Shrinking smartphone sales will not affect Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi as its business model is not based on money made from handset sales, said the company's global vice-president Hugo Barra.

"Basically we're giving handsets to you without making any money... we care about the recurring revenue streams over many years," he told Reuters in an interview. "We could sell 10 billion smartphones and we wouldn't make a single dime in profits," he added.

The company has grown from just another Chinese budget phone maker to the world's most valuable start-up. Xiaomi was valued at $46bn in 2014, at a time when it was China's best-selling smartphone maker. However, it missed its global smartphone sale targets by 12% last year and its Q3 China smartphone sales also fell 45%, according to IDC data.

Xiaomi phones are still not sold directly by the company in a lot of Western markets but its models have often generated curiosity, with many flocking to third party sellers to get hold of a Xiaomi smartphone. The interest in new markets, however, has not been enough for the company to cope with the falling smartphone sales that it had to endure over the last few quarters.

In order to not put too much pressure on one division alone, the company has been focusing increasingly on other categories, including smart home device sales, and, as revealed by Barra, on software-related services.

The company also cleared the air about any impending IPO attempts and said it does not need funds in that manner.

"There's no pressing need to do an IPO or even a private round," said Barra "We are not a flash in someone's PR pan."