Dec 6, 2017

Xiaomi betting big on AI, stays mum on U.S., IPO plans

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

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.