As Samsung faces further declines in the smartphone market, it seems its closest rival that isn’t Apple is on the rise. Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi – often called the “Apple of China” – just announced that it had raised $1.1 billion in new funding at a valuation of $45 billion, meaning that the company is now better-equipped than ever to start taking it to the competition.

Bin Lin, the cofounder and President of Xiaomi, made the announcement on his Facebook page, saying that the investors now pumping money into the company include All-Stars Investment, DST, GIC, Hopu Fund, and Yunfeng Captial.

With CES 2015 in Las Vegas just a week away from kicking off, Xiaomi will also have a new flagship phone to show fans. While Xiaomi’s phones aren’t offered by any of the United States’ major carriers, unlocked handsets are available from sources like eBay, so whatever the company has on offer at CES next week could still wind up in your pocket.

Meanwhile, the company this year was named the number three top-selling smartphone maker in the world, following behind the aforementioned Samsung and Apple at numbers two and one, respectively. In short, Xiaomi is on the rise, and the news today of its recent fundraising efforts only makes it seem like a matter of time before it out performs even the mighty iPhone maker.

Said Bin Lin on the news:

“This is an affirmation of Xiaomi’s stellar results in four years, and heralds a new phase for the company.

We will strive to continue bringing innovation to everyone, with a goal of producing high-quality, high-performance devices with great user experience.”

At this point, the absence of Xiaomi’s smartphones from American carriers seems glaring by omission. The number three smartphone maker in the world still isn’t available to buy at your local AT&T or T-Mobile store? Maybe 2015 is the year that trend ends.

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[Source: Facebook via TechCrunch]


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