China's Xiaomi Aims its MiTalk Messaging App at Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea

Steven Millward
MiTalk messaging app Southeast Asia

China’s Xiaomi not only makes a range of popular Android-based smartphones (a whopping 7.19 million sold in 2012) but also its own group messaging app. Called Miliao in Chinese (and now with the English name MiTalk), it’s a smaller rival to WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk, Whatsapp, and many others. Now MiTalk will be pushed across Southeast Asia thanks to a new partnership between the phone-maker and Taiwanese startup Mface.

According to QQ Tech today (via TheNextWeb), MiTalk is now up to 23 million registered users, although I’d suspect that the vast majority of those are in mainland China. Mface will help promote and distribute the chat app - even though it has a slight overlap of features with his own startup’s Path-like app - in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan with the aim of MiTalk reaching five million overseas users by the end of the year.

We know that Xiaomi will launch its phones in Hong Kong and Taiwan soon - the first official sales channels outside of mainland China - so MiTalk is clearly going to be a part of that expansion. Xiaomi expects to sell 10 million smartphones in 2013, and is considering launching in North America in 2014 or 2015.

MiTalk messaging app with MFace

(Image:QQ Tech)

MiTalk faces a buzz of talkative competition from WeChat and its 300 million users, and aggressive overseas user acquisition from NHN Japan’s Line app, which crossed 100 million users last week.

(Source: QQ Tech - article in Chinese)

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