Xiaomi is unstoppable. The Chinese OEM is showing its best game and creating the right noise. In the latest, the industry is abuzz with the news of Xiaomi’s major investment into Ninebot to help the latter acquire New Hampshire-based robotics firm, Segway Inc. Those who came in late, Segway is also a robotics company and whose claim to fame has been the self-balancing scooter in the year 2000 that faded with the time.
Segway has also filed a patent infringement case against Ninebot in September 2014. Fast forward this to now, Ninebot and Segway jointly hold over 400 patents. Though, the companies will continue to operate as different entities.
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The Chinese capital firm Sequoia Capital China also has funded the Ninebot in the takeover. The total capital invested by both these companies is said to be $80 million. Ninebot is also manufactures scooters and now Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, who also happens to be one of the richest men in China, is among its new backers.
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According to Lei, the acquisition was a show of Chinese self-confidence and an expansion of Xiaomi’s vision to support smart hardware companies. Lei also termed the Segway scooter as the best toy for adults despite its being the mainstream commercial failure.