A four-year-old tech company from China has become the world's third-largest smartphone maker and the world's most valuable tech start-up. The company is called Xiaomi Inc. The Beijing-based company just raised $1.1 billion. It is worth $45 billion, more than tech giants LG, Motorola and Sony put together. Xiaomi is also the world's fastest-growing smartphone maker. Its sales went up by 211 per cent in 2014. Its market share also rose from 2 per cent to 5 per cent over the past year. It looks like this success will continue in the future.
Xiaomi has a unique business model. It sells its phones for what they cost to make. Its profit comes from apps and software. Many Xiaomi users in China are very loyal fans. The company uses competitions to give fans the chance to win prizes. This makes it very popular. Bin Lin, Xiaomi co-founder, said he wants to continue to be innovative and make "high-quality, high-performance devices with great user experience". However, not everyone likes Xiaomi. Apple's top designer Jonathan Ive said Xiaomi stole the design of its iPhone and many ideas from Apple.