Meitu, a smartphone brand from China which is better know for its selfie app, has entered a strategic partnership with Xiaomi. The new agreement will allow Xiaomi to research, design, manufacture, advertise and sell Meitu-branded phones across the world, while Meitu will focus on image-related algorithms.
Meitu has encountered a huge loss this year compared to 2017. Last year, the company had released five smartphone and its earnings report had confirmed a loss of $28 million. This year, it released only one smartphone and has incurred losses between $137 – $173 million.
The new partnership will allow the brand to focus on its image processing technologies, and continue to sell Meitu-branded phones. Meitu says it will concentrate on increasing its social network user base through pre-installations on forthcoming phones. There is no word on whether the same would be applicable on future Xiaomi phones
Xiaomi will be giving 10 percent of revenue earned from Meitu phones to the struggling company for a period of up to five years. After this period, Xiaomi will provide $10 million per year for 30 years. Meitu will also get a 15 percent cut of the gross profit on each Meitu-branded smart hardware product for 30 years.
Meitu was established in 2008. Since its inception, it has mainly focused on its selfie apps that are highly popular in China and other Asian countries. Meitu started selling selfie-centric smartphones beginning with the Meitu Kiss in 2013. The Meitu T8 and M8 that were unveiled last year are the only smartphones in the world to support dual pixel PDAF on the selfie camera. In the last five years, Meitu has managed to sell only 3.5 million smartphone units.
Xiaomi is currently expanding its business in new markets such as Europe. Having a sub-brand like Meitu under its belt can help to increase its global market share considerably.