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Xiaomi’s new Mi CC brand will develop ‘trendy’ smartphones for young people – TechCrunch

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Huawei may be on the ropes as it battles sanctions from the U.S. government, but fellow Chinese smartphone rival Xiaomi is in expansion mode with the launch of a new brand that’s aimed at winning friends (and sales) among the young and fashionable.

“Mi CC” is the newest brand from Xiaomi. Unveiled on Friday, the phone-maker said it stands for “camera+camera” in reference to its dual-camera feature, but that apparently also segues into “a variety of meanings including chic, cool, colorful and creative.”

The end goal of that marketing bumf is a target customer that Xiaomi describes as “the global young generation.”

Essentially, what Xiaomi is doing here is breaking out a dedicated set of phones for those who care more about aesthetics than performance. To date, the company has built its brand on developing phones that are as good — well, nearly as good — as top smartphone rivals but at a fraction of the cost. The result of that is that a lot of marketing focus is on the technical details, even though Xiaomi has been lauded for some attractive designs, and CC adjusts that balance to target a different kind of audience.

Since Xiaomi has a history of bringing innovation into affordable devices, CC is one to watch out for.

Xiaomi’s CC teaser image doesn’t give much away, apart from the logo

The new division is the result of Xiaomi’s acquisition of the smartphone business belonging to Meitu, a selfie app maker.

Xiaomi bought the business last November to go after new demographics and build on the work of Meitu, which had sold just over 3.5 million after getting into the smartphone business in 2013. Those numbers weren’t enough to justify the continuation of Meitu’s phone business but, evidently, Xiaomi saw promise in that segment. Meitu retains a similarly positive outlook on the fashionable audience and it has a lot to gain financially from the success of CC, too.

Terms of the acquisition deal mean that Meitu will take 10 percent of all profits, with a minimum guaranteed fee of $10 million per year. Big sales could be significant for Meitu, which reported revenue of $406 million in 2018. Notably, two-thirds of that income was from phone sales but Meitu’s smartphone revenue dropped by 51 percent year-on-year. Hence, Xiaomi has come to the rescue with its know-how.

There’s no word on exactly what Mi CC devices will look like or where they will be sold, but Xiaomi is already trumpeting its differentiation.

“Mi CC is created by one of the youngest product teams in Xiaomi, among which half are art majors and are dedicated to creating a trendy design for young consumers,” it wrote in an announcement.

Gavin Thomas plays with a Mi CC phone in a teaser that the brand posted to its Weibo account

The first look is a teaser that features Gavin Thomas — an eight-year-old who went viral in China for his ability to speak Mandarin — but the phone itself is kept hidden in the video thanks to well-placed stickers.

As you’d expect from Meitu, there’s a lot of emphasis on selfies, stickers and other graphics.

Xiaomi has had success with brands, some of which include Redmi — its big-selling budget division — Poco, its ‘performance’-focused division, its gaming brand Shark, which looks much like Razer’s phones.

Outside of mobile, the company develops and sells a range of smart home products, many of which are licensed from third-party partners.

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Spotify releases a new exclusive podcast hosted by Kim Kardashian • TechCrunch

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Today, Spotify released the first two episodes of the new original podcast “Kim Kardashian’s The System: The Case of Kevin Keith,” narrated by reality TV star Kim K and true-crime producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi. The series will be available worldwide and is free for all Spotify listeners.

The podcast will have eight episodes in total and explore the story of Kevin Keith, who was convicted of a triple homicide in 1994. For 28 years, Keith has been trying to prove his innocence. Kardashian and Rothschild Ansaldi will work with investigators and experts to demonstrate how the legal system is broken, Spotify wrote in its release.

New episodes of “The System” will be released on Mondays.

Kardashian has been open about her thoughts on the flawed justice system and is currently pursuing a career as a lawyer. She passed the “Baby Bar” exam in California and claims to have plans to open her own law firm in the future.

