China's Xiaomi launches first chip

Updated 2017-03-01 15:00:10 Xinhua

Chinese tech firm Xiaomi launched its first smartphone processor on Tuesday, becoming the fourth company in the world capable of producing both smartphones and chips.

The company has started mass production of the Surge S1 chip, which targets medium- and high-end phones and powers Xiaomi's new flagship smartphone, the Mi 5c, which was launched the same day.

The move enabled Xiaomi to join the ranks of Apple, Samsung and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, and marked another step by Chinese companies in reducing their reliance on foreign chips.

"Processor chip manufacturing is the pinnacle of the whole smartphone industry," said Lei Jun, chairman and chief executive officer of Xiaomi. "A great company in the sector must have a grasp of this core technology."

It took 28 months for Xiaomi to develop and commercialize the chip. Lei vowed to establish a complete product line covering medium- and high-end and flagship-class smartphone processors in 10 years.

China is pushing for breakthroughs in key technologies such as high-end chips to sharpen its industrial competitive edge and build an innovation-driven economy.

The country has the world's largest chip market, which is now dominated by foreign firms like Qualcomm.

China imports more than 200 billion U.S. dollars in chips each year and aims to increase its self-sufficiency rate for chips to 50 percent by 2025.

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