In short: There were several other names proposed during the company initial establishment.
Xiaomi is one of the most famous cellphone brands in China. Almost everyone knows the brand of this one mobile phone. Having the best price-per-specs ratio, Xiaomi attracts a lot of consumer interest. Android-based with various facilities and sophistication, Xiaomi is able to capture the global mobile market share.
It was on January 14 2010, the first official meeting was conducted by the founders of Xiaomi. The main topic of discussion was the naming of the company they were going to start.
The first name proposed was Red Star, but it was not used because of copyright issues.
The next proposed name was Xuande because it is similar to the name of their meeting location. Unfortunately, the name was also cancelled because it sounds a little bit awkward.
Some alternative names like Qianqi, Linqi, etc are also not agreed upon. In the end, the name Xiaomi was chosen by the founders.
Xiaomi literally means Small Rice. Besides Xiaomi, another name that often appears on the mobile brand is Mi.
Quoted from Gizmochina, Lei Jun who is one of the founders of Xiaomi explains the original meaning of Mi.
First, Mi stands for cellular internet. Considering this company is a mobile device company that is connected to the internet
Secondly, Lei jun associates Mi with Mission Impossible. Because the company will try to carry out various missions that are considered impossible.
This is proofed by the presentation of Mi mobile phones in each of its series of high specifications but low prices.
It is said that Lei Jun founded Xiaomi with 14 other people in a small room in Beijing. However, other sources mention that the number of people at that time was only 8 people.
But certainly, in the historical version of Xiaomi, present at the time was Lin Bin, who now serves as the president of Xiaomi.