Kardashian entered a deal with Spotify in 2020 to produce and host an exclusive podcast for the music streaming platform. Her podcast deal joins other celebrities who have inked with Spotify as part of the company’s strategy to expand its exclusive audio offerings. Also, in 2020, Spotify closed a deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

“The System” podcast launched on the same day that the SEC charged Kardashian for “unlawfully touting a crypt security.” Kardashian settled the case and paid $1.26 million.

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Mad Realities’ Devin Lewtan talks onboarding new crypto users through content at TC Sessions: Crypto

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If crypto is going to reach “mass adoption,” the industry still has a lot of people it needs to bring on board. Approximately 83% of U.S. adults haven’t ever invested in, traded or used cryptocurrency, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this summer.

While many builders and investors agree that it’s still relatively early in the life cycle of blockchain technology, there’s less of a consensus around exactly what applications will catalyze widespread adoption. Consumer-facing crypto startups are trying to build intuitive products that have low barriers to entry, but how will they actually convince people their products are worth using?

Mad Realities, an audience-owned TV production studio, is betting on content and entertainment as the next big on-ramp for the crypto-curious. The company debuted an interactive reality dating show called “Proof of Love” this year that engaged audience members through NFTs and attracted $6 million in seed funding from investors, including celebrity Paris Hilton and crypto venture firm Paradigm.

That’s why we are delighted to have Mad Realities co-founder and CEO Devin Lewtan at TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto in Miami on November 17, where we’ll discuss competitive dynamics in web3 media, how to make web3 products accessible and easy to use, and the opportunities and challenges Lewtan sees ahead as her company tries to recruit Gen Z into crypto.

Before co-founding Mad Realities, Lewtan was a product engineer at Sequoia-backed Clay.run and a founder of the viral Clubhouse show, Shoot Your Shot: NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys, which went viral on Clubhouse during the peak days of the pandemic.

Lewtan and her co-founders are all in their twenties and remain deeply plugged into digital culture trends, so we’re especially excited to chat with Lewtan about how Mad Realities can continue to stand out in a sea of viral video content.

Take advantage of our special launch pricing — save $250 on General Admission passes while supplies last. Buy your pass today, and then join the web3, DeFi and NFT communities at TC Sessions: Crypto on November 17 in Miami.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Crypto? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

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Draymond Green will flip the script at TechCrunch Disrupt • TechCrunch

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Golden State Warrior and four-time NBA champion Draymond Green will take the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20 in San Francisco — and get ready for a plot twist.

He will bring his popular podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” to the Disrupt stage with a very special guest — himself. Turning the tables, Green will hand host duties over to TechCrunch’s own Brian Heater for an interview covering the star athlete’s thoughts on disrupting media, podcasting and sports commentary.

Never one to shy away from straight talk, Green told CNBC of his desire to become a billionaire by the time he hits 40. He’s made several investments along the way, including Smile Direct Club, Blink Fitness gyms, Lobos 1707 (along with LeBron James) and Uninterrupted — part of James’s SpringHill Company.

For his most recent acquisition, Green teamed up with Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers — along with James and other investors — to purchase a Major League Pickleball team.

We can’t wait to hear more about where Green might focus future investments, his perspective on becoming a disruptive media mogul and how that billionaire status is coming along.

Green’s main gig, of course, is power-forward for the Golden State Warriors. He’s a four-time NBA champion, four-time All-Star, a two-time member of the All-NBA Team, a five-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

His off-court career rose to new heights this year when he became the first active NBA player to sign a broadcasting deal with TNT. His podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” features A-list guests and real talk from Green. He regularly appears on a variety of programs, is a voice-over artist and an executive producer of multiple entertainment endeavors. Green also stars in Prime Video’s “The Sessions: Draymond Green,” “Throwing Bones” and TNT’s “Opening Night.”

TechCrunch Disrupt takes place on October 18–20 in San Francisco. Buy your pass today and find out why Disrupt is the place where startups go to grow.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

 

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