With each passing moment it seems more and more likely that Xiaomi really is making a set-top box like the Apple TV. Just a few hours ago we wrote about the product’s leaked guts, and while Xiaomi still isn’t commenting on the rumors, we have come across yet another indicator that Xiaomi is getting into online video. The latest developer version of its Android-based MIUI mobile operating system, which was just updated, now includes a video application called “Online Video.”
At present, the app contains video content from Sohu video and Qiyi video (Baidu’s video site). That would seem to indicate that although Xiaomi has attracted some big players in the field, it hasn’t yet locked down a deal with Youku Tudou, which is far and away China’s biggest streaming video service.
Of course, the addition of a video app to MIUI can’t be considered official confirmation of anything, but the fact that streaming video was added to the developer version of the OS shortly before the set-top box is expected to be announced seems likely to be more than coincidence, especially since there is no real reason for Xiaomi to push its own video app and set up partnerships with Sohu and Qiyi if the only target for this new video platform is Xiaomi phones (which already have tons of app options including dedicated apps for Sohu and Qiyi video). This isn’t a company that’s going to waste time and money to do something redundant, and I think the presence of this new video app is the best evidence yet that Xiaomi really does have a set-top box in the works.