BEIJING China's Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd [XTC.UL] said on Tuesday it would spend $1 billion to expand its internet TV content as the world's third largest smartphone maker ramps up its push into the living room, and a market estimated to be worth $3 billion.
Xiaomi's burgeoning TV unit includes its Xiaomi TV as well as a set-top box, which both use its software and content. The company is best known for its budget smartphones and tablets that have won it legions of fans worldwide.
In a post on its official Weibo microblog, Xiaomi said it had hired Chen Tong, a former executive at Chinese internet firm Sina Corp, to overhaul the TV business and make it more "diverse and exciting".
"We want to repeat the success of Xiaomi's hardware integration model in the television industry," Chen said at a press conference, according to Xiaomi's microblog. The company did not to provide further details.
Xiaomi's expansion of its internet TV business pits it against local internet companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc, all of which have recently increased their investment into internet TV, a market Chinese consultancy iResearch says is estimated to be worth $3 billion in 2014.
Xiaomi said it could invest further in internet TV in the future.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Gerry Shih; Editing by Miral Fahmy)