Chinese smartphone makers Meitu and Xiaomi have ended their partnership that was supposed to last for 30 years. This decision also marks Meitu’s exit from the smartphone market permanently.
Both the Chinese companies came together and Xiaomi was supposed to take care of the design, R&D, and sales of Meitu, branded phones.
The agreement was signed in 2019 after Meitu had stopped making smartphones suggesting that Meitu will offer its imaging technology and camera algorithms for co-produced smartphones.
To recall, Meitu was primarily a software company that made selfie-centric applications and later started making phones harnessing the selfie capabilities of its application and algorithms.
The company was never a major force when it came to smartphones and had only managed to sell 3.5 million smartphones in a period of 5 years. While signing the agreement, the company said that its mission is ‘to inspire more people to express their beauty.’ The agreement also states that Xiaomi would initially pay a certain percentage of the fee to Meitu and later a fixed price per device after 5 years or the sale of a certain number of devices.
However, apart from the Xiaomi CC9 Meitu phone that came out in 2019, no other devices could be manufactured out of this collaboration. The pandemic outbreak further derailed the possibilities of any new devices. Hence, Meitu announced the termination of the collaboration and also stated that it has taken all the trademarks and licenses back from Xiaomi.
It is also worth noting that, like most Chinese apps, Meitu’s beautification app, which forms the core of its business, was also involved in privacy-related issues. It was reported that the application asked for way too many permissions and hence access to a lot of user information.
This data was allegedly being shared with third parties making this app a nightmare for privacy-conscious people. Meitu, however, was always in denial mode and stated that it never sold user data to third parties.