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Xiaomi secures $1 billion loan from 18 banks to drive its global retail efforts

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Xiaomi, through its subsidiary Xiaomi H.K. Ltd, has announced it has raised $1 billion in debt financing from 18 banks across Europe, Middle East, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley coordinating the three-year loan arrangement.

The Chinese tech giant, a popular smartphone brand throughout a number of countries in Asia, has raised around $1.45 billion in equity financing from notable names including Qualcomm Ventures and IDG Capital, though it has also revealed that it previously secured another three-year syndicated loan in 2014.

“The global syndicate of top-tier banks is a strong endorsement of Xiaomi by the international capital markets,” noted Xiaomi’s chief financial officer Shou Zi Chew.

With $1 billion more in the bank, founder and CEO Lei Jun added that globalization and pursuing more offline retail channels (i.e. brick-and-mortar stores) are among the company’s top priorities for development.

Xiaomi has emerged as a major force in the mobile phone realm since its first foray back in 2011, and although it has continued to flirt with the international masses with purported “global launch events,” its smartphones have largely been restricted to China, India, and a handful of Asian markets. Jun revealed last month that Xiaomi shipped 23.16 million smartphones in Q2 2017, up 70 percent on the previous quarter and setting a new record for the company.

Though Xiaomi is often asked about its plans to launch its smartphones more broadly, including in the U.S., the company has generally remained tight-lipped, but it has hinted that it may consider expanding in the future.

The Beijing-based firm has long branched out into other products and services too — sometimes through backing other startups — including self-balancing scooters, tablets, fitness bands, routers, cloud storage, power banks, and air purifiers. Xiaomi has sold accessories in the U.S. and Europe for a couple of years already, and last October it partnered with Google to launch the $69 Mi Box Android TV set-top-box in the U.S.

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