Xiaomi says it’s misunderstood. Once compared with Apple for its sleek smartphones and charismatic leadership, the Chinese startup is seeking an image makeover as it tries to recover from a sales-growth slide. From a report: And the brand its billionaire co-founder Lei Jun wants to be compared with: Costco Wholesale Corp., the Issaquah, Washington-based warehouse retailer that sells everything from wine and diamond rings to bulging boxes of cereal and fruit at knockdown prices. Xiaomi’s revenue will probably reach $15 billion this year as the Beijing-based maker of products ranging from pens and air purifiers to TVs and smartphones adopts a new business model and fine-tunes operations, Lei, 47, said in a recent interview. “We are not Apple,” Lei, clad in a black polo shirt and blue jeans, said at Xiaomi’s Bengaluru office in India, its biggest overseas market. “We have the same value system as Costco. We want users to enjoy better products at an affordable price.”
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