Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi became the first among its peers to host an online-only flagship product launch this week in a move that is likely to become commonplace in the country’s tech sector amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, reported the South China Morning Post.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, originally from Hubei province where he attended university in Wuhan – the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak – became emotional on Thursday as he opened the live-streamed video conference. “Wuhan is a city of heroes. Wuhan people are brave, confident and optimistic … Life can be affected by the epidemic, but we cannot be defeated by it,” he said.
While the purpose of the event was to launch the company’s new Mi 10 flagship 5G phone, the billionaire entrepreneur admitted that the smartphone industry was “quiet” amid the public health crisis and he hoped normal production would resume soon.
The online event came after Lu Weibing, vice-president of Xiaomi and general manager for its Redmi brand, apologised to users in a Weibo post last month, saying that the planned release of new products had been disrupted and that the company was making adjustments amid the setbacks facing the entire industry.