Li Nan, vice president of the rival Meizu, which began in the early 2000s by making digital music players and aims at customers slightly older and wealthier than Xiaomi’s, likens the devotion of Xiaomi supporters to a religion.
“Xiaomi fans have a high level of organization,” he said. “They love Xiaomi. It’s a form of idolatry.”
Han Yu, a 24-year-old studying for his master’s degree, is one of those idolaters. He, with tens of thousands of others, helps Xiaomi test its user interface by looking for bugs and offering suggestions. Mr. Han moderates several pages on the company’s online forum, which averages 200,000 posts a day and is where fans interact with the company.
After which Stratechery says:
What is more interesting, though, is what will happen when Han and his peers finally do get places of their own. They will need to buy TVs, and air purifiers, and all kinds of (relatively) high renminbi goods. And which brand do you think they will choose? If Apple can sell a battery charger to my coworker, I’m pretty certain Xiaomi can sell an air purifier to Mr. Han, and, sooner rather than later, just about everything he needs for his new house (many of these products will be built by 3rd parties that Xiaomi invests in).