According to a Techweb report quoting “Taiwanese media,” Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has announced that a Xiaomi phone will launch in Taiwan late this year. When contacted, Xiaomi PR representatives confirmed that Lei Jun was in Taiwan and that he was researching overseas markets, but didn’t confirm or deny that Xiaomi has plans to launch a phone in Taiwan later this year.
Still, there’s little reason to doubt the news, as Lei Jun has previously mentioned in public his plans to bring the phone to Taiwan sometime in 2012. What’s not immediately clear is whether the phone Taiwan gets will be the M1, which has been available in China for nearly a year already, or whether what goes on sale there will be a newer model.
In addition to apparently making plans for a Taiwan launch, Lei Jun and his team are visiting suppliers and partners based in the area, including Hon Hai (the owners of key Xiaomi supplier Foxconn).
In browsing Xiaomi exec Lin Bin’s weibo account for this story, I also came across an interesting tidbit and a useful reminder for startups: successful startups don’t waste money. Accordingly, Mr. Lin apparently flew to Taiwan in an economy class seat. I feel certain that if he had wanted to, the company could afford to pay for business class accommodation. But why waste the money? Our hats are off to Mr. Lin here, and we hope other successful startups will take this display of frugality and modesty to heart.