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Xiaomi

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said Tuesday that the company has 600 engineers working on AI efforts and is planning to include significant AI features in its next flagship phone, the Mi 7.

As for the two biggest questions - when will Xiaomi go public and when will it start selling phones in the U.S., Lei Jun offered few details.

Why it matters: After raising a ton of private money, investors have been eagerly watching when Xiaomi might go public. Similarly, the company is perennially being asked when it might bring its smartphones might come to the U.S.

He declined to comment at all on IPO plans. As for when Xiaomi might enter the U.S., he said the company is still "carefully evaluating the best timeline to come to the U.S. market."

"We hope to be an immediate success in the US so we need a lot of time and careful preparation to ensure that," he said, answering reporter questions at a Qualcomm event in Maui.

On the AI front: Lei Jun noted Xiaomi has already started selling an AI-powered smart speaker in China and Jun said it is "very popular and selling well"

The big picture: After a big dip in 2016, Xiaomi has returned to growth and has been expanding into new international markets, including a number of Western markets. Jun noted that Xiaomi is now a top player in India as well as the No. 1 smartphone maker in Belarus and No. 2 in Russia.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Health

2 federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Biden administration was temporarily blocked from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for millions of workers by federal judges in two states on Tuesday.

The big picture: The orders, by federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana, come one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

52 mins ago - World

Honduras elects first female president

Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro, of the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) Party, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Sunday. Photo: Inti Ocon/Getty Images

Former Honduras first lady Xiomara Castro is set to become the country's first female president president, after the ruling party conceded defeat in the country's elections on Tuesday night, per AP.

Why it matters: The democratic socialist and her Libre Party have broken a 12-year run for the conservative National Party, which U.S. prosecutors alleged fostered a "narco-state," note Axios' Latinos' Marina E. Franco and Russell Contreras.

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.