 million in sales, and within four hours it had surpassed the total it clocked up during the entire 24-hours of Singles Day in 2013 (£57m).

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The biggest selling Xiaomi smartphone on Singles' Day was the budget RedMi smartphone which costs just $150 with 460,000 units snapped up in the opening 12 hours. Next was the phone dubbed the "iPhone 6 Killer" - the Xiaomi Mi4 - which costs $300 and sold 250,000 units.

Xiaomi is still very much concentrating on China as its primary market though recently it has expanded slightly to seven other countries in Asia - notably India - and it has plans to grow even larger in the coming year.

Profits

Last week it was reported that Xiaomi was seeking $1.5 billion in funding to help its international expansion, valuing the company at $40 billion.

While it has been reported that Xiaomi sells its smartphones at close to cost price - recouping profits from content sold through its app, film and music stores - confidential documents seen by the Wall Street Journal last week suggest the company makes a profit from it hardware sales - with profit doubling in 2013.

Xiaomi is clearly a company on the rise, but it is not all plain sailing for the company dubbed the Apple of the East for its close imitation of Apple products.

Expansion into western markets will bring more attention to this practice with Apple's design chief Jonny Ive already voicing criticism of this "lazy" practice which he called theft.