After two years of slumping sales, China's Xiaomi said Friday that it shipped a record 23 million smartphones last quarter. That's up 70 percent from the prior quarter.

"This is a truly significant milestone for Xiaomi," CEO Lei Jun said in a statement. He also said that he is confident the company can reach its revenue goal of 100 billion Chinese yuan ($14.7 billion) for the year and said Xiaomi is aiming to ship 100 million phones in 2017.

Why it matters: As Lei Jun pointed out in his letter, the smartphone business tends to be unforgiving. Companies that see a slump tend not to recover. (Think BlackBerry, Nokia, HTC, etc.)

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Pac-12 football players threaten coronavirus opt-out

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A group of Pac-12 football players have threatened to opt out of the season unless the conference addresses systemic inequities and concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: College football players have never had more leverage than they do right now, as the sport tries to stage a season amid the pandemic. And their willingness to use it shows we've entered a new age in college sports.

Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Scoop: Top CEOs urge Congress to help small businesses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.