July 23, 2015 / 10:01 AM / 4 years ago

Uber to deliver Xiaomi smartphones in Singapore and Malaysia

An Uber representative registers people on his smartphone during the kick off of a citywide jobs tour in the Queens borough of New York July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

BEIJING (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] said on Thursday it would deliver Xiaomi Inc’s new flagship handset, the Mi Note, to buyers in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in a tie-up that showcases its ambitious expansion into the same-day delivery business.

The San Francisco-based firm has been valued at $50 billion by private investors on the assumption that it could turn its hundreds of thousands of active drivers into a delivery fleet that not only transports passengers but also goods.

But in the United States, at least, the company has encountered stiff competition from startup rivals like Postmates and e-tailing giants like Amazon Inc.

As part of the Southeast Asian partnership, Uber users will be able to buy the new Mi Note using the Uber app on July 27, one day before it goes on sale on Xiaomi’s website. The purchase will be charged on the user’s Uber account and the handset will be delivered shortly thereafter to his or her physical location.

For Xiaomi, a company renowned for its marketing savvy, the partnership could generate more buzz for a product launch at a time when it is looking to expand rapidly into markets like Southeast Asia and India.

Reporting by Gerry Shih

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