Global technology enabling company Xiaomi has announced a new “Mi Ecosystem” sub-brand (米家 in Chinese), as it mapped out the overall strategy for its ecosystem business.
The “Mi Ecosystem” sub-brand covers a range of products manufactured by Xiaomi’s ecosystem partners, with a philosophy of making products that stand out as works of art in daily lives. It is also a clear indicator of the high quality that these companies have to adhere to in order to be aligned with Xiaomi’s brand.
Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker is Xiaomi’s first product under the new “Mi Ecosystem” sub-brand. At RMB999, it is less than 40% the price of comparable high-end Japanese induction heating pressure rice cookers, and will be available for sale on Mi.com in China during Mi Fan Festival on April 6.
To build the Mi Ecosystem, Xiaomi has so far invested in 55 companies that design and manufacture products beyond its three core product categories: smartphones, smart TVs and smart routers.
Among these, 29 companies including Zhimi (which makes the Mi Air Purifier) and Viomi (which makes the Mi Water Purifier) have been incubated by Xiaomi from their founding. To date, over 20 Mi Ecosystem companies have launched products and won 28 international design awards in total.
Several Mi Ecosystem companies have become industry benchmarks. Zhimi’s annual sales of air purifiers crossed one million, Zimi has sold over 46.9 million power banks to date, while Huami has sold over 18.5 million fitness bands. Among these 55 companies, seven have annual sales of over RMB100 million, while two have reached annual sales of over RMB1 billion.
Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun started exploring the ecosystem business model two years ago with a mindset to “promote an upgrade in Chinese manufacturing with a new concept of ‘Made in China’ products”. Rather than simply being a venture company, Xiaomi imparts to these companies its approach to making quality products, sharing its methodologies and existing resources, including supply chain, e-commerce, marketing and branding.
Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker matches quality of high-end Japanese brands
High-end Japanese pressure rice cookers are widely recognised for producing more delicious rice by using three core technologies: pressure control, heating method and the lining material. Pressure control has become synonymous with high-end Japanese rice cookers.
Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker employs a magnetic relief valve to precisely control the pressure inside the rice cooker to 1.2 times the atmospheric pressure, corresponding to an ideal boiling point of water at 105 degree Celsius, which results in more flavourful rice.
Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker also uses electromagnetic heating technology for higher thermal efficiency and to ensure even cooking.
For the lining material, Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker uses grey cast iron that has undergone a 69-step process, which has the advantages of even heating and strong thermal performance. It also incorporates PFA powder coating that is used to solve the problem of rice sticking to the bottom of the pot. Due to the high level of technical expertise needed to combine grey cast iron and PFA powder coating, the team spent 18 months carrying out over 30,000 tests before arriving at the perfect combination.
Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker is a WiFi-enabled smart gadget that can be controlled via the Mi Home app. For example, users can scan their pack of rice to identify the type of rice, brand and origin, and based on that, the rice cooker can adjust its heating methodology to best suit the type of rice. It currently supports more than 200 brands of rice, and this will be expanded in the future. Users can also set their personal preferences within the app.
The app also comes with other recipes that can be used with Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, including brown rice, crispy rice and even cakes. Users do not have to figure out the methods for cooking these other items – instead they can just set it through the app, which currently supports 2450 heating methods.